Migration and importing documents into FileHold

There comes a point in any organization when it’s time to consolidate, unify, and share documents in a centralized, organized, and secure document management system. While documents can be coming from either a shared network location or an older document management system, you will need to prepare for the migration.

Preparing FileHold for a document migration

To prepare for the document migration, stakeholders should start planning a Library structure (Cabinet/Drawer/Folder) for the documents that will be migrated to the FileHold document management system. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating the Library structure and document types (schemas):

  • Can the structure be repeatable across the Library? Cloning the structure can save time when creating the Library.

  • Consider how someone in a department would go about adding content and searching for information. Setup a sample environment and test it with your actual processes.

  • Use structure names (Cabinet, Drawer, Folder Group, Folder) that help identify where a document resides.

  • Use metadata or “tags” to further classify a document. Do not attempt to use folders to classify information. Not only will this simplify your structure but it will be easier to search and retrieve your information as well.

  • Create file naming policies so that all documents are consistently named and easily recognizable. Set up Custom File Naming on the document schema to do this.

  • Keep it simple! Do not use a lot of folders unless you want to end up with another shared drive structure. Keep the structure to 3-4 levels deep to ensure manageability. With FileHold, you are restricted to 4 levels – Cabinet, Drawer, Folder Group (an optional level that visually groups two or more folders in a single drawer), and Folder.

Migrating documents into FileHold

Once you have determined the Library structure (Cabinet/Drawer/Folder) and the document types with associated metadata fields, you can now move into the migration phase.

There are several ways you can migrate documents into the document management system:

Adding files manually to the desktop application

Add multiple files into the repository using the Add function in the FileHold Desktop Application (FDA) or drag and drop files from Windows Explorer. Documents go into the Inbox of the FDA for processing.

Documents in the Inbox are not yet in the document repository. The required metadata values must be entered, a destination folder must be set, and the documents sent to the repository. The last step will copy the document from its source location into the repository. The step of setting a destination folder can be automated using an auto-filing script.

Watched folders

Use the Watched Folders tool to set up the destination folder, document schema type, and metadata fields. The Watched Folder can be pointed at the network folder location or you can create a new folder and drag and drop documents into the Watched Folder to bring the documents into FileHold automatically. The input files can be set to be deleted automatically.

If the destination folder and required metadata are set at the Watched Folder level, the documents can bypass the Inbox and be sent directly to the destination folder. There is no limited to the number of Watched Folders that can be created.

Manage imports tool

The Manage Imports tool is used to define how to import documents into the document management system. The Manage Import Tool uses specially formatted XML file to specify the document name and one of the following:

  • The metadata field names and values for the documents. These values are automatically imported into the corresponding metadata fields in FileHold. You can set a specific folder location or use an auto-filing script to file the documents per Managed Import. You can also use database look-up to verify the values of the metadata fields.
  • The metadata field names and values, and the path to the destination folder location (Cabinet/Drawer/Folder Group/Folder). In order to use this option, the Library structure will need to have been already created in FileHold. You cannot specify any automatic filing options as these will come from the XML file.

Automatic Document Importation

The Automatic Document Importation (ADI) mechanism allows importing a large number of documents into the document management system with minimal user intervention. It runs on the FileHold server to facilitate the mass migration of documents. ADI is similar to the Watched Folders functionality but can also be integrated with various custom migration tools using an API.

Custom importation scripts

FileHold Professional Services Team can develop custom import scripts so that relationships and metadata from documents can be imported the document management system. For more information about custom import scripts, contact [email protected].