Creating a New Connection to an External Source

Before you begin, see this note if you plan to use the Link files option and to preserve the original files in the external location. You can also use external repository connectors to import content to your vault. See Connectors. Make sure that you do not use both features to import the same content.

Follow these instructions to define a new connection to an external source.

  1. Open M-Files Admin.
  2. In the left-side tree view, expand a connection to M-Files server.
  3. Expand Document Vaults.
  4. Expand a vault.
  5. Expand Connections to External Sources and then select File Sources.
  6. In the task area, click New File Source to start creating a new connection to an external source.
    Result:The Connection Properties dialog is opened.
  7. In the Description field, provide a description for the new connection. You can, for example, describe the external source for which this connection is used.
  8. In the Path from the server field, enter the path to the external location that you wish to connect to M-Files. The location can be, for example, a network drive of a scanner.
    The path must be specified from the point of view of the M-Files server.
  9. Optional: Check the Include subfolders check box if you wish to include in the connection the entire folder structure of the specified path.
  10. Click Set Account... to specify an account in M-Files to be used for processing files from the external location.
    By default, M-Files uses the server identity (Local System account) as the account.
  11. Optional: Click Filters... to define the files to be processed.
    1. In the Include files that match any of the following filters field, enter the filter or filters for the files that are to be included with this connection.
    2. In the Exclude files that match any of the following filters field, enter the filter or filter for the files that are to be excluded from this connection.
    By default, all files are included except for BAK and TMP files.
    You may use wildcards to define a filter (for example, *.* or *.docx). Multiple filters are separated with semicolons (;).
  12. Select either:
    • Link files: Select this option if you wish to modify the files of the external source both in M-Files and externally. Modifications made in M-Files are also visible to external users, and modifications made outside M-Files are visible in M-Files.
      Note: M-Files will store a version history of the linked documents, so that all versions modified in M-Files, as well as every first preceding version modified outside M-Files before a new version is created in M-Files, will be available for future use.
    • Import files: Select this option if you want the files of the external source to be copied to M-Files. Modifying imported documents in M-Files will not have an effect on the original files.

      You may also check the Delete source file after importing check box if you want the source files to be deleted after they have been imported to M-Files. This option may be useful, for example, when importing scanned documents to M-Files.

  13. Optional: Select the Preserve folder structure check box and in the Target folder field, enter a target folder for the external files if you wish to preserve the original folder structure of the external source in M-Files using traditional folders.
    You may click the ► (right-pointing triangle) icon to refresh the list of traditional folders or to add a new traditional folder to the vault.
  14. Optional: Select the Check for new and deleted files periodically check box if you want M-Files to automatically check the source folder at predefined intervals and update itself according to which files and folders are new and which have been deleted. Enabling this option makes any changes in the source folder automatically visible in M-Files as well.
    1. In the Delay between checks field, enter the interval in seconds between the automatic source folder checks to define how frequently you want M-Files to check the changes made to the source folder.
      Warning: Short synchronization intervals can cause performance issues if there are many connections to external sources.
  15. Optional: You may click Refresh Now to connect to the external source immediately.
    Click Refreshing Status... to display additional information about the process of refreshing the external source.
  16. Optional: On the Metadata tab, define the metadata to be added for externally created objects.
  17. Optional: On the Advanced tab, you can specify an alias for the new connection.
    Use semicolons (;) to separate many aliases.
    For more information, see Associating the Metadata Definitions.

    When automatic aliases are in use and you write a name on the General tab, the Aliases field on the Advanced tab is automatically filled in. The alias has the format <predefined prefix>.<name>. Configure automatic aliases for your vault in Advanced Vault Settings.

  18. Click OK.
The new connection to an external source is created and added to the File Sources list. Files are added from the external source to M-Files on the basis of the settings you have defined for the connection.