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BPM Add Attachments to Request


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I am trying to automate our file transfer process using BPM workflow, where customers will submits a request for a patch/upgrade file from a catalog item linked to a service they are subscribed too. The aim is to both restrict access to these patches/upgrades to those who are subscribed to the appropriate services and also keep a record of who has downloaded what.

I had originally looked are using a third party application and then using web hooks/integration from the BPM, but at the moment this does not look feasible. Therefore I am consider whether it is possible to do either of the following with enhancements in Hornbill.

Add (and remove) Attachments in via the BPM

As part of the catalog items BPM process automate adding an attachment to the request form an external source such as FTP. The process would then email the customer to advise them to log in to the customer portal to download it and then but the process on hold for 1 week, before the BPM process then removes the attachment from the request and closes it.

Central Attachment store linked to a Service

Having a central attachment/distribution store, similar to Document Manager, within Hornbill where a single master copy of the patch/upgrades are held. Then having the ability in the BPM to add the access to download the attachment and again then removing the link/permission after a period of time.

 

Obviously my main aim is not to fill up my Hornbill storage with multiple copies of the patches/upgrades and to automate the process as much as possible.

Would any of the above be piratical and also useful to others?

Cheers

Martyn

 

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  • 6 months later...

@James Ainsworth @Steven Boardman

Just wondering if you have any plans to allow file distribution via Hornbill or as above the ability to automatically load and delete attachments via the BPM.

Though we are still looking to distribute software patches this way, I can see this would have generic uses where process still require customers to complete manual forms, or automatically attach FAQ/Guidance documents to requests.

Cheers

Martyn

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Hi @Martyn Houghton

No plans at the moment. I will ask if there have been any further thoughts or suggestions within Hornbill.  Outside of Document Manager there are no options for managing a file store on a Hornbill instance, and as you mention there may be concerns with software installation packages or large files taking up a lot of space on an instance.  

For FAQs or Guidance documents we might be in a better position to look at some integration with Document Manager.

Regards,

James

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@Martyn Houghton

The best solution for this would be some form of file library and sharing capability, similar conceptually as Document Manager is for Documents, but for files.  We have all the infrastructure and components to make such a solution but it would need to be an application in its own right and that not really made our priority list just yet.  

Internally we run a an SFTP server which has a web front end, so we can upload files via SFTP and share via an HTTP endpoint, the files only live for a duration (90 days for example) so the storage consumption is self-regulating. Share URL's are opaque so controlling access is done via these in a very similar way to Dropbox or other popular file sharing tool.  Our implementation works for us but its very manual and does not incorporate any kind of library.  

I can see the need for it and I can see the benefits of having something like this would bring, but as there is no real commercial opportunity it has not really made the priority list because we have so much else going on. Possibly an integration with DropBox or other file-sharing service might be a good solution here?

Gerry

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  • 3 weeks later...

@Gerry

Thanks for the reply. As you guessed I trying to automate this file delivery operation as much as possible, whilst recording the requests within Service Manager. We are not able to utilise third-party external file sharing distribution sites, so we will need to look at forming some integration to an on-site  SFTP site, in the meantime.

Cheers

Martyn

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Martyn,

Quote

We are not able to utilise third-party external file sharing distribution sites

Is that for regulatory or commercial reasons? if the former, would the same problem not apply to Hornbill?

Gerry

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  • 11 months later...

Hi @Martyn Houghton,

I am afraid not. There is absolutely a need for an "enterprise-grade" file sharing service where you can create and manage a library and have full control over shared files, access, downloads, control over data sovereignty and general auditing capabilities. However, there is not a great deal of demand for this (although I could do with something along these lines myself at Hornbill) and the lack of any commercial opportunity means we have other priorities I am afraid.  There are many freely available file-sharing services so people tend to use these, and because they are free, the expectation (reasonably) is that all file-sharing services should be free, hence the lack of commercial opportunity. 

It will remain on the list as something we will look to implement but for now, it's not a priority. 

The best we could probably do at the moment would be to integrate with an existing file sharing service if there is one you are interested in using that has APIs that we could plug into?

Gerry

 

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