Get all metafields for products

ReloadSEO
Shopify Partner
48 0 17

This has been posted before, but the Shopify support hasn't answered it yet... And it is a good and reasonable question. 

 

I want to get all the metafields for all the products.

My understanding is that there is no API like:

/admin/products/metafields.json

The only one is like this:

/admin/products/#productid#/metafields.json

Therefore, the only way is to get all the metafields for all the products is to make one API call per product!

It is also impossible to cache the data, because it takes one API call per product just to check if the metafields for that product have been updated!  For large stores, it is handicapping API applications and forcing one call per product, resulting in extremely time-consuming fetches for tiny amounts of data.

Can you please add an API call that works like this?  /admin/products/metafields.json

It would return all the metafields for all the products, 250 at a time.  We can then page through in a reasonable amount of time.

Or, does anyone know some other workaround to get all the product metafields at once?

Replies 64 (64)
Jamie_D_
Shopify Staff (Retired)
Shopify Staff (Retired)
533 1 92

Hey ReloadSEO,

There's currently no way to achieve this through the current API. However, we're aware that this is something that developers are interested in and we're actively looking into finding a solution.

Keep an eye on the API Announcements forum for any updates regarding this.

Cheers,

Jamie

To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Community Blog.

John81
Tourist
4 0 1

Just run into this problem myself. Haven't been able to find a workaround sorry. I agree with your request to extend the API though and would like to add that /products should be able to return metafields_global_title_tag and metafields_global_description_tag (if it doesn't already, maybe there's a way to specify the fields value of the request for it?).

Thomas47
Shopify Partner
58 0 12

Hi Jamie,

please include the functionality so to get all metafields for certain ids (add ids[] paramter). I'd like to get the metafields for a list of products (i.e. metafields for all products in an order).

Must say I am very disappointed to see this lacking the API and also finding threads that are more than two and a half years old on this topic. 

Please commit to a production date (or sprint, release) for these updates.

Best regards,

Thomas

 

 

Dan_Chow
Shopify Partner
19 0 5

I am also interested in more information here. What is the intended use/meaning of this section of the docs pertaining to metafields? This makes it look like we should expect to be able to obtain product metafields at the /admin/metafields.json resource, and filter for conditions; however when I tried this on my store, only the 'store' metafields were returned. Accessing metafields a single product at a time is not at all an efficient use of the limited API call resource. Really need someway to obtain this information in a single, or a few, calls : 

https://texansaddles-com.myshopify.com/admin/metafields.json?metafield[owner_resource]=product

I was able to pull a single product metafields at the following address, but this is a duplicate of the resource at /admin/products/{id}/metafields.json:

https://texansaddles-com.myshopify.com/admin/metafields.json?metafield[owner_id]=6107959043&metafiel...

From the Docs:

https://docs.shopify.com/api/reference/metafield

GET/admin/metafields.json

Get metafields that belong to a product image

Get all metafields that belong to the images of a product

GET /admin/metafields.json?metafield[owner_id]=850703190&metafield[owner_resource]=product_image

Hide Response

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
{
  "metafields": [
    {
      "id": 625663657,
      "namespace": "translation",
      "key": "title_fr",
      "value": "tbn",
      "value_type": "string",
      "description": "French product image title",
      "owner_id": 850703190,
      "created_at": "2016-03-17T17:04:49-04:00",
      "updated_at": "2016-03-17T17:04:49-04:00",
      "owner_resource": "product_image"
    }
  ]
}
Dan_Chow
Shopify Partner
19 0 5

It was also frustrating to find that the metafields for a product are not included in that product's json when called at /admin/products/{id}.json, or as part of the list from /admin/products.json. This would have been an intuitive way to access metafields associated with products.

devdeepakrawat
Visitor
1 0 3

Shopify must provide an option to include the metafields data in the product API response. It's really frustrating to make an extra call to fetch metafields for a  product after fetching the product.

Mitchmaster
Tourist
3 0 6

I find it hard to believe that Shopify has been "researching a solution" to this problem for years. It should take 10 minutes of programming to solve given that identical capabilities already exist at other levels of the API. Having to do a separate curl call to find out if each product has a given metafiled makes this useless for a live page - it can take up to a minute to load. Please expedite a solution!

shul
Tourist
6 0 3

And its 2021 and the "research" continues.. Such a strait forward  feature..

Jonathan-HA
Shopify Partner
303 22 94

+1 for this. Would also be nice to be able to specifiy a list of product_ids and get the metafields for them.

We have a CSV exporter app and one of our customers asked if we could include metafields in the report. With the current API implementation, it's too expensive to make an API call for each unique product included in the report.

Co-Founder / Developer at Highview Apps
Our Shopify Apps: EZ Exporter | EZ Inventory | EZ Importer | EZ Notify | EZ Fulfill
bolle
Excursionist
28 1 6

Any updates here?
This is needed, otherwise the metafields are stuck in a far off land with the API call limit.

bolle
Excursionist
28 1 6

Thanks HunkyBill. 

Maybe you could help me figure out the logic for this.

I'm creating a private app for my client. I was hoping to use metafields to allow us to change a binary option (true/false) for each customer.

In my app I list all of the customers in the shop, and ideally I'd like to display this metafield within the list as well.

Ex. First Name, Last Name, Address, Binary Metafield, etc


I obviously have the /customers.json GET working properly with all customer info, now I'm working on the metafields.

How could I grab this metafield for each customer, without making x # of requests (depending on how many customers)?

I hope this isn't an extremely simple solution, but I can't think of any way around the API limit for this. 
I've just started using the Shopify API (yesterday) so I am a bit new at this.

 

Thanks HunkyBill!

HunkyBill
Shopify Expert
4843 60 546

You get 250 customers per API call. for each customer, add a metafield. 

simple. 

You can modify the theme to display the metafield values too, in the customer Liquid files. 

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
bolle
Excursionist
28 1 6

Sorry, I meant I need to GRAB that metafield value for each customer in the API.

My original thought - grab customers.json , for each customer in there, grab the id and send another request to Shopify for metafields.json with that user id. 

That should work technically, but if there are 40+ customers I'm going to hit the limit quickly.

HunkyBill
Shopify Expert
4843 60 546

You can GET 250 customers in one API call. You won't hit the limit if you page through them like that. And even if you did throw 40 calls out (10,000 customers later).. you still get 2/second. About the API limits... there is a ton of code out there about how to deal with limits in any language except probably COBOL... 

So get 250 customers at a time, and deal with their metafields... and if you hit the limit... big deal.. you wait a 0.5 seconds to make your next API call... 

 

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
bolle
Excursionist
28 1 6

Wonderful. Thanks I'll try it out.

Bad pseudocode below - 

Would something like this work (away from pc at the moment):
 

GET customers.json (lets say all 250 customers) {

for each customer in customer.json {

GET metafields.json?metafield[owner_id]=user.id&metafield[owner_resource]=customer {

return data;

}
}

 

HunkyBill
Shopify Expert
4843 60 546

yes... that will work fine... 

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
Paul_Younger
Shopify Partner
2 0 0

If I understand correctly, I should be able to get up to 250 product metafields with this call:

admin/metafields.json?metafield[owner_resource]=product

However, I get this as a response: (metafields do exist for products)

 {"metafields":[]}

HunkyBill
Shopify Expert
4843 60 546

I think you're better off getting a product, and asking for all it's metafields. Asking for metafields that have an owner is kind of chaotic. I think that only works if you also provide an ID. 

 

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
Dennis2
Tourist
9 0 2

I would say something like this should work:

/admin/metafields.json?metafield[owner_resource]=product

This way you only request resources for product and you could even make namespace required for example. Or just providing a list of resource IDs (products IDs for example) would work as well, I guess. Al long as you don't have to download all metafields for each resource one at a time would work for me 🙂

Improved Google Shopping Feed App: https://apps.shopify.com/simple-google-shopping-feed
Paul_Younger
Shopify Partner
2 0 0

Dennis, that did not work for me.  Note my previous post.  Results were empty.

HunkyBill
Shopify Expert
4843 60 546

As I told you. Asking for metafields by using some generic resource owner like "product" is chaos. There is little to no chance Shopify would support that as an ad-hoc query as it is expensive to gather those resources easily and cheaply. 

So function in the normal way. Get your products of interest first, and then get their metafields. It is not complex and it is guaranteed to work.

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
Dennis2
Tourist
9 0 2

@HunkyBill I know, but doing that would require thouthands of requests. And why would it be difficult to gather the resources? If you are ONLY downloading one type, like products?

In any case, if Shopify dev team is around, I'd like to hear what they say about this.

Improved Google Shopping Feed App: https://apps.shopify.com/simple-google-shopping-feed
Dennis2
Tourist
9 0 2

I don't want to start a war here... but querying 400 times 250 results ALWAYS needs less resources than querying 10000 times 1 result. I'm not talking about grabbing ALL metafields, but metafiels bij owner_resource. Or even by owner_resource/namespace combo.

Improved Google Shopping Feed App: https://apps.shopify.com/simple-google-shopping-feed
HunkyBill
Shopify Expert
4843 60 546

Computers are governed by math. As you wisely point out. You can request 100,000 products with a mere 400 API calls.  

So that person now has 100,000 products. And wow... that took all of what, 180 seconds? Holy inconvenience Batman!  Moving on, now that said coder has 100,000 products to play with, indeed, getting the Metafields for each one is a chore. Could mean 100,000 more calls right?

So you learn to layer and filter in your API calls, so as to minimize calls. In most cases, it works out fine.

No one wants to start a war. It is just that to move someone along quicker to their goal, we have to point out the way for them to go. And if they feel they don't like it, well, that is what we call tough bananas. At this time, metafields are not a simple resource you can just have, without doing a little extra work.  

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
ClementG
Shopify Partner
660 0 129

Upvoting this. I also need to bulk load meta fields.

Ruslan
New Member
7 0 0

I have many products (100 000 for example). But Shopify doesn't allow to store SKU (why?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!) and as result I must store SKU inside metafields and any time I must fetch metafields for any products to check if product available in shop or not. Now I have API calls = products pages count + products count just to read available data. If I have 100 000 products - I must use more than 100 000 calls because I can't use pagination with next parameters:

/admin/metafields.json?metafield[key]=SKU&metafield[owner_resource]=product

Now API have limits: 2 requests per second.

100 000 products / 2 requests / 60 seconds / 60 minutes = 14 HOURS!

During this time my product list can be changed many times.

 

Jason
Shopify Expert
11159 221 2273

 But Shopify doesn't allow to store SKU

Sure it does. You store things like SKU code on the variant.

So when creating a product:

POST /admin/products.json
{
  "product": {
    "title": "Burton Custom Freestyle 151",
    "body_html": "<strong>Good snowboard!<\/strong>",
    "vendor": "Burton",
    "product_type": "Snowboard",
    "variants": [
      {
        "option1": "First",
        "price": "10.00",
        "sku": "123"
      },
      {
        "option1": "Second",
        "price": "20.00",
        "sku": "123"
      }
    ]
  }
}

 

★ I jump on these forums in my free time to help and share some insights. Not looking to be hired, and not looking for work. http://freakdesign.com.au ★
Ruslan
New Member
7 0 0

Product SKU is differ than variants (combinations) SKU and must be saved in other place for products with variants. Surprice!

Ruslan
New Member
7 0 0

Variants count restriction is a problem too. 3 options is aren't enough.

Channable
Visitor
2 0 0

Hello,

We are running into the same exact problem. For several of our customers we would like to retrieve and process the meta datafields every day. However, with the current restrictions this is just not an option because this could result in 100k+ requests every day. 

We hope there will be found a solution to this problem in the future.

Jason
Shopify Expert
11159 221 2273

^ What are you actually doing that would require you to have 100k API calls daily? I'd like to understand context as there may be smarter ways to approach things.

★ I jump on these forums in my free time to help and share some insights. Not looking to be hired, and not looking for work. http://freakdesign.com.au ★
Channable
Visitor
2 0 0

As a datafeed management company we currently download all the product data from Shopify, process this (e.g remove products which are out of stock, add the color of the product to the title etc) and send the modified data to "export channels" such as Amazon and Google Shopping. We don't push any data to Shopify, only retrieve it every day.

Some of our Shopify customers store data in the meta data fields, for example color, sku's etc. and our customers want to use this information as to better optimize their ads on the "export channels".

We streamline this process as much as possible as to make it as easy as possible for the customer. When a customer changes an item's description (or stock changes after a sell), this  will automatically be changed on the export channels. We want to do something similar for the meta data fields.

Some customers have a lot of products in their stores and thus getting all the meta_fields for all the products every day would be a huge amount of api calls.

We are aware that the amount of api calls could be reduced by giving a customer an option to fetch the meta_data fields in Channable instead of doing this every day. However, we would like to keep our strucuture the same for all ecommerce shops and this is not required for other shops. Furthermore, this would require a big change in our backend structure.

I hope this clears things up.

HunkyBill
Shopify Expert
4843 60 546

This one made me giggle. Please Shopify, could you alter your systems to match mine so I don't have to work anymore? Would be swell!! Thanks and tata... have a nice day.

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
Perice
Shopify Partner
9 0 1

+1 for this

One call per product to get the metafields is way too much when you have to deal with thousands of products.

Awesome Store Apps for your Shopify store - https://awesomestoreapps.com/
HunkyBill
Shopify Expert
4843 60 546

Soon enough we'll get GraphQL calls and then we can all get the associated metafield resources needed, and this whole silly thread can go away forever.

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
ClementG
Shopify Partner
660 0 129

Do you have non public knowledge about this?

As far as I understand GraphQL is currently limited to "customer facing" entities.

It's not clear to me exactly where the boundary between customer facing and back office entities is, but I'd think that metafields are considered "back office"..

HunkyBill
Shopify Expert
4843 60 546

No dude, I have no secret info. But that is almost certainly where things are going. Eventually we will have GraphQL access to objects and resources. Until then, we deal with the RESTful API and do 100,000 API calls in ~14 hours. YMMV. 

Therefore, whether we like it or not, we understand that using Metafields is non-performant when your call count is high. Use a different strategy. That is the secret. Knowing how to squeeze performance. 

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
HunkyBill
Shopify Expert
4843 60 546

I get X calls per week from merchants that complain to me about Apps that bungle this performance issue, and there is zilch I can do for them, except to tell them they cannot use an App that is architected to fail on big product counts. 

Using a lowest fruit hanging from the tree approach (sometimes Metafields), is clearly easy, but has hazards. It is obvious from the get-go, so expecting magic and a sudden elimination of this performance is not likely. We could wake up tomorrow with metafields available, but then again, if it was easy, we would've had that 8 years ago. Clearly, it is best to wait for the internal wiring to catch up, and when it does, using Metafields will likely be suitable for a wide range of uses currently not practical.

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
Joel-Reeds
Shopify Partner
165 8 60

+1

Pulling in 1,000 products with their metafields currently takes around 10 minutes to complete because of the API call limit.

As others have suggested, the ability the pull metafields based on owner_resource and namespace would significantly reduce the number of calls required.

Something simple such as 4 metafields returned per product could reduce the total number of API calls from 1,004 to 20.

Co-Founder / CTO @ Intuitive Shipping Inc.
Intuitive Shipping | Automate Shipping Profiles
HunkyBill
Shopify Expert
4843 60 546

It's easy to play a numbers game, but you know what will happen. Some joker will figure out that with the owner resource and namespace, they can jam 100, 500, heck even 1000+ things on another resource. So what is the point? You can ask for your metafields, and if you have 2 or 3 or 7 or some modest number sure, it's a simple join, la-dee-da, off we go. But you know people will abuse this. And so you are just offloading poor performance from one area to another. And granted, it may bridge certain gaps, it will almost certainly bog down others. 

Don't forget, peoplez can writez terrible codez if you let them, and flush Shopify internal performance down the drain, and so the wiring for this has to be done carefully... so ya.. it's a nice thought experiment.. but not realistic for reasons probably due to DB structure, and SQL efficiency, and the like.

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
Jason
Shopify Expert
11159 221 2273

Joel - why does 10 minutes matter? It's not like you're sitting there processing them by hand. Can you explain the pain point you're seeing? If this thread is going to keep being revived I'd like to at least understand the context / reasons / pain etc.

If you are grabbing that content all the time why not just cache that on your end and save the call entirely?

★ I jump on these forums in my free time to help and share some insights. Not looking to be hired, and not looking for work. http://freakdesign.com.au ★
ClementG
Shopify Partner
660 0 129

I must say I don't always understand why many people seem to very often push back on feature requests.

This is just that, a feature request.

I don't expect Shopify to implement all of them. I trust they have the intelligence and  inside knowledge to prioritize the various requests based on the number of people asking for it, complexity of implementation, risk, peformance, etc... If they don't implement it that is fine, but are we allowed to at least express that we would like some enhancement?

Yes the work around is acceptable, but why wouldn't we strive for better? Again I don't expect Shopify to implement all requests, but it seems to me they are the one that have the knowledge to priortize. One important input is the number of people requesting it in the forums.

IMO Jamie's answer was good enough, but +1 are ok.

I really wish that Shopify would use something like uservoice to keep track feature requests.

Something like Xero does: https://xero.uservoice.com/forums/5528-xero-accounting-api

Regarding the question at hand, my own context is that I want to generate a large report that shows some metafields.

Jason
Shopify Expert
11159 221 2273

My comments are not push back, though I do like more info on the whys.
Context is important and this thread is seen internally.

★ I jump on these forums in my free time to help and share some insights. Not looking to be hired, and not looking for work. http://freakdesign.com.au ★
Joel-Reeds
Shopify Partner
165 8 60

I cache the retrieved data once it's received so the call doesn't go out often.  However should the shop owner wish to resync their product data manually then it's a 10 minute wait while everything is re-cached.

For now to get around this long wait time I'm just storing all custom meta data on my end and skipping Shopify's metafields.

I can see HunkyBill's point that should the feature be introduced it could have a negative impact on Shopify as people might cram all their misc data into metafields.

Co-Founder / CTO @ Intuitive Shipping Inc.
Intuitive Shipping | Automate Shipping Profiles
Jason
Shopify Expert
11159 221 2273

However should the shop owner wish to resync their product data manually then it's a 10 minute wait while everything is re-cached.

If you're storing the product updated_at value you can use that as an early indicator if you even need to sync a product or not. If it matches your last cache time you know the metafields haven't changed. May save you a call or two.

★ I jump on these forums in my free time to help and share some insights. Not looking to be hired, and not looking for work. http://freakdesign.com.au ★
Joel-Reeds
Shopify Partner
165 8 60

Good point, thanks.

Co-Founder / CTO @ Intuitive Shipping Inc.
Intuitive Shipping | Automate Shipping Profiles
Ruslan
New Member
7 0 0

Problem will never be solved because developers doesn't understand why other CMS have SKU by default in main table (like product id and product name). Attributes (include features and combinations) alwais contained in other tables but product SKU available as main field any time.
We have simple behaviour: user create new product. Fill all data one time. And next time just search product by SKU to update price and quantity.
We can't cache data because if user change something directly in shop: data from cache will lie and user will have invalid data.
Also local cache means that customer must write functional identical to your CMS and backend to it. There is no need to buy CMS if you must develop new CMS just to work with CMS.
Your CMS is not the first CMS with which we work and we know these problems.

 

Ruslan
New Member
7 0 0

Problem will never be solved because developers doesn't understand why other CMS have SKU by default in main table (like product id and product name). Attributes (include features and combinations) alwais contained in other tables but product SKU available as main field any time.
We have simple behaviour: user create new product. Fill all data one time. And next time just search product by SKU to update price and quantity.
We can't cache data because if user change something directly in shop: data from cache will lie and user will have invalid data.
Also local cache means that customer must write functional identical to your CMS and backend to it. There is no need to buy CMS if you must develop new CMS just to work with CMS.
Your CMS is not the first CMS with which we work and we know these problems.

Tien_Do
Excursionist
40 0 6

Initially I also wanted to get metafields with a call to products.json, but after read all replies here, I changed my mind 🙂

+1 HunkyBill 

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