File storage Overview
The Workflow offers various possibilities to upload files and store them in a structured way. This can be accomplished in different ways, and depends on the way your company works with print data.
In this article we'll learn:
- Which working methods can be utilized in the Workflow
- Which methods we recommend when using the Workflow
1. Storage and data structure
Workflow users can upload/create data in various different ways. The data is stored on servers, using directories, which are sorted using various criteria such as date, customer name, customer order number or Production Job number. The "hierarchy" of data can be ordered in a number of ways but the basis structure always contains a directory in which the original customer data, consisting of the print file, information about the order, and CSV data for variable data, is stored. Each structure also contains a directory where the approved print data is also stored. File names are also part of the way that files are organized and structured.
Including other variables, storage structure is strongly geared to the way the current ERP system being used works. Companies need to handle individual products, individual orders or extensive projects to ensure timely production and delivery to the customer.
In many companies, the interaction between a leading ERP system and the handling of data in production is only possible to the extent that similar conventions regarding storage and naming of data is maintained.
Our aim with the Workflow is to provide a solution that can meet market demands with regard to data storage, structure and working methods. In addition, we also offer the ability to automate the creation of said structures. The Workflow requires few conventions:
- Hierarchical directory structure – Data is not necessarily stored in a hierarchical directory structure by the Workflow. Data is stored in a database with the appropriate meta information.
- File names – File names used in the Workflow do not have to conform to specific naming conventions, as the print data can be quickly located using higher-level structures such as Collections, grouping or Orders.
- File versioning – The current version for processing is always displayed in the Workflow. A complete history of versions can be viewed and the file can be reverted to the desired version at any time.
- Protocol – If print data is prepared in the Workflow, every activity is automatically logged. A user can therefore always view the history of the print file (not just file versions for example).
- Shares – Access to external file systems is managed by the Workflow. User names and passwords are stored in the Workflow and therefore do not require general access from all users.
3. Working Methods
The Workflow offers various working methods. The following solutions can be used in the Workflow:
- An Article-based working method: Print data is structured using by using: Collections, "ready for press" production, a Customer-specific map of colors is made and approved. Only then is the data imposed and output to a Production Job.
- An Order-based working method: Print data can be organized as an Order with different Order Items, processed, a Customer-specific map of colors is made, approved and transferred to a Production Job. Whether an Order becomes a Production Job or a Production Job results from several Orders can be determined by the company's preferred working method.
- A Production Job-based working method: Print data is created, edited, assigned to an Output Configuration, Imposed and Sent to the Printer using Production Jobs.
- An Automated working method: Print data can be automatically created as Articles, Orders, or Production Jobs based on information from the leading ERP system or, by creating Hotfolders which then create Production Jobs.