Management of Pre-Process and Post-Process operations

FFEXTERN [nodename|omafile] [/Q=queuename] [/NS] [/M]

FFEXTERN controls and launches predefined 'external' pre-process and post-process operations on FS files and received faxes.  Some uses of FFEXTERN may require license-counted instances, where the CopiaFacts license controls the permitted number of instances and each instance must run with an allocated nodename.

There are four types of external processing:

Pre-Processing FS files in the CALLBACK\PREPROC directory are processed.
Post-Processing FS files in the CALLBACK\POSTPROC directory are processed.
Post-Receive Processing MBX and MCF files are processed
Special Processing Files are scanned in application-specified directories.

The available standard processing 'plug-in' programs (DLLs) are described in the sub-topics of this section.

The first parameter has a dual function:

In a system where multiple copies of FFEXTERN are specified in the license, the FFEXTERN nodename must be specified, and is also used for the OMA filename.

In a system where a single FFEXTERN instance is licensed, the parameter designates the OMA filename, and overrides the default filename FFEXTERN.OMA.

For details of the /Q and /NS parameters, see FFEXTERN Conversion Priority.  These options are not currently supported for service mode operation.

The /M parameter runs the program in management mode, so that you can change settings but not start the processing tasks.  When CFXSERVICE is used to run FFEXTERN as a service, starting FFEXTERN in management mode from CFCP can modify settings for the running service application.

The FFEXTERN program runs continuously and normally shows a status display:

You can use this screen to enable and disable processes of different types, or to enable or disable all FFEXTERN operations. FFEXTERN can be run on multiple nodes, all operating on the same queues.

A blackout period can be set to allow for backup operations to take place. Setting the blackout minutes to -1 will cause the program to shut down at the blackout time and it must then be restarted by other means.

The 'scan optimize' option suppresses scanning for files in any scanned folder if the folder timestamp is earlier than the start of the previous scan.  This speeds up processing of large inactive folders.  However if you manually edit a file in a folder after setting this option, it may not be re-processed because Windows only updates the folder timestamp for additions and deletions of files in the folder.  In this case you should toggle the setting off and on to force reprocessing.  This setting does not suppress operations which scan folders to find subfolders in which the files are to be scanned.

You should test the 'optimize' setting before use if you are using a non-NTFS file system, or if if you have used FSUTIL to modify file system behavior; the skipping of folders can be seen in the FFTRACE output from FFEXTERN with low-level debug enabled.

Note that when FFEXTERN runs the Document Converter pre-process, the default printer will be set to the FFCVRT printer driver, if installed.  You will be warned on launching FFEXTERN if this printer does not exist, but to cater for users who use the program only for operations other than the Document Converter, or without the printer drivers, this warning will only appear on the first occasion that you start the program.  You should check that any Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office applications use for Document Converter are also set up to use this printer, because in some cases they maintain their own default printer and ignore the system setting.

The left pane allows selection of a status display for each type of process, using the Status main item. The other four main items in the left pane allow setting up and editing parameters for each of the process types. Use the + icon to set up a new process, and select the process type (if more than one) that you wish to create.

The above is the setup screen for a new Document Converter process. Each process type has a separate setup screen.

       Trace Information   When FFEXTERN is run as a Windows Service, its trace lines are written to FFEXTERN.TRx and this file also includes trace output from CVSINGLE.