We are giving more flexibility when receiving files back from external post vendors via FTP and Box.com! The files will be accepted based on filenames only!
Within the FTP or Box.com external post-production Vendor Information settings, you can see the selection for Transfer Method.
Legacy mode (Metadata): We currently use this method when sending out files to the vendors and the Physical File ID in the metadata is how we recognize the files when receiving them back. You can learn more about this here.
Filename mode: This is the new feature where we will scan for the correct filenames when receiving them back. Once you select this mode and save the settings, you cannot switch back to Legacy mode. When Filename mode is selected, you will see further settings below.
When returning files to Creative Force, the vendor must either send them with the correct:
Filename only: the filename must be correct as per the style guide setup. The filename is not case-sensitive.
Filename plus Folder path: both the filename and the folder path must be the same as the folder path in the style guide setup when files are returned to the Download folder.
Include preset specifications: When enabled, all preset specifications such as file extension, DPI, color profile…etc will be sent to the vendor. This information can be found in the Expect_returned_files.txt which I will go into detail later.
The file return method can be changed during production, it will take effect after the change is saved.
If the user switches FROM Filename plus Folder path TO Filename only: the vendor must return the files with the correct filename and folder path.
If the user switches FROM Filename only TO Filename plus Folder path: the vendor only needs to return the files with the correct filename.
How it works
Sending to vendor
When files are sent to the vendor, along with the image files, Creative Force will also send:
Transfer_completed.log: The Log-file contains a list of all sent files including their directories on the FTP-Server. This file should not be returned when returning completed files.
Expect_returned_files.txt: This file contains all of the information the vendor needs to know when returning files back to Creative Force.
The total number of files they must return
The name of each file returned and their corresponding source files
The folder where the vendor must upload the files back
The preset specification of each image (if this is enabled). If file extension is N/A, the vendor can send any file format back
With the above example, the File Return method is Filename Only, therefore, the return folder location is /Hann Fresh acc/Upload from FTP/UAT as this is the Download folder set in the vendor settings. This means that the vendor can just send the files to the target folder UAT.
If you select the Filename plus Folder Path method, you will see the folder structure is the same as what is set up in the Style guide's external post setting.
Receiving from vendor
After files are uploaded by the vendor to the FTP, Creative Force will automatically scan the folder, as opposed to Box.com, where it will send a webhook to CF to notify the scan service.
The vendor can check if the files are received after uploading. If the files are mapped correctly, they will be moved to the Archived folder. If files are not mapped correctly, they will be moved to the _CF-Invalid-files folder within the Archived.
Note: This only applies when you have the clean-up settings as Archived.
Main and Variant same naming tokens and file extensions
There might be a scenario where you need the main images and the variants to have the same name and the same file extensions. In the case where there is only one source file but you require different versions to be sent back, CF will use a fallback service to be able to map the files back and the information will be shown in the Expect_returned_files.txt file.
Filename only: If you use the same name format and file extension for more than one variant, a temporary naming convention will be applied for the purpose of External Post, in order to transfer files correctly back and forth. This will not impact the final naming of the file. (see more below)
If the step is a non-fan-out step or if there is no preset required, when receiving files back, CF will not check the file extension. As long as the filename is correct, all will be received.
If the current external post step is a fan-out step, CF will use naming tokens + the preset variant code in the filename. After the External Post step is done, the filename will be renamed according to the setup in the Style guide.