If you’re just getting started and have your inventory in electronic format already, you can use our inventory import tools.
The system accepts files formatted using comma separated values, or “CSV”. If you use a program such as Microsoft Excel to create the file, you can simply set the correct header names (see below), save the file as “CSV” and the system will be able to use it.
Each row in the file represents one item to add or update in your inventory. At this time, import files cannot delete or disable items.
Please note that currently, the item “Name” is required, though does not need to be unique, and that most, but not all inventory item information can be added/updated via the import process (see below).
The first line of the file is the header line. Each value on that line is the header or title of the corresponding column, and represents a field in the myTurn / Local Tools inventory system.
Sample Mimimal CSV Data:
Item ID,Item Type, Name, Description
2784,Corded Trimmers, Hedge Trimmer, 17” Black & Decker
2785,Corded & Plug-in, MIG Welder, “90 Amp, Flux Wire MIG 100 Welder”
The system will accept a variety of column configurations. The header values are case sensitive (uppercase/lowercase) and must match the correct values in the system when creating the file. The easiest way to setup your columns is to export copy of your existing inventory in CVS format, choosing the fields that are relevant to you.
Just about all fields can be imported, including:
- Item ID: A unique identifier for the item. If this field is given (and not empty) then the import will try to find the item in the inventory and update it, instead of creating a new one. If the ID column is not present or if the value is empty, then a new item will be created and the system will assign it a unique ID. See important note below.
- Item Type: If this value corresponds to an item type that already exists in the system (it must be exactly the same – the spelling and the case of the letters must be the same) then the item being imported will be assigned that type. If no Item Type is given, or if there’s a spelling error, the item will be give the item type selected when filling out the import form. You can change your items’ types using the web interface later. A list of valid Item Types is below.
- Name: A way to identify the item. For example, “Adjustable Wrench” or “Diamond Head Splitting Wedge “. This is how the item will be represented on the site.
- Description: Description of the item. It can include whatever information you think may be relevant to users.
- Source / Supplier: The origin of the item. Was it donated? Where was is purchased from?
- Condition: a 1 to 5 rating of the condition of the item, where 1 means the item is in terrible shape, and 5 means it’s new or as good as new.
- Keywords: keywords that will make your item easier to find through inventory searches
- Amount / Fee: the cost of rental/borrowing the item
- Purchased? : (with the ? in the header) whether the item was purchased or donated: Y for purchased, N for donated
- Maintenance: Instruction for how to maintain this item
- Daily Late Fee: The amount per day to charge if this item is returned late
- All other fields supported by the Export are also now supported by the import. We recommend exporting a file with all the fields that you want to use on the import and use the header (first line) of that file as your template for the import.
IMPORTANT: if you import the same file twice without IDs set, you will get two (or more) copies of your inventory items.
If you look at the export options, you will notice a few fields that are not available for import. These fields cannot be imported at this time, but it will be possible to import them in the future. If you leave them in the file, they will simply be ignored
If the file includes columns without headers or with headers not listed above, those columns will be ignored.
When data about an existing item is being uploaded and the item contains fields not present in the upload file, the fields remain unchanged. Furthermore, if an empty value is sent, it will not replace an existing value. The only way to remove a value is through the admin interface.
If you are generating this file by hand or programmatically, here are some additional hints:
- Each line in the file represents an item of the inventory
- There should be a comma between each values on a line
- If a value includes a comma, put the whole value in double-quotes (“)
- If a value includes double-quotes, put the value in double-quotes, and where one double-quote character should appear, put two.
- You can wrap any value in double-quotes even if it doesn’t have any strange characters in it.