Setting up external programs

Before you start the configuration tasks for an external step, you need to set up the external program that the external step calls.
External programs must run on the computer that has the base product installed on it. Install the external program before you start this procedure.

Important points to remember when you install the base product and the other application:

  • If the other application is on a mapped network drive, edit the mountDrives.bat file to map the network drive whenever Ricoh ProcessDirector starts.
  • Make sure that Ricoh ProcessDirector can find and execute the other application. Use one of these methods:
    • Include the full path to the application in the command that you create.
    • Add the application to the PATH environment variable for the primary computer.

To set up the external program:

  1. Use the documentation for the external program and verify that it runs without errors as a standalone program.
  2. If you plan to use RunExternalProgram:
    1. Log on to the computer that the application runs on.
    2. Compose the command that you can use to invoke the program from the command line and use it to submit an input file to the program.
      Record the command that works correctly so you can use it as the model when you configure your step template.
    3. Create a control file template for the step to use.

      If the external program reads the property values that it requires from a parameter file that accompanies the print file, the RunExternalProgram step can build that file. To generate the file, the step uses a control file template. To create the control file template:

      1. Make a copy of a parameter file that the application can use.
      2. Replace all of the property values in the file with the Ricoh ProcessDirector symbol notation representation of the property. If the value is the file name for a file in the job, replace it with the appropriate Ricoh ProcessDirector method call to determine the file name.

        During processing, the step uses the template to build the parameter file by resolving all the references and filling in the values for the current job.

      3. Copy the control file template into a directory in the Ricoh ProcessDirector shared file system ( C:\aiw\aiw1\ .)

        Sample control file templates for external programs are installed in C:\aiw\aiw1\samples\external_programs\ . You can copy these files to the C:\aiw\aiw1\control_files\external_programs\ directory and customize them, or add your own control files to the C:\aiw\aiw1\control_files\external_programs\ directory. Note the directory location of your control file template.

  3. If you plan to use RunHotFolderApplication:
    1. Log on to the primary computer.
    2. Copy or transfer a sample print file into the input folder for the application.
    3. Check the other application to make sure that it starts to process the file.
    4. Monitor the output folder for the resulting file. When it arrives, copy or transfer it to another directory, then verify that it is correct.
    5. Navigate to the directory that holds the log files for the other application and make sure that you can open and view the log files.