Manage Shares and Folders

Administration > File Management
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In this section you will learn,

  • Why we use/have a File Management system and Shares
  • Which types of Shares are typical for the Workflow
  • What is required to create Shares
  • How to set up Hosts and Shares correctly

Step-by-step instructions for setting up supported systems are also available.

Ensuring a smooth production process

The Workflow must transfer files at different times to different target systems (printers, cutters, etc.) or pick up files from system memory. To ensure this, the Workflow must be able to access these Folders and Shares and check their availability on a permanent basis.

If the system is not available, then the following actions or warnings may present themselves:

  • A warning is displayed to the user
  • Functions in the Workflow that require Shares/Folders may no longer be available.

One advantage of centrally managing Shares/Folders on the Workflow is that passwords do not have to be memorized or stored by individual users.

Shares in the target system cannot be set up from the Workflow.

The Shares (directories) must be created in the target system with the appropriate authorization and set up as Shares. The ability to create directories in the target system directly from the Workflow and set them up as Shares is not possible.

1. Requirements

The configuration of the Workflow is a complex task that should be undertaken with care. The administration of Shares is of central importance. Without access to the external system (i.e. Server), the transfer of data can't proceed and therefore Production work also grinds to a halt. There is a separate area in the workflow – Administration > File Management – where all Shares can be monitored at a glance in order to ensure constant availability of all integrated systems.

Before Hosts & Shares can be created in the Workflow, some prerequisites or information must be provided:

  • The IP address of the target system
  • Username & password to establish an SMB connection to the Host
  • An existing directory on the target system
  • Active SMB on the target system (see SMB Configuration)

If you have all this information and the SMB is correctly configured and the Share has been activated on the target system, you can proceed to set up a Share in the Workflow.

2. Setting up the Host

To set up a new Host in the Workflow, you should follow three steps:

  1. Under Administration select File Management in the Workflow Menu Bar
  2. Create the Host (target system).
  3. Select the desired Shares

Figure 1: Below the fully configured path to a Share available on the target system.

2.1. Shares area

As an example, we are setting up HotFolder1 – which is a Share created on a P5 250 HS Printer, the user must first locate the Shares panel via Administration > Shares. Three settings panels are displayed here:

  • Hosts [1] – Displays a list of all existing configured Hosts. After installation, the user should see at minimum the Localhost under the Hosts panel.
  • Shares [2] – This displays all Shares for the selected Host. If no Host is selected then no Share will be shown.
  • Path Details [3] – Displays the Path Details for the selected Share.

Figure 2: Below: the File Management area with the aforementioned settings panels.

2.2. Setting up a Host

To create a new Host for your printer, take the following steps:

  1. In the footer of the Hosts panel, click +New [4]
  2. The Edit Host dialog from Figure 3 opens, where all necessary information must be entered.

Figure 3: The Add Host edit dialog with previously entered information.

Add Host dialog

The following information must be entered:

  • Name: Select a descriptive name for the Host (e.g. printer type, printer name or simply the IP address).
  • Host: Enter the IP address of the target system in this field (e.g.: IP address of the printer workstation).
  • Domain: If this is to be used for an external system or the user wants to connect a domain for example, this can also be specified here. This is an optional input field.
  • User: Enter the SMB User Name here.
  • Password: Enter the appropriate password for the User Name. The password can optionally be displayed by clicking on the eye symbol [6].

A password for the target system is required.

In order to create a Host in the Workflow, a password must be assigned to the target system. Using Hosts and Shares without a password is not possible.

  1. Click the Save [7] button to save the configuration. The configured Host is now visible in the list of the Hosts settings panel and can now be selected.
  2. If the data has been entered and saved correctly, a green checkmark symbol [5] appears on the right side of the entry in the list (see Figure 2), indicating that this Host can be reached from the Workflow. If you place your cursor over the green icon, a tooltip will show you when this Host was last checked for availability by the system. In addition, the user account used and the IP address are displayed below the Host.

If the information was not entered correctly, a red symbol [8] appears on the right side of the entry.

When an error occurs the user can find more information under the following Article File Management Troubleshooting.

You have now successfully configured the Host for the Printer.

Figure 4: The Hosts settings panel with an incorrectly configured entry or an unreachable Host.

Hosts Panel

2.3. Setting up a Share

As soon as the desired Host has been created in the Hosts settings panel and all entered data (Host, User Name, Password, etc.) has been confirmed as functional, a Share can be selected for the target system. Shares are File Folders located on the target system.

To select a Share in the target system, proceed as follows:

  1. Select the previously created Host in the Hosts panel.
  2. Click on +New in the footer of the Shares panel.
  3. A dialog for navigating the directory tree of the target system will open.
  4. To open a directory, click on the arrow [9], which rotates downwards and reveals all subdirectories.
  5. Select the desired target directory - in our example it is HotFolder1 [10] - and click Ok [11]. If none of the listed target directories meet your requirements or are not visible, the desired folder must first be created locally on the target system.

Figure 5: The dialog for navigating the directory tree of the target system.

File System Navigator
  1. When the Share has been saved successfully, a green checkmark icon [12] is displayed on the right side of the Share. If you place the cursor over the green icon, a tooltip will show when this share was last checked for availability by the system. If this icon turns red, this share must be checked again. More about this topic can be found in the article File Management Troubleshooting.

    Below the Share [13] you can see how much Disk Space is currently available on the target system.
  2. Select the Share you've just created. Details concerning Shares can be viewed to the right under the Path Details [14] panel.

You have successfully set up a Share. The Workflow now has access to this directory.

Figure 6: The setting panels Shares and Path Details, shown when a Share is selected.

3. Checking the Network connection speed

The speed with which data can be transferred between the Workflow server and the target directory depends primarily on the available bandwidth of the network. To measure the network connection speed, free programs are available online. Checking the network connection speed on the Workflow however requires no extra software and can be performed directly in the Workflow. To do this, proceed as follows:

  1. Select a target system in the Hosts settings area.
  2. After selecting the desired Host, locate the Shares panel.
  3. If a connection has been established, we will see a green symbol [15].
  4. The network connection speed icon [16] is located in front of the green icon.
  5. Clicking this icon measures the network connection speed to the target system and displays it as shown in Figure 7 [17].

Figure 7: Below we see the network connection speed of the Share (40,98 MB/sec throughput) after clicking the icon.

Shares

4. Editing and Deleting Hosts and Shares

4.1. Editing Host and Shares

Hosts and Shares can be edited by the user at any time. Proceed as follows to edit a Host or Share:

  1. Select the desired entry in the Hosts or Shares settings panel.
  2. Click on Edit [18] (Figure 7) in the footer of the corresponding settings panel.
  3. The corresponding dialog opens (see Figure 3 or Figure 5) where the Host or Share can be edited.
  4. Click on Save or OK to accept the changes you have made.

4.2. Deleting Host and Shares

Hosts and Shares can not only be edited, but also deleted. This option is offered in the footer of the respective panels. When the Delete button is pressed, a dialog is opened which asks the user to confirm that action. All additional references to the Host and Shares will be shown as well.

To delete a Host proceed as follows:

  1. Select the desired entry in the Hosts or Shares settings panel.
  2. Then click on Delete [19] (Figure 7) in the footer of the corresponding settings panel.
  3. A dialog (see Figure 8) opens to confirm your selection. If you want to know which entries are affected by the deletion process, you can view this by clicking on Show Cascades [20].
  4. Click Ok [21] to delete the Host or Share in the Workflow and close the dialog.

No Shares are deleted on the Printer workstation!

Note that when you delete a Share, the directory in the target system is not deleted, only the connection between the Workflow and target system is deleted!

Figure 8: The Delete Host dialog. Users must confirm the delete request in order to successfully delete the Host.

Delete Host dialog

What happens to Hosts/Shares that have been used in the workflow after deletion?

When deleting Shares/Hosts, not only individual Host or Shares may be affected. Check the nested references (Show Cascades) and make sure that no references are affected before deleting them. Otherwise, you may need to recreate them.