CMIS Connection - 2021
CMIS Connections allow Grooper to connect to external storage platforms for import and export operations.
Grooper is able to connect to a variety of storage platforms, from simple file systems (such as Windows native NTFS system), to email sources, to full-fledged content management systems. The CMIS Connection object allows you to configure connection settings, allowing Grooper to integrate import and export control. With these settings saved on a Grooper object, they are easily referenced by an Import Watcher service or Export Behaviors applied by the Export activity for automated batch processing.
Which platform is connected is defined by the CMIS Connection's Connection Type property. Once the connection is made to a specific storage location, called a "repository", Grooper has direct access to import and export documents from and to folder locations in the repository.
Furthermore, Grooper has import and export access to metadata available to the particular platform. For example, sender and receipt metadata from emails received from email servers. This also gives Grooper the ability to map extracted data elements from documents to corresponding data element locations in a content management system.
About CMIS and CMIS Connections
CMIS stands for "Content Management Interoperability Services". It is an open standard that allows different content management systems to inter-operate over the Internet. This standard protocol allows Grooper to use many different platforms for importing and exporting documents and their contents. Once a CMIS Connection is created, Grooper can exchange documents with these platforms. "Interoperability " means Grooper has the same access to control the system as a human being does. It is a "one-to-one" connection to the platform, allowing full and total control.
Upon connecting to an external digital storage platform, Grooper will be able to see the "repositories" associated with it. A repository, in computer science, is a general term for a location where data lives.
Different systems refer to "repositories" in different ways.
- An email inbox could be a repository. A folder in Windows could be a repository. A cabinet in ApplicationXtender could be a repository.
- We standardize the various terms used by various storage platforms to simply "repository". Put simply, it's a place to put things.
These repositories are "imported" into Grooper as a CMIS Repository object, created as a child of the CMIS Connection object. This doesn't import data into Grooper in the traditional sense of importing documents into a new Batch. "Importing" here is more like bringing the repository into a framework Grooper can use. Upon importing the repository, Grooper has full read and write file access to that location in the storage platform. This allows Grooper to import files from the digital source upon Batch creation and export processed content during the Export step of a Batch Process.
For our purposes, repositories are like filing cabinets full of documents. Once a connection is established, it's like giving Grooper a key to that cabinet. You can open the various drawers of that cabinet. You can pull out files and put files into. The storage platform or content management system is like the cabinet.
- The CMIS Connection object is like the key.
- The CMIS Repository object is like a drawer in the cabinet.
- You "connect" to the cabinet by turning the key. You "import" the repository by opening the drawer. Now you can see there are documents in there! You can take them out. You can read them and put them back in. You can put new ones in. You can use this "open" connection to the "drawer" however you need.
Grooper expanded on this idea in version 2.72 to create our CMIS+ architecture. CMIS+ unifies all content platforms under a single framework as if they were traditional CMIS endpoints. Prior to version 2.72, there was only one type of CMIS Connection, a true CMIS connection using CMIS 1.0 or CMIS 1.1 servers. Now, connections to additional non-CMIS document storage platforms can be made via "CMIS Bindings". This provides standardized access to document content and metadata across a variety of external storage platforms.
Using this architecture, Grooper is able to create a simpler and more efficient import and export workflow, using a variety of storage platforms. You now use the CMIS Import Import Provider and the CMIS Export Export Type, regardless of the storage platform. They connect to a CMIS Repository imported from a CMIS Connection and use that as Grooper's import or export path.
How you create a CMIS Connection only differs from CMIS Binding to CMIS Binding, as each binding has a different way of connecting to it. You don't connect to an Outlook inbox the same way you connect to a Windows file folder, for example. Thus, the property configuration for the Exchange binding is different from the NTFS binding.
A CMIS Binding provides connectivity logic for external storage platforms, allowing CMIS Connection objects to import and export content.
Grooper's CMIS+ architecture expands connectivity from traditional CMIS servers to a variety of on-premise and cloud-based storage platforms by exposing connections to these platforms as CMIS Bindings. Each distinct CMIS Binding contains the settings and logic required to exchange documents between Grooper and each distinct platform.
- For example, the AppXtender Binding contains all the information Grooper uses to connect to the ApplicationXtender content management system. The Exchange Binding contains necessary logic to connect to Microsoft Exchange email servers (like an Outlook inbox). The NTFS Binding allows connectivity to a Windows file system.
CMIS Bindings are referenced when creating a CMIS Connection object and configuring its Connection Type property. Which binding you use (and therefore which platform you connect to) is set by the Connection Type.
- First, the user selects which CMIS Binding they want to use, selecting which storage platform they want to connect to.
- Second, the user enters connection settings for that binding, such as login information for many of the CMIS Bindings.
Current CMIS Bindings
Below is a list of all current platforms with their own CMIS Bindings:
- The ApplicationXtender document management platform.
- The Box Content Management System.
- The FileBound document management platform.
- Content management systems using CMIS 1.0 or CMIS 1.1 servers.
- The following Microsoft content platforms
- FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) servers.
- The Box cloud document management system.
- IMAP mail servers
- The Microsoft Windows NTFS file system.
Create a CMIS Connection and Import a Repository
The following are very general instructions on how to add a CMIS Connection to Grooper. Which document storage platform you connect to is determined by the Connection Type property. For specific instructions on how to connect to specific document storage platforms, refer to each one's CMIS Binding article, linked below.
- AppXtender (CMIS Binding)
- CMIS (CMIS Binding)
- Exchange (CMIS Binding)
- OneDrive (CMIS Binding)
- SharePoint (CMIS Binding)
- Box (CMIS Binding)
- FTP (CMIS Binding)
- IMAP (CMIS Binding)
- NTFS (CMIS Binding)
This tutorial will use the NTFS binding as its example, connecting to a networked Windows File System folder.
|FYI||CMIS Connections changed somewhat in Grooper 2021. In previous versions, these objects were added to a "CMIS Connections" folder inside the Infrastructure folder in the Node Tree.
Now, they are properly considered a "global resource", a Grooper object referenceable by other Grooper objects, such as Activities in a Batch Process. As such, they are added to the Global Resources folder in the Node Tree.
Add the CMIS Connection
CMIS Connections are created and configured in the Global Resources folder of the Grooper Node Tree.
Select the CMIS Binding
Configure the Connection Settings
The Connection Settings will be configured differently depending on which CMIS Binding is selected. The settings shown here are specifically for the NTFS binding.
Verify Repository Connection
Import a Repository
You can now use this repository for import and export operations. Grooper has full access to this folder location to bring in documents and export processed documents.
View the Repository
You could even copy one or more files and paste them directly into a test Batch if you like.
Furthermore, now that a connection is established, this CMIS Repository as a direct connection to the folder location.
If we are to add a folder in the Windows File System, the CMIS Repository will be aware of the change. You can even delete files, rename them, change editable properties, and cut/copy and paste items into folders, just like you can in the storage platform's native application. You have control of the repository as if you were using it natively.
That means it creates it in the connected storage platform as well!
And the reverse would hold true as well, if we added a new folder (or new files) to the connected platform, Grooper would be aware of it via the CMIS Connection.
Examining Type Definitions
While we're at it, we can examine the CMIS Binding's Content Type definitions using the "Type Definitions" tab. These sets of properties allow Grooper to do more advanced operations such as metadata import and export mapping. The
One of the big differences across CMIS Bindings will be these Content Types. Documents and folders are represented differently by a CMIS Repository depending on the CMIS Binding.
2021 Export Behaviors
Version 2021 changed how export operations are performed by introducing the concept of Export Behaviors. Behaviors in general centralize a Content Model and its component Content Type objects importance in various activities. Export Behavior configurations determine how the Export activity exports content to an external storage platform.
The most drastic changes effect how extracted Data Elements are mapped for file, folder, and data indexing. Whereas previously, these mappings were configured using Content Type child objects of a CMIS Repository, these mappings now occur as part of the CMIS Export Export Type configuration when adding an Export Behavior.
2.9 Box Integration
2.72 Legacy Providers
Old import and export providers should be replaced with this new functionality. While Grooper's older import and export providers are available as "Legacy Import" and "Legacy Export" providers, these components are depreciated. They will still function but will no longer be upgraded in future versions of Grooper.
2.72 New Connection Types
By creating the CMIS+ architecture, we have been able to create new connections between Grooper and content management systems.
Grooper can now connect to Microsoft OneDrive, SharePoint, and Exchange via new CMIS Bindings. Since these were created as CMIS Bindings, they can be used by the CMIS Import and CMIS Export providers. Instead of having to create three new import providers and three new export providers for a total of six brand new components, we can use the already established CMIS import and export providers in the CMIS+ framework. A user can create a CMIS Connection using the OneDrive, SharePoint or Exchange bindings, and use the same import and export providers for them as any of the other CMIS Bindings.
This will also allow Grooper to create CMIS Bindings to connect to currently unavailable content management systems in the future much quicker and easier.