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The Filesystem Connector saves Live Forms submissions to local or remote file systems (Windows, Linux). You can:

  • Save each submission to it’s own folder
  • Save all submissions to the same folder
  • Choose to keep file names or generate a file name
  • Generate metadata for import into your Enterprise Content Management system.

Submission form/flow XML document(s), attachments that are added by the user and the PDF snapshot of your form/flow can be saved in the configured submissions directory.

Signatures are not saved as they are a different content type than attachments.

Using the File Connector to save submissions to a shared directory might be an alternative if your forms/flows contain sensitive/secure information that you would rather not send via email or if you want to import the submissions into your Enterprise Content Management system.  

Submissions from Live Forms are posted to the Filesystem Connector using the Doc Action Save to File System wizard.

The Filesystem Connector is available for cloud and in-house Live Forms customers.

frevvo only supports/certifies the Filesystem Connector running in the Apache Tomcat container.

Generation of a metadata file for each submission can imported into a document management system. This is possible with the Save to Filesystem  and a descriptor file that provides the instructions in freemarker language.  Once the metadata file is generated, it is the customer's responsibility to import it into the document management system. 

On This Page:

Installing the Filesystem Connector

Cloud Customers

The Filesystem connector can be installed container behind your firewall where it can connect to your back end system in order to read/write data.

  1. If you use the Live Forms Cloud hosted server,  you must ensure that the connector is accessible from the frevvo servers. This is done by opening up one of the following ports in your firewall:

    • HTTP Ports: 80 or 19080
    • HTTPs Ports: 443 or 19443

  2. Customers that use firewall white-listing, should make sure the frevvo cloud outgoing server IP 54.86.85.105 (host outgoing.frevvo.com) is added to the list.
  3. If you choose to run the Filesystem connector in the same container where Live Forms is running:
    1. Stop Live Forms.
    2. Download the file connector zipflile from here
    3. Be sure to change the port number in the appropriate file for the container you are using. For example, if you are using the frevvo tomcat bundle, the change should be made in the <frevvo-home>/tomcat/conf/server.xml file. 
    4. The port number change is also applicable to any outgoing HTTP requests to the Filesystem connector. 
    5. Extract the filesystem.war file to the appropriate location for the container you are using. For example, if you are using the frevvo tomcat bundle, the connector should be located in the <frevvo-home>\tomcat\webapps directory.

  4. Configure the Filesystem Connector

In-house Customers using the frevvo Tomcat bundle

The Filesystem connector can be installed behind your firewall where it can connect to your back end system in order to read/write data. These instructions assume you have an in-house installation of Live Forms up and running and you are using the frevvo Tomcat bundle:

To install the Filesystem connector in the same tomcat as Live Forms:

  1. Stop Live Forms.
  2. Download the file connector zipflile from here
  3. Extract the filesystem.war file to your <frevvo-home>\tomcat\webapps directory. 
  4. Configure the Filesystem Connector

If you are currently using version 1.0 of the Filesystem Connector and you want to upgrade to the latest version, 1.0.1, - follow these steps if you are using the Tomcat bundle:

  1. Stop Live Forms

  2. Download the frevvo Filesystem Connector v1.0.1.

  3. Extract the filesystem.war file to replace the existing one in <frevvo-home>\tomcat\webapps.

  4. Start Live Forms
  5. Configure the Filesystem Connector

Configuring the Filesystem connector

The Filesystem Connector is configured using context parameters in a file named filesystem.xml.

Follow these steps to configure the Filesystem connector:

  1. Create a file named filesystem.xml. Move it to <frevvo-home>\frevvo\tomcat\conf\Catalina\localhost directory when it is completed. Refer to the table below for the configurable parameters that can be included in the filesystem.xml content:

    Configuration ParameterDescription
    connector.file.root.dirThis is the location in your file system where the submission docs will be saved.  Set the submissions directory field in the Save to Filesystem wizard as a relative path from the root directory specified by the connector.file.root.dir in the connector deployment configuration. It's value can contain one or more control template strings. For example, if the configuration file contains C:\ for the connector.file.root.dir parameter, enter the name of the directory where you want to save the submissions in the Submissions field in the Save to Filesystem wizard. This will save the submissions in C;\<DIRECTORY NAME>. If not explicitly configured, it defaults to the user home directory. Change the value to reflect the location for your file system.
    connector.file.name.keepThis parameter determines whether the original files names will be retained. If this is set to true, then you either have to make sure that all your files have unique names or else save the documents of each submission under a separate uniquely named folder. If this parameter is not included, or is set to false, submission files will be named with a generated identifier as the prefix suffixed by '_' and a sequence number to make the file name unique. The original filename extension is retained. This is the default behavior. Ex: e454fa08-9a6e-4c54-9743-18f4ba0ad0b4_1.xml instead of form.xml.
    connector.file.dir.submission   This parameter allows you to create a unique new sub-folder for documents of every submission if true.
    connector.file.ignore.attachmentsThis parameter determines whether attachments will be saved or not. If the value is false, attachments will be saved. Change the value to true and attachments will not be saved.
    The submission XML does not store the names of uploaded attachments, instead it points to unique ID that is assigned to each attachment when that submission in created in Live Forms. This is as-designed.
    connector.file.descriptor.suffixThe metadata descriptor filename is a generic GUID filename, followed by a configurable suffix. The default suffix is '.xml'. Use this parameter to change the suffix.The suffix can make identifying the metadata file easier, particularly if you save the files from all submissions into the same folder.
    Ex: 432e0d1f-d084-4cd4-8bbe-50f6e9bd5ee6.xml

    Here is an example of the filesystem.xml. When executed, Live Forms submissions will be:

    • Saved on the local drive in a directory called Submissions.
    • Individual file names will be retained.
    • Attachments in the submission will be saved.
    • Add the suffix "_desc.txt" to the metadata file for each submission.


  2. Start Live Forms. If you are running Live Forms v7.0, remember to start the Insight server first.
  3. Make sure the directory where you plan to save the submissions is created and and has the appropriate access for the OS you are using. For example:

    1. If you are using Windows, you can map a drive to a server directory, or you could use the UNC path i.e. //host-name

    2. If you are using a Unix operating system you could mount a remote filesystem as a directory and use it as your destination directory

      To ensure interoperability across file systems, it is recommended that you follow a good naming standard such as POSIX when creating files and folders. For example, folder names can't contain slashes so a folder named '1/2/15' would not be valid.

  4. Browse http://<your server:port>/filesystem/health (replace <your server:port> with your frevvo server:port) to check the status of the connector. If the connector is up and running, you will see { "status" : "UP" }.

    If you make a change to the filesystem.xml file, restart Live Forms for the change to take effect.

Connect Forms/Flows with the Save to File System wizard

Saving files to a local or remote location is easily done with the Save to File System wizard if generating metadata is not required. Let's begin with a very simple example. Here are the requirements:

  1. You have created a small form that has a Name, Address, City, State and Zip Code fields. A mapped W - 4 PDF is included in the form. The Save PDF property is selected and the PDF Name property is configured with the template {Name}.

  2. You want to store the submission files for this form in a directory on your local machine named Submissions. 
  3. You want to create a sub directory for each submission under the Submissions directory. The name of the sub directory is created from the value entered into the Name field on the form
  4. You want to save the form/flow PDF, any mapped PDFs associated with the form, an xml file and any attachments uploaded to the form in the subdirectory. 
  5. Follow these steps to fulfill the requirements by using the doc action Save to Filesystem wizard
    1. Login as a Live Formsdesigner.
    2. Edit your form/flow in the appropriate designer.

    3. Click on the what happens to my data? icon.



    4. Click Save to FileSystem to display the wizard.

  6. To fulfill the requirements listed above, we only need to fill in the URL, Submission Directory and File sections of the wizard. Here is an explanation of the fields:
     

    1. The URL: this is the URL to the location where you installed the Filesystem Connector.

      1. In-house: The location of the Filesystem connector is set for the installation using the frevvo.filesystem.connector.url parameter in the <frevvo-home>\tomcat\conf\Catalina\localhost\frevvo.xml file. It defaults to http://localhost:8082/filesystem in the tomcat build. The <localhost:8082> in the default URL can be changed to the <server:port> where you installed the Filesystem connector in your environment. This is a required field. The value entered here overrides the value in the frevvo.xml file.

      2. Cloud customers will see the placeholder http(s)://host:port/filesystem/submission - enter the https url to the location where you installed your Live Forms Filesystem Connector.


         

    2. Submissions Directory - Enter a relative path from the root directory specified by the connector.file.root.dir parameter in the configuration file created above. Control templates are allowed in this field. You can use a control template to store submissions in subdirectories. The template, {Name}, will populate the Template field. Copy the template from the Template field and add it to the Submissions Directory path after the forward or backward slash. Note the forward or backward slash can be used to create subfolders.

      Examples
    •  if the value of the connector.file.root.dir parameter in the configuration file is "c:\" then entering Submissions in the Submission Directory field in the wizard saves the files in the local directory c:\Submissions.
       
    1. File Section - One or more types of submission content can be specified by checking the Send Snapshot, Files, Gen Forms and Data checkboxes:
      1. Select the snapshot format to be sent by selecting a choice form the Send Snapshot dropdown. The format choices are PDF, PNG or JPEG.
      2. Check the Files checkbox to send any file attachments uploaded to the form.
      3. Check the Gen Forms checkbox to send the mapped W - 4 PDF.
      4. Check the Data checkbox to send the form XML document for the form.



  7. Click the Submit button.
  8. Click the save and exit icon to save your changes.
  9. Create some submissions by clicking the Test button, filling in the form and clicking submit.
  10. The results of 3 submissions are shown in the image.

Generating Metadata

The Filesystem Connector saves the submission form xml, attachments and PDFs in the configured location. In addition, a metadata file, which describes the data, is created. This is helpful if your document management system has the capability to import files.

Generating metadata in xml format is the most common use case.

Follow these steps to connect your form/flow to the Filesystem Connector:

  1. Create a descriptor file named file-descriptor.ftl in your <frevvo-home>\tomcat\lib directory. The file MUST be named file-descriptor.ftl.
  2. Use the Save to File System wizard to generate a map to provide the submission data to the connector 

If metadata generation is required, the configuration can become significantly complex. For example, you may need to provide more attributes for a field than just a name or value. For these reasons, we recommend using the Save to File System wizard going forward. The wizard is simpler to implement and maintain.

Create the Metadata Descriptor File Template

The metadata descriptor file template generates a metadata file for every submission using the map that is generated by the wizard and the template. This file will vary depending on the ECM that you are using and your specific requirements.

  1. If you are using the tomcat bundle, it should be located in the <frevvo-home>\tomcat\lib directory.

  2. The content of the file-descriptor.ftl file uses freemarker template language v2.3.23 syntax.

Below are examples of the filesystem descriptor files that integrate with the DocuWare Management System, DocuShare Management System and ImageNow Imaging and Document Management Systems.

If you are not familiar with the freemarker template language or you do not see an example for the Document Management System that you want to use, contact  Sales to arrange a help session with frevvo Client Services.

File Descriptor File Examples

Let's take a look at the file-descriptor.ftl file for DocuShare. In general, freemarker syntax is identified by the <# symbols.

  • In the file, #compress, #escape, #function, #return, etc... are freemarker instructions
  • The characters in this section of the file will be included in the metadata output file interspersed with freemarker instructions.
    • The submission.file.name is a special string, that adds a line in the xml file with a full path to the location where attachments, form/mapped PDFs and the form.xml are being saved for the submission.
  • The last two lines in the file, </#escape and </#compress are the closing tags for the instructions specified at the top of the file.

These examples are offered as a guide to help you create your filesystem descriptor file. Even if you are working with one of the ECM systems represented by the examples below, you will need to customize the descriptor file to work for you.

 Click here to see an example of a Filesystem Connector Descriptor file for the DocuShare Management System

DocuShare Management System: - this template should work for the DocuShare Management System, provided there are no future changes to the format. This descriptor file is compatible with the Save to Filesystem and Post data to your web application wizards.

 Click here to see an example of a Filesystem Connector Descriptor file for the DocuWare Management System

DocuWare Management System: - this template should work for the DocuWare Management System, provided there are no future changes to the format. This descriptor file is compatible with the Save to Filesystem and Post data to your web application wizards.

 Click here to see an example of a Filesystem Connector Descriptor file for ImageNow Document Imaging and Management System
  • ImageNow Document Imaging and Management System - ImageNow doesn't have a metadata file structure or a file importing facility. Customers integrating with ImageNow must have the resources to create a custom script to parse the metadata file generated and push it to the document management system.

Generating Metadata using the Save to File System wizard

Once the file-descriptor.ftl file is in place, the wizard must be configured to specify the Name-value pairs that will be used to generate the metadata file. This is done in the Metadata section of the wizard. The Name and Value columns are required. The Metadata Prefix is used to distinguish submission data fields from metadata fields. The default value of the prefix is md. The Name or Group value is prefixed with the metadata prefix when the doc action is executed.

  1. The Name column is to used to represent a unique entry on its own or within a Group. The following entry will cause a md.name=Tray Jenkins parameter to be sent to the connector.

    Name
    Value
    name
    Tray Jenkins
  2. The Group column is used to group name-value pairs. To represent a metadata entry with attributes you would use the Group column to indicate the entry name. The following entires will cause a md.EMPLOYMENTDATE={"type":"Date","value":"2014-04-03","culture":"en-US","format":"yyyy-MM-dd"} parameter to be sent to the connector.

     ValueGroup
    typeDateEMPLOYMENTDATE
    value2014-04-03EMPLOYMENTDATE
    cultureen-USEMPLOYMENTDATE
    formatyyyy-MM-ddEMPLOYMENTDATE
  3. The Value column can contain one or more control template strings
  4. The Controls dropdown contains the labels of all controls in the form or flow. To create a template string, select a control. This causes the adjacent Template field to be populated with the correct template string. This can then be copied into the fields that support template resolution.

  5. To include values from Repeating controls in your form/flow, the value should be a template string that resolves to multiple values. The recommended approach is to create a template that results in a JSON array representation such as. ["{","|controlname}"].

Filesystem Connector Example:

Let's say you have a small form with the following controls: First Name, Last Name, Address, Date of Birth, a Signature control and a repeating control named State. Using the DocuShare file-descriptor.ftl file and setting up the The Save to Filesystem wizard as shown in the above image results in these files the submission directory.



The generated metadata file contains the following:

Troubleshooting

Doc Post Failure

If the destination for saving submissions that you have specified cannot be reached, your tenant admin will receive an Doc Post Failure notification email reporting an HTTP Status error - 404.

Check the connector.file.root.dir parameter in the file.xml file, the URL in the POST data to your web application wizard or the Save to File System wizard screen depending on the wizard you are using.

Determine the version of the Filesystem Connector you are using:

To determine the version of the Filesystem connector that you are using:

  1. Browse http://<your server:port>/filesystem/info  - the version information is returned as shown in the image.










 

 

 

 

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