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Cigar Inventory Software Help File

Now in version 4.3 UPGRADE NOW!

(If you are a new user of Stogie Rate, skip to the getting started section)


Current or past users of Stogie Rate for desktop should start by importing your data from the older version of Stogie Rate. This is a critical step and you should be patient as you match the data fields from your old database to your new one. [NOTE: Those upgrading from version 4.1 or earlier, must make sure that there are no empty cells in the following fields: Number, Smoked and Cost. There must be a numeric value in those fields. So, if there are no existing values, you must fill them in with zeros.] Users of versions 4.2 and above will have reminders to add data to those fields.

BE SURE TO MAKE A BACKUP COPY OF THE OLD DATABASE FILE BEFORE IMPORTING. Back up the entire directory and its contents and put it someplace where you won't lose it.

EXPORTING DATA FROM YOUR OLD VERSION OF STOGIE RATE. First, you will need to open your older version of Stogie Rate and export the data as a .CSV file. Under the FILE menu, choose EXPORT RECORDS. You will see a window that asks you to choose a name for your file and a file type you want to export. Choose the option COMMA-SEPARATED TEXT.

The next window will give you the opportunity to select which fields you want to export. There are 24 fields that you should export, in the order seen below. Note that some of the field names may be slightly different between versions. On the left side of the export window, you will choose what fields you want to export and move them to the right side of the export window (See illustration below). Be sure to match the fields with the 24 listed at left. When you have all the fields moved and arranged in the proper order, click on the export button and you will have your exported data. The next step is importing this data into your new version of Stogie Rate.

Country of Origin

Figure 1. Exporting Data from Earlier StogieRate version

Exporting data

IMPORTING DATA INTO STOGIE RATE. To import data from your older version of Stogie Rate, open up the new version of the StogieRate Cigar Inventory Software (by double-clicking the StogieRate-App file). From the FILE menu, select "IMPORT RECORDS" and then "FILE." A dialog box will appear and you will need to browse to the .CSV file that you exported from the old version of Stogie Rate.

When you select that file and open it, you will see another dialog that pops up to help you match the old information with the fields in the new database. Under "Import Action" select "Add New Records" and under the Arrange by field, choose "Matching Names" or "Last Order." Also be sure to UNCHECK "Apply current layout's data formatting to exported data." Make sure that all the source fields match up with target fields (see figure below). Some fields will be grayed out because they contain calculations. You don't need to import calculation fields.

Be sure to double check that ALL fields are matching (Figure 2). [Fields will not match exactly if you are upgrading from version 4.0 and below.]

Each field of the old database should have an arrow that is pointing to the matching field (i.e., Target Field) in the new Stogie Rate application. Make sure that the arrow is pointing, if it is not displaying an arrow, then the field may be a calculation field and should be grayed out. If not grayed out, then the arrow should be pointing to the matching field (if there is a matching field). If the arrow is not pointing to the right, you may have to click on the arrow space until it shows.

Figure 2. Matching Data Fields

Stogie Rate import dialog box



Starting in version 4.1, you can now swap your cigar data with the Stogie Rate for iPhone app. A word of caution: the interaction between desktop and iPhone apps is not the equivalent of a "sync." Basically, you will be overwriting the data on one or the other apps, so be sure that you are importing the database with the most current information. If your desktop app has the most current information, you will send that to your iPhone app and visa versa.

Sending Data FROM Stogie Rate for iPhone TO Stogie Rate for Desktop

Importing the database file from the Stogie Rate for iPhone app requires 5-steps. You will typically only need to go through this process once because the app will remember your setting for future imports (unless you change them).

1. Email Yourself the Stogie Rate for iPhone Data. First, you will send the data file to yourself via the Mail app on the iPhone or iPod Touch. You will see the "Export" link on the data summary screen of Stogie Rate for iPhone. When you pick up this email in your email program on your Mac or PC, move the attachment to a convenient location on your hard drive.

2. Find All Records in the Desktop App. Before importing the data file to the desktop app, click on the "Find All Records" button on the Rating page. The import works by overwriting one file at a time. If you have sorted your records, they will be hidden from the import process and the import will replace only part of your data. Remember: You are OVERWRITING DATA, so be careful. I usually select one app to be the "master" data and always overwrite in one direction only. From the master to the slave.

3. Open the Database File. In the File, menu select "Import Records" and then select "File." The file from the iPhone app will be named "export.csv" by default. Browse to this file, select it and click on the "Open" button.

4. Map All Fields. In the resulting dialog box, you will need to match the 24 fields from the Source and Target apps, exactly as they appear in the Source field at the left of the dialog box (See Import Field Mapping below).

5. Click Import Button.


Import dialog


Sending Data TO Stogie Rate for iPhone FROM Stogie Rate for Desktop

Exporting your Collection database to the Stogie Rate for iPhone app requires 5 straightforward steps. You will only have to do this one time because the desktop app will remember the export parameters in future exports (unless you change them).

1. Choose Export. In the Stogie Rate for desktop app, go to the File menu and choose "Export Records..."

2. Set Up Export Parameters. At the bottom of the dialog box, choose "Comma-Separated Text" as the file type. You will title your file using the following naming convention: "filename.srate." This is very important and you will need to remove the default ".csv" extension and replace it with the ".srate" extension. This will allow your Stogie Rate for iPhone app to recognize the file for import. (See Export Step 2 below) NOTE: in some operating systems, you will note be able to change the files extension within the app. No problem: do it later in the Finder level when you have the file already exported.

Export Step 2

Export screen 01

3. Select Export Fields. Next, select "stogiefresh" under the "Current Table" dropdown and make sure to select the top 24 fields in the exact order that they appear in the image below (See Export Step 3). The export order is important because the export file will not have field headers and the iPhone app usually requires them to match fields. We will use the order expected by the iPhone app.

Export Step 3

Export 02

4. Move Export Fields. When you have selected the proper fields in the proper order, click the "Move" button to move them to the Field export area. Be sure to select Unicode UTF-8 as the Output File Character Set.

5. Click Export Button.

Export Step 4



When you launch the Stogie Rate for desktop application, the first page you will see that the application has two main input pages: the Database page (see Figure 3 below) that contains a list view of the cigars in your collection and the Rating page, which is where you will add more detailed information about your cigars. If you have upgraded from an older version of Stogie Rate, and have imported all your data, you should see all your cigars in this view.

Using the Cigar ID scriptNEW STEP IN VERSION 4.2 AND ABOVE; ASSIGNING A UNIQUE CIGAR ID: Starting in version 4.2, we have included a new step that you will use to provide each of your cigars a unique ID number. You will see the Cigar ID number on the RATING PAGE and DATABASE layouts (see Figure 4a below).

If you have never used Stogie Rate before you won't have to do anything special because the application will automatically assign a unique Cigar-ID to each new cigar that you add to your collection.

If you have used Stogie Rate in the past and have already imported all your data into the new version of Stogie Rate, you will accomplish the assignment of unique IDs by using the script that is found on the SCRIPTS drop down menu. At the top of the list of scripts you will see one called: "Assign-Cigar-ID." Select this option and you will see the resulting window (photo at right). Be sure to select Replace with serial numbers with an initial value of whatever you would like. You can use an initial value of 1, but we use a default of 1000. Use an increment of 1. Also check Update serial number in Entry Options. You should only need to do this one time and it will add a unique ID for every cigar in your database. After using the script, the application will automatically add a unique number in sequence every time you add a new cigar.

CIGAR BANDS DISAPPEARED? If you upgraded from version 4.2 or below, you may have noticed that your cigar bands have disappeared. That is because the cigar bands are now on a different server. Instead of being on the old site, they are now on the site. All of your band urls are probably linked to the .com site. So, here's how to update your urls...

First, go to the Band Lookup layout by clicking on the Band Lookup button on the Rating page. When you get to the band lookup layout page, go to the Edit menu and choose Find/Replace and in the dialog box enter...

Find what:
Replace with:

And then just click on the Replace all button. Unless you have in any other field, which I doubt, all your band urls should have been changed to server.

SORTING DATA: You can sort your cigars by any of the fields on the database page. Note, in the figure below, the database is sorted by Brand, but you can quickly sort your entire database by any of the fields on the database page by simply clicking on the column headers. You can also use the Sort Alphabetically button, which will sort first alphabetically (ascending) by Brand, and then by Name and Type. This quickly orders your collection and always returns you to the first record in your collection.

Adding New Cigars to the Database

To add a new record (cigar) to the database, you simply click on the "Add New Cigar" button located on the top of the page (or, "Add New Stogie" on the Rating page). Information about the cigar can be entered on either the Database page or on the Rating Page. Note that the marker in Figure 3 (below) is currently at record number 12 (circled in red), which means that by clicking on the "Add New Cigar" button will place a new blank record in position number 13. Regardless of where you insert new records, you can sort them at any time.

Figure 3. The Database Entry Screen

The database entry screen

For each batch of cigars that you buy, you will create one database record and enter the Date of Purchase (DOP), the total Cost, the total Number of cigars, and other data. Each time you smoke a cigar, you will increase the number in the "Smoked" box by one (you can do this by typing the number smoked in the appropriate box, or by clicking on the +/- buttons). The application will then automatically calculate how many cigars of that batch are left (See figure 4a). The application will also calculate how much you paid "Per Cigar" using the "Cost" and "Num" fields. Though you can add a new cigar on the opening database page or on the rating page, it is important to note that, for each batch of cigars that you buy, whether 2 cigars or 200 cigars, you should have only one record of the total number of cigars and how many are smoked. That way, the database application will only count the cigars once. Beyond that, feel free to make duplicate records, minus the cost or number information, for each time you review/rate your cigars.

Figure 4a. Adding Data and Photos

Adding data and photos

Find and Search Features

You can initiate a Find or Search on either the Rating page or Database page layouts. To start a find, use the keyboard command Control-F (Windows) or Command-F (Macs). On the Rating page there is a "Find Stogie" button that achieves the same purpose. When you initiate a search, all the data disappears temporarily and you will have the opportunity to type in your search parameters. You can use any field or a combination of fields to conduct your search. You may simply want to find all cigars in a certain collection. If you typed "Archive" into the Collections field and clicked the Return (Enter) key, you would see all cigars that are currently in that collection. You can use as many fields in your search as you want. For example, you may want to find cigars that were made in the Dominican Republic that also have an Ecuadorian wrapper. So, you would type "Dominican Republic" in the Country of Origin field and "Ecuador" in the Wrapper field. The quality of your searches is dependent upon your consistency in spelling and field content.

You can also use common identifiers in your search string. For example, you might want to find all cigars that have a rating score. So, you would type a "*" (asterisk) in the "Rating" in the score field and it would return only those cigars you have given a rating. You can use other identifiers (=, >, <, etc.) to narrow your search.

Adding Cigar Band Images

Adding photos is a great way to visualize your collection. Starting in Stogie Rate 4.1 the process changed and became easier and more efficient. On the Rating page, next to the band container, you will now see a button that says: "Band Lookup." (See figure 4a above). When you click that button you will be taken to a page that allows you to look up hundreds of bands online and then copy and paste the band URL into the field provided (See figure 4b below).

Figure 4b. Band Lookup Screen

Band lookup screen

There are three quick steps to looking up and placing a cigar band into your collection:

      1. First, select the cigar whose band you are looking for by doing a search on the Rating page. This sets up the correct cigar for band placement.

      2. Then, click the "Band Lookup" button. On the band look up page, scroll to desired band and copy the URL.

      3. Paste the URL into band_url field and click the "Enter" button.

        Note: This process will place the band on the page for the cigar you have selected.

Dividing your Cigars into Collections

You can set up multiple categories within your database by using the "Database Name" field. You can use the database field to make it easy to search your database at a later time. For example, you may want to have a different category for the different humidors you store your cigars in. Or a category for Cuban and Non-Cuban cigars. Or one to divide your cigars from your wife's. Some people like to create an "Archive" collection for cigars that they no longer have in their humidors, but for which they want to keep their notes and ratings. You can arrange the database any way you want. This way you will be able to make more meaningful searches as your collection grows.

The reason for creating new cigar pages, is so you can rate the changes to each cigar over time. You don't have to rate every cigar that you smoke, we suggest that you rate a cigar every 3 months. But remember, even if you are not going to rate a cigar when you smoke it, be sure to add to the "Smoked" box each time you smoke a cigar.

The Rating Page: Entering Ratings and Tasting Notes

Notes about storage conditions and tasting notes allow you to keep your thoughts and experiences of each cigar and save them for comparison with your experiences with other cigars and will help you to note the effects of aging. Stogie Rate will provide you the space to write some words about the storage conditions of your cigars. For example, what type of humidor are they stored in and notes about the temperature and humidity. You will also have a separate space to write your own tasting notes and your observations about the cigar and your own rituals when it comes to smoking cigars.

After writing your notes about a cigar, you will have a permanent record of your assessment of that cigar at a certain point in time and will have some clue as to the benefits, if any, associated with aging. Further, you will have a quick reference about all the facts on that particular cigar.

Every time you rate a cigar out of the same batch, you will need to create a new cigar record. You do this by clicking on the "Add New Cigar" button in the column of buttons at the right of the page. Or, a much quicker way to do it, is to click on the "Duplicate Record" button. This will prevent you from having to enter the specifics about the cigar and add photos of band and the cigar. After duplicating the record, just subtract all the information that will be new.

The Stogie Fresh rating scale is used for rating cigars. If you have visited the Stogie Fresh Cigar Review Directory, you already have seen the rating scale in action. It's based on averaging three scores: 1. Look and Feel, 2. Flavor and Aroma, and 3. Burn and Construction.

The Look and Feel score is partly about the aesthetics of the cigar and partly about construction, the Flavor and Aroma score is a subjective assessment of the flavor of the cigar and the aroma of the wrapper and the smoke. The Burn score rates the construction of the cigar and the age characteristics of the leaf.

Stogie Stats: a Statistical Summary of your Collection

Stogie Rate has the same statistical summary of your cigar collection. The Stogie Stats page quickly summarizes the total number of cigars in your collection, the current value of your collection, the number of cigars you have smoked and the value of the cigars you have smoked. Combining the Total Value feature with the Find function, you can find out the Net worth of your Non-Cuban cigars, or of the cigars in individual humidors, or any other category that you've designated in your DatabaseName field.

Stogie Rate will also quickly tell you what are the oldest and youngest cigars in your collection as well as the most expensive and least expensive cigars. Again, these features become more powerful and interesting when combined with the Find function.

Resources: an Cigar Educational Experience

A new feature starting in Stogie Rate 4.0 was the Resource center. This is where you will find various web-based resources that can be accessed within the application, including: Stogie Fresh 5 podcasts, Stogie Fresh Tv videos, Information pages on Wrappers, Cigar Sizes, Cigar Shapes. Also included is direct access to the Stogie Fresh Cigar Review Directory, which contains all the cigar reviews done at Stogie Fresh. Since the content of these resources is on the web, you will need to be connected to the internet to access these features. But the good part about having the resources on the web is that, whenever the contents are updated, you will see the updates in your Stogie Rate application.

Figure 5. Resource Center

Resource Center

Accessing the media files, like audio and video, couldn't be easier. The Stogie Rate application will use the multimedia capabilities found in your web browser. So, when listening to the podcasts (Figure 6), the app will use whatever plug-in you have configured to handle the multimedia files (i.e., Window Media Player, Quicktime, etc.). Video files in the Stogie Fresh Tv section will stream via YouTube.

Figure 6. Access to Stogie Fresh 5 Podcasts

Resource Center