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Inventory management and effects listsDocumentation

Advanced Last updated: December 15, 2018

2 Importing supplier catalog into Finale 3D (instructions for the supplier)

The supplier effect catalogs in Finale 3D are hosted by independent Finale Inventory accounts managed by the suppliers themselves, so the suppliers can update the simulations or effect specifications, add or remove effects, and change prices if the catalog includes prices.

  1. Decide how you are going to store your “master list” of effects for the initial phase of creating simulations, prior to importing into Finale Inventory.  You can either keep your own Excel file as a “master list” and just use 3D to edit and test VDL that you copy/paste back out to your Excel file, or you can use an effects file in 3D as your master list, which you save from the blue selector in the effects window, selecting “Effects files > Save file (FDB format)”.  
  2. Using Finale 3D, create or edit the simulation VDL to make a high quality simulation library.  You can begin by importing your company’s effect catalog from a CSV file exported from Excel. Please follow the instructions at Importing inventory.  Having imported the catalog into 3D, please verify and edit the simulations by hovering the cursor over each effect icon in the effects window, to see the simulation, and by right clicking on the effect row and selecting “Edit this effect simulation” from the context menu to edit the VDL.  Either copy/paste the VDL back out to your “master list” in Excel, or save the updated FDB file from 3D (blue selector > Effects files > Save file (FDB format)” locally on your computer.
  3. Once you are ready to import your catalog into 3D, please create a copy of your Excel file for the purpose of doing the import into Finale Inventory, or create a new Excel file from the FDB file displayed in 3D by selecting all the rows and then copy/pasting them all into Excel.  Save the new file under a name that you’ll recognize as “ready to import into Finale Inventory”.
  4. In Excel, edit the column headers of the “ready to import” file to change them to the names Finale Inventory uses, which in some cases are different from the corresponding names in 3D.  The Table 1, below, shows the available column headers.  From this list, if you want to add more columns of information to the public catalog that are not currently in the Excel file, now is a good time (for example, EX numbers or notes).
  5. Having created your “ready to import” file, please login to the Finale Inventory account from the URL, e.g.,
  6. Click on “Import & export” in the lower left of the application home page, and select the first option, “Import to batch create & update products”, on the next page.  Copy/paste from your “ready to import” file into the box on the following page, scroll to verify the data, and complete the process.
  7. You can connect your Finale 3D account to this Finale Inventory account, to see your newly imported company catalog from within Finale 3D, just as if it were your personal Master Inventory account or perhaps a Finale Inventory account that your company uses to manage its inventory (a different account from the public catalog!).  To connect this inventory account to your 3D account, please visit your account page for Finale 3D, and set the Finale Inventory credentials (your Finale Inventory username and password) to this new inventory account. If your Finale 3D account is normally connected to a different Finale Inventory account (your master inventory or company account), then simply go back to your Finale 3D account page and change the credentials back to your other account after you are done verifying the simulations.
  8. Notify your point of contact at Finale that your inventory account is ready to publish, and Finale will make it live to all users!

Table 1 – Full list of columns that can be imported into Finale Inventory

Finale 3D name Finale Inventory Name Explanation
Part Number Product ID REQUIRED. The unique identifier for the effect, like DOM10001 or LD3CK253. This field is called the “Product ID” in Finale Inventory.  If you are creating new part numbers and are open to formatting suggestions, the best practices we recommend are: 1) all upper-case, 2) A-Z letters and digits only, 3) no spaces or special characters other than dash or underscore, 4) not longer than 16 characters, and 5) begin with two or three unique characters that identify the company, to avoid conflicts with other companies. If you already have part numbers, though, you should use your existing part numbers as is, to make it easy for users to order from you based on their scripts.
Description Description REQUIRED. The proper name of the effect as it appears in in the printed catalog, like “Galactic Gladiator” or “30mm Red Peony 75m” or “Bomba Roja Con Aro Azul” or “Синяя в красную хризантему”.  Since you are importing VDL for the simulation, the description can be anything.
Type Choreography Tab REQUIRED. One of these predefined English terms (exactly): Shells, Comets, Mines, Cakes, Candles, Other, Single Shot, Ground, Rocket, Flame, Not An Effect, Rack.  Please note that these values are slightly different from the corresponding values in Finale 3D.  When Finale 3D connects to Finale Inventory, it translates these values to the values you see in 3D.  When importing into Finale Inventory, you need to use these six Finale Inventory names.
Size Caliber REQUIRED. The caliber of the effect, in inches or millimeters, e.g., 3” or 75mm.  This field determines the size of the visual simulation.
Prefire Prefire Time REQUIRED. The lift time, for shells, or the lift time of the first effect of a cake if it is a shell. This field is not the visco fuse delay on a cake. This field applies to the visual simulation.  The value of this field can be zero or blank for cakes and candles, which is generally easiest and safest because the automatic default values are good for both for shell and non-shell sub-effects.   
Duration Duration REQUIRED. The lifetime of the stars, for aerial shells, or the duration of the continuous effect for gerbs or flares, or the duration from first launch to last break for cakes.  
Height Meters Effect Height REQUIRED. The height in meters of the trajectory apex of an aerial shell, or of the spark plume for fountains and gerbs. This field determines the height of the visual simulation. In Finale 3D, this field is always meters.  In Finale Inventory, you can set the Distance Unit Of Measure to feet if you want, which applies to all distances including height and safety distance. Finale 3D will convert between feet and meters automatically if necessary when it connects to Finale Inventory, but we recommend you use meters, for simplicity.
VDL VDL Description REQUIRED. The description of the effect in standard pyrotechnics terminology (Visual Description Language). If the column or field is not present in the imported file, Finale 3D will calculate a good default value based on the description.  This field defines the visual simulation of the effect, along with a few other specifications like Size, Height Meters, and Duration. This field has a counterpart in Finale Inventory (VDL Description).
Manufacturer Part Number Mfg Product Id REQUIRED. The manufacturer or supplier part number (i.e., your part number!).  Please copy the Product ID values into this column so the two columns are identical.  End-users may copy/paste parts of your supplier catalog into their own inventories, and assign their own part numbers in the primary part number field.  This manufacturer part number field allows end-users to update simulations in their own catalogs to become current with the up-to-date catalog managed by the supplier, by cross-referencing.
Manufacturer Manufacturer REQUIRED. This is the name of the manufacturer or supplier (you!).
Price Item Price Optional. The price of the item. Finale 3D will display the price of a show based on these values. The import operation will import whatever value you provide AS IS. For chains, you can decide whether the price means the price of the full chain or whether it means the price per device (i.e., per shell). From within the Finale 3D application, the user can select “File > User settings > Interpret chain prices as per-shell” to make the prices and price summaries display correctly for either meaning.
Notes Notes Optional. A user-defined field for the user’s convenience.  
EX Number EX Number Optional. A field that is useful to include for US users.  This field can contain single EX numbers or a comma separated list, like 2008040132, 2004110899.
CE Number CE Number Optional. A field that is useful to include for European users.
UN Number Hazardous Material Optional. A field that is useful to include for all users.  This number must be in the format: UNXXXX, where XXXX is a four digit number like 0336 or 0337.  Example: UN0337.
Fuse Delay Fuse Delay Optional. The visco fuse delay between the ignition of the device’s fuse and the first launch.  
Devices Chain Number Of Devices Optional. The number of devices in the chain, or 1 if the item is not a chain.
Subtype Effect Subtype Optional. A supplier-defined category, such as 500g Cakes, or Special Shells.
DMX Patch DMX Patch Optional. A program that defines the DMX signals corresponding to the effect.
Hazard Default Hazard Default Optional. A default value for the hazard class or caliber group that show operators may use to selectively prevent effects from firing based on real time conditions. Suppliers should generally leave this field blank.
Custom Part Field Custom Part Field Optional. Anything.
Color Effect Color Optional. A single color, which user can use as a search term. It may contain spaces but not commas. If the effect has multiple colors, this field should contain the most prominent single color that the user is likely to search for.
Tubes Rack Tubes Optional. For racks, the number of tubes in the rack. Leave blank for anything other than racks.
Rack Type Default Rack Type Default Optional. A field that the user an employ to set matching conditions between racks and effects. Suppliers should leave this field blank.

Table 2 – Template files

Download link Explanation
import_inventory_to_finale_inventory_template.xlsx Template for importing into Finale Inventory web interface  (Excel)