It’s all about automation!
FileTrain helps you reduce the boring, repetitive tasks in your daily production. FileTrain opens up for very advanced workflows that saves days of manual labour. It’s like an octopus with tentacles everywhere, watching all places where files enter your system, it filters and sorts files based upon your own criteria’s (e.g. metadata, color space, size, sender etc) and puts them where you want them.
Besides obvious features like move, copy and delete, FileTrain can also embed metadata (XMP/IPTC) into files, filter images based upon color space, handle only certain versions of PDF-files and many similar tasks.
FileTrain videos to help you get going
Our friends at Four Pees recorded a webinar where you get a good introduction to FileTrain. Click this link to watch the video (46 minutes)
Another video which is a bit deeper information on how to setup. Click this link to watch this video. (62 minutes)
Taking charge of FileTrain. Techniques to build maintainable workflows. Click this link to watch this video. (65 minutes)
Advanced FileTrain techniques. Click this link to watch this video. (53 minutes).
There are also a video on how an integration with other solutions may look, in this case pdf Toolbox and Tflow. Click this link to watch this video. (62 minutes). And finally, a real user case. Click this link to watch this video. (55 minutes).
Get files from FTP servers
FileTrain automatically picks up files or copies full structures from FTP servers (incl. sFTP and FTPs protocols) to a local server. You easily specify what FTP servers to watch and what folder to monitor. Of course you can still use all the advanced filtering options to only get files that you really need.
Upload files to FTP server
Uploading of files to one or more FTP servers can easily be configured with FileTrain. You can set it up to only send certain files to some FTP servers, and others to all FTP server, the choice is yours.
FileTrain lets you monitor specific email addresses and download attached files, or even simply move incoming emails from address firstname.lastname@example.org to a folder on the email server. Just as it can download emails, it can also send email notifications triggered by basically anything in your workflow.
Metadata such as XMP, IPTC and Exif data are very important in most workflows. FileTrain has extended features to embed different kinds of metadata into PDF, TIFF and JPEG files.
Most automation systems out there will read a file in a folder and move it to a “processed” folder or similar. FileTrain works with advanced caching technology which lets it remember what files have been processed and what has not, hence processed files will not have to be moved out of an input folder. This works with folder, files, email and FTP servers.
Since version 6 of FileTrain you can also automatically manipulate images. Example workflows with this new action are to change resolution of images, convert between image formats, change color space, attach an ICC profile etc. FileTrain uses ImageMagick and/or ExifTool to accomplish these conversions and manipulations.
Within FileTrain you will find a seamless integration with industry standard PDF preflight tool, callas pdfToolbox Server*. This gives you great flexibility when you want to ensure that your PDF files, or incoming ad files, are up to your standards for print. The FileTrain action for pdfToolbox Server also lets you execute actions within pdfToolbox Server. FileTrain can also be setup to work with Enfocus PitStop Server but at this stage only with hot folders and not a direct connection.
PDF Split and Merge
FileTrain has built-in functions to merge single page PDF files into one multipage PDF. It can also split multipage PDF into single page PDF files.
Command Line Interface (CLI)
You can use the CLI-action to execute scripts or even interface directly with 3rd party software. This feature opens up a tremendous amount of possibilities, it’s only you that can set the boundaries.
SQL Database connectivity
Whether you are using Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server or FileMaker Advanced Server, FileTrain can integrate with it. It can automatically look up information about a file in a SQL database and insert that as metadata inside the file.In certain workflows a database needs to be updated when a file arrives in a specific folder, this can of course also be accomplished with the database action in FileTrain. You can use standard SQL queries, execute Stored Procedures and Functions.
Filtering and routing
There are many different types of filters within FileTrain that will let you create your own custom workflow. Besides the most obvious filters like file type, size etc, you can also filter on metadata within a file, color space, resolution, modification date and much more.
When you set up a station within FileTrain you configure it check the input source every 10 seconds, once an hour, once a day…or why not only on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 PM. With the advanced scheduler you can set up ANY type of schedule.
Not only can several stations run simultaneously it will also let several actions run simultaneously within one station. In real life this means that it is much more efficient and that a FTP upload action could handle sending multiple files at the same time from within one station. Each station has it’s own settings for the number of processes that are allowed to run simultaneously.
Advanced error handling
If an error appears in a specific action, you can specify the number of re-tries that FileTrain should do to run the same action before it gives an error. If you for example get an error or action number 3 in your station, FileTrain will only re-try the failing action and remember that action 1 & 2 was successful. After a number of re-tries an error-action can be setup that sends an email with the error and the path to the faulty file.
Dynamic text macros
A macro is a holder for a dynamic text. If you for example need to have the current date in your text you can either change your text every day or you can use a date macro which will replace the string with the current date. This behavior makes the macro extremely powerful in tools that require dynamic text. There are many, many different scenarios where macros are useful.
You can also set up an input source to be dynamic. For example you have an input structure with folders that has a date folder, then you can configure FileTrain to only read the files in the folder with date and ignore or other files and folders.
FileTrain runs on both Mac , Windows and Linux operating systems. The Windows version is available in both 32bit and 64bit editions and it will run as a ‘service’. FileTrain does not require a server OS, works just as good a standard OS X or Windows desktop machine.