Exporting documents in FDA

You can export all documents from a cabinet, drawer, folder groups, folders, or search results using the Export option. You can also export one or more documents from document view such as a folder or search results. Once the Export command is selected, you can select where you want to export the documents on your local machine.

If you plan to export a significant number of documents you should consider using the FileHold Instrumentation Tool (FHIT). In most cases, this tool will allow you to export the current version of every document in the library.

When documents are exported, they are exported with an XML file and a folder containing all of the exported documents in their native format. The folder name and XML file that is generated is named with a date and timestamp appended to the end. For example: documents2015100882302.

The XML file contains the metadata of all the selected documents in format suitable for importing them back into FileHold or another repository. For example, if you are exporting documents out of a demo system and importing them back into a production system.

Most or all documents will be exported to a single folder. You should ensure the destination folder location has enough directory entries for the export can hold the number of documents you will be exporting. This will not normally be a problem for an NTFS directory, which can hold over four billion files, but it could be an issue on a FAT or FAT32 volume which have smaller limits dependant on the number and name length of files.

The export function exports the version of the electronic document or electronic record shown in the view. Normally this is the latest version of the document. The exception to this is when exporting from a view that lists individual document versions such as a document's version history. When exporting from a library structure object like a folder, the latest version that is not hidden from the user will be exported. The XML file will contain the values of all metadata fields, the document schema name, the source library path, and the destination filename. The filename will include the relative path of the export folder, the document name, and the file extension.

Where two documents have the same name, a uniquely named subdirectory in the export folder will be created to store the duplicate. The XML file will contain this newly created location.

The standard FileHold export format may be suitable for a number of purposes including importing documents into another FileHold system, but other export formats are possible with the help of the FileHold professional services team.

Exporting can be done by users with a Document Publisher role or higher where they have access and restricted by the following rules dependent on the role that they have:

Role Can export
Document Publisher, Document Publisher + Delete Documents that they own.
Publishers, Publisher + Delete Documents, folder groups, and folders that they own.
Organizer, Organizer + Delete Any documents, any folder groups and any folders for the cabinets they have access to.
Cabinet and Library Administrators If not a cabinet owner: documents, folder groups, and folders that they own. If a cabinet owner: all drawers, folder groups, folders, and documents.
Senior Library and System Administrators All areas of the library structure and documents.

To export documents

  1. Right-click on some documents, cabinet, drawer, folder, folder group, folder or document(s) name and select Export or Send to > Export.

  2. If you are exporting an entire cabinet, drawer, folder group, or folder you will receive a warning message asking if you want to continue with the export: "If you are attempting to export X number of documents. Are you sure you want to continue?" Click OK to proceed with the export.

  3. Browse for the folder location where you want to export your documents and click OK. The documents are exported to the selected location in the Documents folder along with the XML file that contains the metadata information for each document. Both the folder containing the documents and the XML file are named documents[date][time] and documents[date][time].xml, respectively.

Verify the exported information is sufficient for your needs before beginning to export a large number of documents. For example, information like approval status and version control numbers are not exported with this tool. If you need values like this you will need to use the ​FileHold API or other method to get the information. The FileHold professional services team can assist you to get the exact format and content of data you need.

Importing exported documents

When documents have been exported from the document management system using the Export function mentioned above or using the FileHold Instrumentation Tool, you can import them back into FileHold using the Manage Imports Tool in the FileHold Desktop Application.

The full library location is included in the XML file that is created with the export in a field call LibaryLocation. This field combines the cabinet, drawer, folder group, and folder name. Each of these names is separated by a forward slash characters (/). The behavior of the export changed between version 12 and 14.

  • Version 12 - If any of your library structure names contain a forward slash this may interfere with the future use of this library location field. Prior to the export you should confirm that no such characters exist in the library structure names if you plan to use this field. The dynamic import feature of manage imports relies on the LibraryLocation field.
  • Version 14 and higher - The export feature will escape any slashes in a name by surrounding them by percent (%) signs. If the name of a folder is Profit/Loss the export will change the name to Profit%/%Loss. Any software that is reading the field can correctly tell the different between the dividing slash and the slash in a name by interpreting the percent signs. The dynamic import feature in version 14 and higher automatically interprets this format.