How To Use: Recipe Import Export Features

Pocket Brewer allows brewers to quickly build standard brewing recipes within the application.    Of course phones come and go so we all need to be able to get our recipes out of Pocket Brewer.   Similarly we would like to clear old recipes out, bring recipes back in, share recipes, etc etc.   For this reason we’ve added the ability to export via email your recipes.    At the bottom of an exported recipe email you will notice some code within the tags <RecipeClass></RecipeClass> which is used by Pocket Brewer to re-import the recipes.   In addition below that you’ll notice <RECIPE></RECIPE> which is the BeerXML export of the recipe.   We provide both because the Pocket Brewer XML(RecipeClass) is more compact than the BeerXML and can ensure good imports or easier copy/paste which can be a pain in a phone with long recipes created by BeerXML.

Common Import Problems:

 The import isn’t perfect for Pocket Brewer.   The data leaves the phone, goes through your email client and at some point has to come back in.   The most common problems I have seen are this:

  1. Encoding Errors- Windows Phone 7 doesn’t support ASCII encoding for example.   Most people will say “what the hell is ASCII” and really you don’t need to know usually.    All I can say is to avoid encoding problems when you save recipes locally to a PC use only simple text editors like notepad to save them and when you do use the “Save As” option and you should see an “Encoding” option.   UTF-8 encoding is your safest bet.  Copy and paste from this text file to the email you’re sending to your Gmail account.   I usually send emails to my Gmail account from my Gmail account and it works.
  2. Gmail and Yahoo Occasionally Mangle Recipes – For this reason I am implementing SkyDrive recipe importing.   Occasionally Pocket Brewer will tell you it can’t locate a recipe in an email that contains a recipe.    Gmail and Yahoo aren’t intended to be used as systems to move around XML documents I’ve just worked out a system that usually works.   Sometimes however they will change part of the document for what they think it should be and this will break the import.    Since implementing BeerXML I have seen more problems with this since there are a wide variety of BeerXML files.    To fix this I recommend using the SkyDrive approach which will be released in January 2012.   An alternate fix is to manually edit your BeerXML file.   Remove the <?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-16″?> from the file if it’s there.     Also replace the <RECIPE xmlns:……..whatever else is here….>   with simply <RECIPE> and then resend the file to yourself.

Where to Re-Import Recipes?

On the recipe pivot where the list of your recipes is displayed you will see an import button.   Pressing it brings you to the Recipe Import page.  There are 2 ways to get these recipes back in to Pocket Brewer.

Method 1: Via Web Browser Inside Pocket Brewer on Recipe Import Page

I’ve built and tested 3 different web based sources in this browser where we can successfully import recipes.   The Gmail and Yahoo functions I can’t guarantee will always work because depending on your settings the recipes could get “paged” and therefore cut in half on the page.  However at the time of writing this they work.

  • Pocket Brewer Recipes - I’ve custom built a recipe section on Pocket Brewer where I’m going to add a number of recipes.  This gives people the quick ability to get some beer recipes on their phone without writing them from the beginning.   Select “Pocketbrewer.com Recipes” and  it should load a list of recipes.   Click the recipe you want to import or use the search box to find recipes.   All you have to do is navigate to a page where you see an individual recipe and press the import button.   Basically any page where you see “Recipe Name Code >>” you can import that recipe.  Press the import button(check mark button) and if there’s no problem you should see a list of recipes that can be import.(usually only one)   Check the box next to the recipe you want to import and press the import button again.   A message box will tell you if you successfully imported.   If you have recipes you’d like to see on the Pocket Brewer recipe page you can email them to me.
  • Gmail and Yahoo Mail – On both these options you’re logging in to a mail account via a web browser.   This is if when exporting recipes you send the email to your Gmail or Yahoo.    Open the email that holds the RecipeClass data.  Press the import button(check mark button) and if there’s no problem you should see a list of recipes(and whether the format is Pocket Brewer XML or BeerXML)  that can be import.(usually only one)   Check the box next to the recipe you want to import and press the import button again.   A message box will tell you if you successfully imported.

Method 2:  Copy and Paste on Phone

Using your Windows Phone email or regular browser you simply have to locate the recipe import data and copy it.  Everything between the <RecipeClass></RecipeClass> or <RECIPE></RECIPE> tags including the RecipeClass tags.   Once it’s copied to the clipboard re-open Pocket Brewer and go back to the Recipe Import Page.    There is a button on the bottom navigation of the Recipe Import Page that looks like two arrows which switches the import window to a text box.   Paste the data from your clipboard in to this box and press the import(check) button.   A list of one or more recipes with check box should appear.   Check the box of the recipe you want to import and press the check button on the navbar.   A message box will tell you if the recipe import was a success.   BeerXML is extremely long compared to Pocket Brewer XML so whenever possible use the Pocket Brewer XML(<RecipeClass>).

Method 3: SkyDrive Import

  1. Working In SkyDrive - Before you can use SkyDrive import you have to go setup a free Windows Live SkyDrive account and create a folder called “PocketBrewer” (notice no spaces) on the Files area of SkyDrive.   Do not put it in the Documents folder or any other sub folder or it won’t be detected by Pocket Brewer.  In the SkyDrive PocketBrewer folder you can add .txt/.xml files containing recipe XML.   I recommend 1 recipe per file although you can put multiple in each.    Do not create sub-folders as I haven’t gotten that complicated yet.   Notice there is a description for each file.    When uploading files in to SkyDrive you’ll see a checkbox next to each file in the SkyDrive interface.   Check this box and you’ll notice you can add a description.   You can use this feature of SkyDrive to add more information and that will be displayed by Pocket Brewer.
  2. Working In Pocket Brewer - SkyDrive import is on a different screen than the regular importer.   When you’re on the recipe pivot you will see a folder icon which takes you to the skydrive import page.   Login to your skydrive account and the app will load a list of files available on your drive with a download button for each.   Click the download button and any recipes available will be imported.

Here is a video that demonstrates the basics of using the import features.  This video doesn’t contain the SkyDrive features because they weren’t created yet when I made this video:

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