Document Management

Overview

In the /designer interface, the Documents tab allows you to manage the Knowledge Centers, Folders, and Files stored within the system, which are collectively referred to as Document Management.

Document Management is a fully-integrated collaboration solution that provides version control, user-rights management, and document search features. Specialized smart services in the Process Modeler allow you to easily generate and integrate managed files into your processes.

The Files, Folders, and Knowledge Centers that are used in your processes are represented in Appian using an ID number and a data type. This allows you to write rules and expressions that intelligently select or handle thousands of documents and folders, without suffering a commensurate performance penalty.

Document Management Folders are stored in Knowledge Centers. Knowledge Centers allow you to protect your files with security policies, search policies, change-review policies, file expiration policies, and access approval procedures.

Documents Tab

Keep in mind that documents stored in your private Knowledge Center are restricted with High security. You'll have to add users and groups to the Knowledge Center in order to share any files that it contains.

Search Field

To search for a Knowledge Center, or a Document, type its name in the search field.

Selecting a Knowledge Center opens the result in the Document Management interface.

Selecting a document prompts you to open or save the downloaded file.

The following Knowledge Centers return search results:

  • Knowledge Centers that have security levels of "Medium" or "Low," and searchable "custom" Knowledge Centers
  • Knowledge Centers that list you as the creator or Administrator

You may have to request access to a Knowledge Center that contains the file that appears in your search results. Such documents cannot be downloaded until you are granted access. The Administrator of the Knowledge Center will then grant or deny your access request.

General Options

Option Description
Upload a document All users can upload files to their private Knowledge Center. Uploads to other locations require provisioning their user rights.
Managing Knowledge Center Content Review and approve changes to high-security Knowledge Centers.
Usage Reports View reports regarding the objects that exist in Appian Document Management, their usage, and the disk space they consume.

Knowledge Centers

In Document Management, all folders and files are stored in Knowledge Centers. By creating Knowledge Centers and granting access to other users, you can share files and collaborate with other users.

  • Knowledge Centers that are created by the system must not be deleted.

Top-Level Knowledge Center

Knowledge Centers created in the Application Designer. They can be searched for, but not browsed to, in document management pickers in /designer and the process modeler.

See also:

Temporary Documents Knowledge Center

The Temporary Documents Knowledge Center is used to store system and process objects in transition. It can also be used for document storage by processes and users who are provisioned with rights for the Knowledge Center.

The Knowledge Center can be viewed by the Administrator user, by System Administrators, and by members of the Document Administrators group.

Files that are uploaded using the File form component are stored for a configurable number of days in this Knowledge Center, but they cannot be accessed or viewed from the user interface.

Creating a Knowledge Center

  1. Click the Documents tab.
  2. Click the New Knowledge Center button on the toolbar. The Create New Knowledge Center wizard is displayed.

See also: Knowledge Center Security.

Moving a Knowledge Center

To move a Knowledge Center, a user must own the Administrator role for the Knowledge Center.

  1. Select the checkbox next to the name of the Knowledge Center.
  2. Click Move.
  3. Select the destination location.
  4. Click OK.

When a Knowledge Center is moved, the version history from the files in the Knowledge Center is preserved in the new location.

Specifying the Expiration Duration for a Knowledge Center

A Knowledge Center's Expiration Duration determines how long a file can stay in a Knowledge Center before it expires. The default settings are mentioned above.

System Administrators and Knowledge Center Administrators can modify this setting.

  1. Click the Documents tab on the toolbar.
  2. Search for and open the Knowledge Center you want to modify
    • If you have Administrator rights to the Knowledge Center, an Expiration Duration button appears on the toolbar.
  3. Click Expiration Duration.
  4. Enter a new number of days in which a file can exist before it expires.
    • To prevent files from ever expiring in that Knowledge Center, enter 0.
  5. Click OK.

Folders

One or more folders may be selected by clicking on the respective checkboxes within a Knowledge Center. The following toolbar options are also displayed:

To... Click
Add the selected folder(s) to your list of starred documents The Star button [Deprecated], next to the folder name
View the parent Knowledge Center Up one level
Download a Zip archive of the selected folder(s) Download
View folder properties Properties
Update access access rights for a folder Security
Transfer a folder from its current folder to a new location Move
Delete the selected folder(s) Delete

See also: Viewing Folder and File Properties

Creating a Folder

When you create a Document Management folder, the users who have access to a folder are inherited from the parent Knowledge Center.

You can set user rights for a folder after it is created by selecting it and clicking Security on the toolbar.

Clear the Inherit security from parent checkbox. Once this option is cleared, you can modify the access levels of the existing users, or remove users.

The access levels that you are allowed to select for the folder users are determined by their access to the Knowledge Center. The following are the rules on folder access levels:

  • Knowledge Center Administrators must be Administrators.
  • Authors of the Knowledge Center can have Author, Read-Only, or No Access to the folder.
  • Read-Only users of the Knowledge Center can only have Read-Only or No Access to the folder.

These limitations on the permissible access levels are reflected in the buttons next to each user; access levels that are not allowed are grayed out and cannot be clicked. After the folder has been created, you can access the options to change Folder users/access by accessing the Folder Users/Access options in the Properties Console.

Downloading a Folder

You can download the contents of an entire folder if you have permissions to access the folder.

  1. Select the checkbox next to the folder you want to download.
  2. Click the Download button.
    • The files in the folder are packaged in a ZIP archive.
  3. Save the file on the file system.

Up to 5,000 documents and folders can be included in a ZIP archive.

Moving a Folder

You can move folders within Knowledge Centers if you are an Administrator of both Knowledge Centers (the source and destination Knowledge Center).

  1. When viewing the folder in Document Management, select the checkbox next to the folder.
  2. Select the Move button on the toolbar.
  3. Select the destination Knowledge Center and destination folder.

When a folder is moved, the version history from the files in the folder is preserved in the new destination.

Deleting a Folder

  1. When viewing the folder, select the checkbox next to it. The Delete button is displayed.
  2. Click Delete.

All files contained in the folder must be deleted before you can delete the folder.

Files

A file is any document that you upload to Appian. We use the terms document and file interchangeably.

Files are located in folders. Folders reside in a Knowledge Center. Files cannot be stored directly in Knowledge Centers; a folder must be used.

All documents uploaded into Appian Document Management have an ID associated with them. To find the ID of a document within a Knowledge Center, view the document's properties. Entering the number of a document within the text field on the left navigation allows you to download the document.

  1. Select a Knowledge Center to display the folders it contains.
  2. Click a folder to display the files within the folder.
  3. Download a file by clicking the filename, or by selecting the checkbox associated with the file and then clicking the Image:download.gif button.
  4. Use the download button to handle the download of multiple files, folders, or Knowledge Centers. When more than one file, or a folder, or a Knowledge Center is selected, the files are combined into a single ZIP archive prior to download.

To upload a document, click Upload Document in the left navigation. A two-step wizard guides to select (confirm) the destination folder, and to upload to and the document(s).

Viewing Files

You can only view the files, folders, and Knowledge Centers where you have at least Viewer rights. The Knowledge Centers that you can view are displayed within the left navigation.

For sub-folders and files, the following toolbar options are displayed:

To... Click
Download a Zip archive of the selected sub-folder(s) and/or file(s) Download
Start a wizard to upload multiple files to the current folder Upload
Upload a Zip archive of files (no larger than maximum file upload size) which is then unpacked into the folder. Any folder in the Zip is added as a sub-folder. If a filename contains an illegal character, it is replaced with a hyphen (-). For example, the filename marketing;planning.doc would be uploaded as marketing-planning.doc. Bulk Upload
View the parent folder Up one level
Create a new sub-folder New Folder
Upload a changed version of the file New Version
View document properties Properties
Transfer a file or folder from its current folder to a new location Move
Remove the selected sub-folder(s) and/or file(s) from the system
  • Deleted files are also removed from disk
  • Delete

    See also: Viewing Folder and File Properties

    Adding a File

    To upload a file, complete the following:

    1. Select a destination folder and click Upload. -The Choose Destination dialog is displayed, with your current folder selected. Confirm the desired destination folder.
    2. Click Next. The Pick Files dialog is displayed.
    3. Browse to the file that you want to upload.
    4. You can keep the file name listed in the Name field, or modify it.
      • The file name must be at least four characters long (including the three character file extension, such as .doc).
      • The following characters are not allowed in document names: \ / ; : | ? ' < > *
      • NOTE: If you include the file extension in the name, make sure it matches the file type by which the file was saved. If the extension in the name does not match with the uploaded file, it may not display properly.
    5. (Optional) Type a description of the file.
      • The description is viewed in the document properties.
    6. Click Submit.

    7. To add fourth file, click the Upload more files link. The Upload New Document Wizard allows you to select up to ten files to upload at a time. The Pick Files dialog displays fields to select between one and three files initially.

    To upload ten or more files, complete the following:

    1. Compress your files into a ZIP format archive.
    2. Select the destination folder.
    3. Click Bulk Upload.
    4. Confirm the destination directory.
    5. Select the ZIP archive from your local machine. Click Upload.

    NOTE: Any illegal characters used in filenames by files in your ZIP archive are replaced with hyphen (-) characters upon upload.

    Moving a File

    You can transfer a file from its current folder to a new location. The history of previous versions is retained.

    To move a file, complete the following:

    1. When viewing the file, select its checkbox. The Move button appears on the toolbar.
    2. Click Move. The Choose a Folder dialog box is displayed.
    3. Select a destination Knowledge Center, and folder and click OK. An alert appears on the toolbar.

    Alerting Users to the New Location

    If you need to notify users about the new location of the file, view the file in its new location, select its checkbox, and click Send Link.

    Renaming a File

    To rename a file as a Knowledge Center Administrator, complete the following:

    1. While viewing the file in Document Management, in a Knowledge Center where you have administrator rights, select the checkbox next to the file.
    2. Click the Properties button. The File Properties dialog box is displayed.
    3. Type a new name in the Name field.

    To rename a file as a Knowledge Center Author, complete the following:

    1. Download the file.
    2. While viewing the file in Document Management, select the checkbox next to the file.
    3. Click the New Version button. Select the downloaded file. The old file name is listed in the name field.
    4. Enter a new name in the name field.

    Deleting a File

    Only users in the Document Administrators group or users who have Administrator or Creator rights to a folder can delete files from it. Creator rights refer to the fact that a user with Author rights for the folder cannot delete files unless that user also created the folder. Deleting a file removes the file from availability in Appian and removes the file on the server's filesystem.

    To delete a file, search for select the file, then click Delete.

    Adding a New Version of a File

    Files stored in Document_Management are managed using version control, which keeps a copy of the prior file versions when a new version of the file is uploaded.

    1. When viewing a file from the Documents tab, select the checkbox next to the file.
    2. Click New Version. If the file is not locked, the first dialog of the Upload New Version wizard is displayed.
    3. If the file is locked, click Check in to display the Upload New Version wizard.
      • NOTE: If you are not the user who checked out the file, you cannot upload a new version.
    4. Select the new version of the file from your local machine.
    5. You can keep the file name listed in the Name field, or modify it as needed.The file name must be at least four characters long (including the three character file extension, such as .doc).
      • NOTE: If you include the file extension in the name, make sure it matches the file type by which the file was saved. If the extension in the name does not match with the uploaded file, it may not display properly.
    6. (Optional) Type a description of the file. The description can be viewed in the document properties.
    7. Click Submit.

    Viewing a Previous Version of a File

    Once there is more than one version of a file, a number appears in the version column for the file, indicating how many versions exist.

    To view a previous version of a file, complete the following:

    1. Open the folder where the file is located.
    2. Click the number listed in the Version column. Entries for the Current version and all prior versions of the file display.
    3. Select the desired file version.
    4. Select whether you want to open or save the file.

    Deleting a File Version

    When more than one version of a file exists, you can delete any of the versions from the list. This includes the current version, original version, and any previous versions.

    Deleting the current or original version removes the file from the available downloads, but the file still exists in the system. Deleting a previous version removes that version completely from the system.

    To delete a version of a file, complete the following:

    1. Open the folder where the file is located.
    2. Click the number listed in the Version column. Entries for the Current version and all prior versions of the file display.
    3. Select the checkbox next to the file version you want to delete. The Delete button appears on the toolbar.
    4. Click the Delete button.

    By default, files in the System Knowledge Center and My Private Knowledge Center expire after 9999 days, files in the Temporary Documents Knowledge Center expire after one year (365 days), and files stored in all other Knowledge Centers never expire.

    After a file expires, viewers and authors of the file cannot access it unless the file is reinstated.

    Viewing Expired Files

    System Administrators and Knowledge Center Administrators can view expired files.

    If one or more files in a Knowledge Center have expired or are within 14 days of expiring, a button appears on the Knowledge Center's toolbar next to Expiration Duration indicating the number of files expired or soon-to-be expired. For example, 27 Expirations .

    Click this button to view a list of these files, and select a file from the list to open it.

    Reinstating an Expired File

    System Administrators and Knowledge Center Administrators can also reinstate an expired file by resetting the upload date to today.

    To reinstate a single file:

    1. Open the list of expired files.
    2. Select the checkbox next to the file.
    3. Click Reset.

    To reinstate all files within a Knowledge Center, you can reset the Expiration Duration to a longer duration; however, this affects all files in the Knowledge Center AND the original upload date is still used on each file.

    Deleting an Expired File

    Even though expired files are not accessible by viewers and authors, they are still a part of the system.

    To delete an expired file:

    1. Open the list of expired files.
    2. Select the checkbox next to the file.
    3. Click Delete.

    Reports

    Appian Report Files (.ARF) are stored in Document Management.

    When the link to the report file is clicked, you have the option to open or save the file. The report file is only viewable within the system.

    Click the (View) link next to a report to open the report for viewing within the system.

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