This is a powerful feature allowing mass product creation or updating. Product Import/Export is the new feature which is Magento's primary recommendation for import and export. Dataflow is now technically a redundant feature of Magento which is not supported by Magento under the Enterprise Support service.
Why use Dataflow Profiles
Data-flow profiles still have some clear advantages over Import/Export, namely the ability for simple CSV format documents which can be pre-configured to specific store views. The new Import/Export feature however requires a more complex format in order to work properly.
Dataflow profiles have some issues however
Although we still recommend both Dataflow profiles for many Magento 1 product Import processes, there are issues to beware of.
- Its possible to import products with no names - always ensure the product has a name. This could be argued as a data source integrity issue but this is a very important requirement. If the product name is blank, then it can technically create a blank URL, which in turn can actually cause a core issue in replacing the homepage with that product across all stores.