Importing Inventory Data From Excel Files
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One of the more tedious tasks of setting up scripting software is populating the effect database with all the effects your company has in its inventory. While this up-front task is inherently time consuming, the time spent will pay for itself in the future by saving time and reducing errors when scripting from inventory rather than using the Effect Browser and having to manually change prefire times, descriptions, size etc.

If you are moving from another scripting platform or working with other show designers, you may be able to save some time by importing inventory files that already exist. ShowSim directly supports some of the more common inventory formats such as FireOne, ShowDirector, StarFire, Galaxis and PyroMate. When you have an inventory file in one of these supported formats, you simply import it and you are done. However, it is also possible to import data in the form of an excel spreadsheet or a simple comma seperated file format. This can save vast amounts of time by eliminating the need for having to manually retype all the data into the Inventory Editor grid.

Inventory data stored as an excel spreadsheet can be imported into ShowSim by simply renaming the column headers to mach the names displayed in the Inventory Browser screen (these names are shown in the table below). The column order does not matter, but the order of the header titles must match the order of the data. So you could have stock # be in any column that you want, but the data must also be in that same column. For example, you can not have the "stock #" keyword appear in column three of the header and then the actual stock numbers be stored in column one of the data-- they must match or the import will not work right. It is not necessary to include every column that ShowSim supports, so you can leave out columns that you are not using. Missing columns will receive default values during the import, as will missing data within any row. Blank rows will be ignored.

Note than when you use the Export button on the Inventory Browser with the format set to Excel (right click on the Export button to select the format), the resulting Excel file will already have the proper header names. Thus you could modify this file and export it back into ShowSim without changing anything.

Because ShowSim can not read in Excel files directly, you will need to convert your Excel file to .CSV format using the Save As option in Excel. When importing the resulting .CSV file back into ShowSim, use the “Generic CSV” option on the import format listing. Note that the semicolon ; must be used for the separation character rather than the usual comma when creating this .CSV file. Excel lets you specify the seperation character when saving as .CSV, so make sure to specify the semicolon or the import will fail.

When showsim imports each invnetory item, it checks the stock number to see if an item having that same stock number already exists in the database within the inventory you are importing into. If an item with the same stock number is found to already exist when importing into a pre-existing inventory, the existing item is updated rather than creating a new item with a duplicate stock number. So if you have duplilcate stock numbers in the inventory that you are importing, the duplicates will overwrite each other and items will be missing that were in the original file. For this reason you must insure that each item in your excel file has a uniqe stock number.

Column Name Data Type Default Value
Stock # text blank
Size float 0.0
Description text blank
Prefire Time float 0.0
Dur. float 0.0
Mfg text blank
Class text blank
Type text blank
Magazine text blank
Lot Date date 1/1/2000
Lot Shift integer 1
Price float 0.0
Cost float 0.0
Reorder Limit integer 0
Active Wt. float 0.0
Total Wt. float 0.0
Setback float 0.0
Quantity integer 0
Custom 1 text blank
Custom 2 text blank
Custom 3 text blank
Custom 4 text blank
Custom 5 text blank
Custom 6 text blank
Custom 7 text blank
Custom 8 text blank
Custom 9 text blank
Custom 10 text blank
Sim ID text guid of effect

NOTE: the guid for the Sim ID column will default to the N.A. effect if left blank, or keep existing guid if refreshing an existing inventory.

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