Transfer files from another system

In addition to importing scanned documents or previously exported documents into FileHold, Manage Imports can be used when transferring data from other systems. These can be document management systems based on shared folders, third party applications, or just about anywhere.

Manage imports is suitable for relatively small migrations on the order of 5000 documents. If you have a larger migration requirement, you should be using the Automatic Document Importation (ADI) tool which can be used with migrations of millions of documents. If you plan to migrate tens or hundreds of millions of documents, contact the FileHold professional services team to help you plan the most effective approach.

The key to importing data will be to stage it appropriately. Manage Imports works based on a description of what to do in an XML file and it copies documents into the repository from the file system. Anyone can create the descriptive XML file and put the documents into the correct location in the file system.

The FileHold Professional Services team can help to extract documents from many source locations including shared folders, SQL databases, LaserFische, Canon ImageWare, Perceptive Software ImageNow, MangoApps, Sharepoint, Computer Filing Cabinet (CFC) from Solomon Institute Corporation, Vertafore, ImageRight, Stellant, eDrawer, Oracle, Onbase, DocStar, Trust Imaging, Docuphase, Document Xtender, FileBound, eDocs, eFileCabinet, Document Locator, and many more.

Manage Imports works two ways:

  • By document type (schema) and descriptive XML file with optional database lookup and optional auto-filing, or
  • By descriptive XML file.

The first method is most commonly used for importing zonal OCR scanned documents and the second method is typically used when importing previously exported documents. However, either method can work for importing documents from another system. The first method has the option for database lookup, auto-filing, and Inbox processing and the second method is not restricted to a single document type at a time.

Manage Imports processing is broken into two steps:

  • Parsing the descriptive XML file, and 
  • Triggering secondary actions.

The first step validates the import, avoiding importing duplicate documents, and extracts the metadata associated to each file. If necessary it also performs database lookups. The first step is typically very fast as only a relatively small amount of data is processed. Manage Imports will kick off the auto-filing script if configured and it can also load the documents into the transfer queue. The documents will be loaded into the transfer queue when Import files which where formally exported from a FileHold system is selected or if auto-filing is used and the Automatically 'Send Files' to the library with an Inbox status of 'Ready to Send' is checked. Documents that are not automatically added to the transfer queue can be found waiting to be processed in the Inbox. The transfer queue and Inbox are stored in volatile memory until the FDA exits normally or until the system state is auto-saved approximately once every 5 minutes.

The transfer queue is not a part of Manage Imports, it is the normal method used to add or retrieve documents from the software. The current transfer queue can be viewed by selecting the menu option View > All Files in Transfer. As long as a document remains in the transfer queue it must not be deleted or moved from its location in the file system. If the option to move or delete the file was selected in Manage Imports, it will not be moved or deleted until the file is successfully transferred.

If you intend to transfer a large number of documents into the document management software it is recommended that you do it in batches. By batching the import it is possible to provide check points where the transfer can be validated. It also makes it possible to break down the transfer to run at times when there is not a high user load on the system. You can start with small batches of 100 or 1000 documents and profile the transfer time in a given network and server environment adjusting the size of the batches accordingly.