Copying Files into Traditional Folders

Dear All

When I copy files into a traditional folder, for a few files I get an error saying that the file has no content and cannot be copied. I know an empty file does not need to be copied but the end users wants all his files into a traditional folder. Is there a way to copy files even without content?

Thank you

  • Hi there, 

    Instead of letting users to go with traditional folders, offer them training out of that . That feature is there only for compatibility reasons for some CAD software workability and for some really old software compatibility reasons. For new stuff, you should -never- use traditional folders, or let the users actually use those. 

    Traditional folders work great when you import a folder structure from the Windows to the M-Files, but you should try to get rid of that folder structure ASAP as it does not serve the logic of using M-Files as a powerful search tool. 

    If the end user wants their stuff to traditional folder, it would be good to ask "what for" question at that point. 

    If it's just "because that's how I've always done", then you know you need to give them a training lessons of how things work Slight smile

    And, why would empty files need to be at the document vault? 

  • Thanks for the response. The problem is that the user has thousands of files from windows structured folder wise (100 of folder inside folders inside folder etc.). I have already informed the end user that we should refrain from using traditional folders as it becomes very difficult to give permissions to a set of users after the files have been uploaded. We would have to go to each file and give individual permissions for each user as it does not inherit the parent folder permissions. I have told them 100 times already but the end user is at a very high post and is asking me that "should he transfer his 10000 documents one by one? He even asked me to write a script that will transfer all the documents. Please suggest the best way to copy his 10000 files that have a tree structure into M-Files. 

  • You might want to reach out to your Channel Account Manager.  We have some tools that partners can use for migrations.  You would need to get data about the files into a structured state (e.g. CSV), and ensure that the metadata you have on each file allows you to create the required "folder structure" as a view in M-Files.

    Typically the hardest part is to collate data on those 10,000 objects.  It's here where you may want to create a script, perhaps.

  • That said, empty files is an interesting one.  I assume that they use these as "markers" of some kind?  I don't think I've ever tried to create an empty file via the API, but I would be surprised if it stopped you.

  • Using an empty multi-file document might be an option, I believe this is what is done at some customers who require a certain pre-defined set of project documentation to be created when a new project is started. The multi-file document can be converted to a single-file document once the file has been added.

  • But folders would not copy into multi file documents and then if I zip it and copy it, it will come in a folder structure but then assigning permissions for different documents in the future would not be possible as the permissions will be for the whole zipped file. I think I would need my channel partner to create the csv file like Craig mentioned

  • I meant using empty multi-file documents as the "markers" that Craig was talking about (instead of creating an actual empty file).

  • ok thanks.. so from this whole conversation I have understood that in order for me to transfer the files from folders into M-Files. I would need to create a csv file and have metadata in that CSV file for 10000 odd documents. But what metadata can the current files have ? I am a bit confused. what would be there in the CSV file as in like what metadata. Thank you and sorry for the silly question

  • Sorry to barge in at this point.
    I just wonder if you have considered leaving the files in place and use Network Folder Connector to make them visible in M-Files? This way they will get indexed to allow full text searched, if configured correctly you get the path in a special multiline text property, you can browse the structure, and you can promote relevant files from unmanaged objects to M-Files documents and add metadata as required. In most cases it is just a small percentage of existing flles that actually need metadata for current and future activities. As long as you have the search capabilities it is relatively easy to find historic documents when needed, so it is not worth the effort to add metadata to most of those old files.

    Users can still work in the folder environment and add files there if they need to. But you probably want to limit that kind of activity to make sure new files are created as documents in M-Files from start.

  • This seems like a good way forward. Is this a paid connector? and can I have some documentation to implement it. Thanks in advance