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Automatically downloading a routed file in Smart Connection

Automatically downloading a routed file in Smart Connection

Working on a publication is team work and it is common practice for one team member to pass on a file to another team member for further editing. In a typical scenario, the routed file is not downloaded until the user who receives the file opens it for editing. However, when large files such as InDesign layouts are passed on it can take quite a while for the file to be downloaded, especially with large file sizes in combination with low connection speeds. This means that the user will have to wait for the download to be completed before work on the file can begin.

To improve this process, a file can be automatically downloaded onto the system of the user who receives the file immediately after it is routed. The download process takes place in the background so the user can continue working with Smart Connection while the file is being downloaded. When the user wants to work on the file it is immediately available because it is already downloaded and present on the system.

Automatically downloading a routed file is done by making use of the Smart Caching feature.

How it works

The working of Smart Caching is very straight forward and in fact, invisible: a file is routed to a user and Smart Caching automatically downloads the file onto the system of the user who receives the file. As mentioned above, this all takes place in the background so the user will very likely not be aware that the download is in progress apart from seeing a message that a file has been routed.

The user will at some point open the file for editing from the Inbox and it will then open straight away because it is already downloaded.

If needed, the user can pause Smart Caching or completely disable it.

Requirements and configuration

Before Smart Caching can be used, the right components need to be installed, Enterprise Server needs to be configured and the Content Station Desktop app needs to be running. It is assumed here that this has been done. For more information, see Configuring Smart Caching for Smart Connection.

Using Smart Caching

Note: Smart Connection makes use of the Smart Caching feature of Content Station 10 and therefore requires components of Content Station 10. Content Station 10 itself is not needed.

The Smart Caching feature is controlled by the Content Station 10 Desktop app. This application runs in the background and you will see its icon displayed in the System Tray on Windows or in the System Menu on Mac OS X.

The app takes care of downloading a routed file in the background, thereby allowing you to continue to work with Smart Connection.

As soon as the file is routed to you, a message is shown by the Desktop app to inform you about this. The file appears in your Inbox and it is downloaded in the background.

When you decide to work on the file while it and other files are still being downloaded, the file is moved to the top of the download queue to make sure that you can access the file as quickly as possible.

As mentioned, the use of Smart Caching is practically invisible because all actions take place in the background. However, you will be notified when first using Smart Caching and you will see a message appear at those times when Smart Connection communicates with the Content Station Desktop app (such as when checking-in a layout).

Controlling the working of Smart Caching

As a user, you can control the working of Smart Caching in two locations:

  1. The Smart Connection Preferences
  2. The Content Station Desktop app settings

How this is done is explained below.

You will mainly use the settings to temporarily pause the working of Smart Caching or to disable it altogether.

Preference

Smart Caching is enabled by default in Smart Connection, meaning that it will use the Content Station Desktop app for retrieving routed files. For this to work, Smart Caching should be enabled and not paused in the Desktop app itself.

If Smart Caching should be disabled for Smart Connection only, clear the following preference:

Smart Connection > Enable Smart Caching

Notes:

  • Smart Caching can also be disabled in the Desktop app, but this also affects using Smart Caching for Content Station 10.

The Smart Caching preference

First use

When first logging in to Smart Connection after the Smart Caching feature is made available for you, Smart Connection will automatically connect to the Desktop app.

Note: It is assumed here that the Smart Caching preference is enabled.

The Desktop app will ask if you want to enable Smart Caching:

Enabling Smart Caching

Step 1. Click Enable to enable Smart Caching.

Notes:

  • Choose Disable when you are working on a slow network connection.
  • Disabling Smart Caching can also at any time be done through the Desktop app settings.

A Sign In window appears for connecting the Desktop app to Enterprise Server.

The Sign In window

Step 2. Enter your user name and password and click Sign in.

Smart Caching is now ready for use.

Receiving routed files using Smart Caching

When a file is routed to you and Smart Caching is active, the file is automatically downloaded in the background.

While the download is taking place, take note of the following:

  • The icon of the Desktop app changes into a spinner, indicating that a download is in progress.
  • To view any active downloads, open the Download Progress window by clicking the Desktop app icon and choosing Download Progress from the menu.

The Desktop app menu

The Download Progress window

Notes: 

  • When the connection is interrupted or lost, the download is automatically resumed when the connection is established again.
  • When the file that is stored on Enterprise Server is updated by another user, the new version will be automatically downloaded to your system by the Desktop app.

Controlling the working of Smart Caching with the Content Station Desktop app

Using the settings of the Content Station Desktop app, the following features of Smart Caching can be controlled:

Pausing and resuming downloads

Downloads that are in progress can at any time be paused. This can be useful when temporarily working on a slow connection, or to free up the connection for other processes. To pause and later resume downloads, access the menu by clicking the Desktop app icon and choosing 'Pause Smart Caching' or 'Resume Smart Caching'.

The Desktop app menu

Disabling Smart Caching

If needed, Smart Caching can be temporarily disabled and at a later stage enabled again.

Note: Disabling Smart Caching through the Desktop app completely disables Smart Caching on the system, including for Content Station 10. If Smart Caching should only be disabled for Smart Connection, do this by using the Smart Connection preference 'Enable Smart Caching' (see above).

Step 1. Access the Desktop app Smart Caching connections page of the Desktop app.

The window shows all instances of Enterprise Server to which a connection has been made for Smart Caching.

The list of connected Enterprise Servers

Step 2. Locate the Enterprise Server instance that you are currently connected to.

Note: This will be the server with the same name as the one you chose when signing in to Smart Connection.

Step 3. Click the switch to enable or disable the Smart Caching connection for that instance of Enterprise Server

Working with cached files

The files that are downloaded by the Desktop app are stored in the following location:

  • For Windows: C:\Users\USER_FOLDER\AppData\Local\Content Station\cache
  • For Mac OS X: Users\USER_FOLDER\Library\Application Support\Content Station\cache

Through the General settings of the Desktop app, the following can be controlled:

  • Cache size: The maximum disk space used for caching files.
  • Cache period: The maximum number of days that files are kept in the cache.
  • Clear cached files: Clears the files that are currently stored in the cache.

Note: Please ignore the other settings in this window; they are used by Content Station 10 and do not apply to Smart Connection.

The Content Station Desktop app

Figure: The General settings of the Desktop app.

Setting the socket port

(Optional) Set the socket port through which the communication between Smart Connection and the Desktop App should take place. When in doubt which port to use (if any), contact your system administrator.

Removing the Smart Caching connection for an instance of Enterprise Server

When Smart Caching was used for the first time, a connection to Enterprise Server needed to be made by logging in to the server. If needed, this connection can be fully removed.

Step 1. Access the Desktop app Smart Caching connections page of the Desktop app.

All instances of Enterprise Server are shown to which a connection have been made for Smart Caching (by logging in when first using Smart Caching, see above).

The list of connected Enterprise Servers

Step 2. Locate the Enterprise Server instance that you are currently connected to.

Note: This will be the server with the same name as the one you chose when signing in to Smart Connection.

Step 3. Do one of the following:

  • Disconnect the server by clicking the Disconnect icon to disconnect Smart Caching from that server. Click it again to re-connect to the server again.
  • Remove the server by clicking the Trash Can icon to fully remove the reference to that server.
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