HotFolder – adding scanned files to process


Applies to version: 8.x; author: Marcin Wiktor

Description of presented functionality:

One of basic WEBCON BPS features is pairing scanned documents with their electronic version (based on barcodes) and starting new workflows for files added to configured catalogue – HotFolder.

In this article, sample process configuration which uses automatic document pairing, will be described.

1. Example of functionality: “Adding files to WorkFlow document”

A company has workflow made to register new contracts. After manual filling of basic information about the agreement, document goes to system step “Waiting for scan”, which waits for scanned document with proper barcode. Afterwards system will automatically add it to given workflow as an attachment and move it to next step – “Registered contracts”

On figure 1, graphic scheme of our workflow may be seen:

Scheme of workflow

Step 1. Data is filled manually

Step 2. Document awaits for adding new, scanned file as an attachment

Step 3. Final positive – Agreement is archived

Step 4. Final negative – agreement was canceled

2. HotFolder configuration

We will begin with creating new hotfolder. For this purpose, go to system configuration in WEBCON BPS and in “HotFolders” branch, click “new”.

Adding new HotFolder

In freshly added HotFolder, “General” tab is divided into two sections: “HotFolder”, “Source configuration”, “Files configuration” and “Working mode”.

a)      HotFolder – this section allows to select HotFolder name, choose server which will process files, and check “Active” checkbox to activate HotFolder.

b)      Source configuration – in this section, catalogue from which files intended for processing will be downloaded has to be provided. “Source folder” is a folder from which a file will be downloaded, so it should be folder meant for files from scanner. “Archive folder” is a folder meant for all correctly processed files.

After setting a source folder, “Error folder” is created automatically. Every file, for which processing failed will be found there.

It is recommended that all catalogues are network folders. It is also essential to give proper permissions for BPS service account.

c)       Files configuration – here it is possible to choose which files should be processed. If “all” option is chosen, every .pdf, .tiff and .jpg file will be processed. Next step is to choose “Template for name of created attachment”. It is name of a file which then will be added to workflow. In tooltip, all available possibilities are shown.

Tooltip – available tags

d)      Working mode – in shown example, we want our HotFolder to add scanned files to workflow as an attachments. In basic mode choose “Adding attachments basing on barcodes”.

In “Mode for missing or unattached barcode” choose “Add to previous file” and in “Missing element with found ID mode” – “Error”.

Exemplary HotFolder configuration

“Add to previous file” option will allow us to scan multi-page document using just one barcode. Thanks to such setting, after first page with barcode is found, all following files (according to creation date) without barcode will be treated as following pages of a document, until next file with barcode is found. Such file will be recognized as a new document.

On fig. 5 example of Hotfolder is shown.

Example of HotFolder configuration

If configuration is finished, all changes have to be saved by clicking “Save” in the top of the screen.

 3. Document entry point configuration

If HotFolder is correctly configured and saved, next step is to configure document entry point. These are specific places in which documents will be registered and barcodes will be printed out.

In “System settings” choose “Document entry points” and click “New”.

There are 3 sections in document entry points tab:

a)      General – allows to configure name and description of document entry point

b)      Association – allows to define people using given document entry point

c)      Computer terminals – allows to define computers and printers belonging to given document entry point

Example of computer terminals configuration

Both basic  and accounting printers serve for label printers. In barcode printout action, possibility to configure on which printer ,a label should be printed is available.

Document entry point is specified on basis of login and computer name or its’ IP.

If there are no users assigned to given computer, system looks for user which is not assigned to any workstation.

In the end, system looks for computer without defined login of given user.

After configuration of document entry point is finished, save all changes by clicking “save” button in the top.

After creating document entry point, once again go to document type settings. Go to processes, choose your process and expand “document types” menu. Click “Barcode printing active by default”.

Activation of default barcode printing action

4. Workflow configuration

If we want to add possibility to automatically add attachments to documents, it is necessary to use Waiting for scan step.

According to description of the workflow from step 1, we will call the step: “Awaits for scan”

On exit from the previous step – registration – Barcode printout action should be added.

In action configuration choose the printer you want to use, quantity, encoding and template.

Templates will differ according to printer type and size of the label. Additionaly we may use dynamic values from the form for them.

Example of barcode printout configuration

While glueing barcode to the document, remember that if there are any other barcodes on it, our printed one should be above them. Otherwise it may produce errors while looking for proper barcode.

Documents in “Awaits for scan” step will wait until a file with proper barcode is found in HotFolder.

After file is found, system will add it as an attachment and move to the next step using default path.

Default path configuration

After all changes are made, click “Save” button at the top.

5. Service configuration

After configuring and saving HotFolder, check if your service has a role: “Folder monitoring: import of scanned files” turned on. Go to system settings and then to service configuration/services/your service.

Service configuration

“Service roles” section is available. Check “Folder monitoring: import of scanned files” and save your configuration. After succesfull save, a pop up about necessity to reload our service (the same as the one after save of hotfolder) will appear. Click “Load configuration” button

Service configuration

To reload configuration, service has to stop all active tasks. Every stopped task will be restarted after succesfull reload of configuration. We may see if service properly reloaded by going to Local service status module and clicking Refresh. After short while, “Restart service role completed” log should appear.

Service restart information

Congratulations! Possibility to add scanned files as attachments is correctly configured!

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