Importing files from a database

In this use case we will illustrate how files in Blobs in a database are imported into M-Files.

This use case is applicable in instances where where the third party application store files in the database in binary or Blobs formats. The source database can be SQL server, Oracle or any database accessible to the MFSQL Connector database.

To perform the operation, one need to have the MFSQL Database File Connector module, which includes the full Connector package.

In short, the process involves the following after the basic installation of MFSQL Connector.

  • Identify the table(s) with the files in the third party Database

  • Identify the table(s) with the related metadata for the files in the third party Database

  • Prepare a view with all the metadata to be imported and ensure that the view at least contains

    • A unique reference for each file

    • The name of the file including the file extension

    • The file data

  • Identify the target class(es) for the files in M-Files

  • Create the Class table for the all the target classes, including the depend classes. (e.g. a customer invoice would at least require the class for invoice documents, and for customers.)

  • Add the property ‘MFSQL_File_Unique_Ref’ to the target document class.

  • Use standard MFSQL Connector methods (described elsewhere) to add records in the Document Class Table. Ensure to complete the ‘MFSQL_File_Unique_Ref’ for each record which will contain a file.

  • At the same time all the dependent class and valuelist records should also be created in MFSQL Connector.

  • After updating the new records in M-Files, set the process_id for all records to have imported file to 6

  • Use spMFSyncchronizeFilesToM-Files to import the files.

  • The history log of the import is saved in MFFileImport

Step 1: Identify third party file table and create view

ALTER VIEW [scu].[vw_Filedata]

SELECT fd.[id]
     , fd.[GUID]
     , fd.[FileName]
     , fd.[FileData]
     , fd.[Created]
     , fd.[Modified_on]
  ,xxx -- All the related columns to the file
    FROM scu.filedata fd
INNER JOIN [scu].[accounts] AS [a]
ON [a].[Account_no] = fd.ACCOUNT_ID
INNER JOIN [scu].[Loans] AS [l]
ON [l].[Loan_No] = fd.loan_ID


Step 2: Create class table an update existing records in M-Files. In this case we will import files for the Drawings class.

EXEC dbo.spMFCreateTable 'Drawing';
EXEC dbo.spMFUpdateTable 'MFDrawing', 1;

Add the File unique reference column

Step 3:

ADD  Mfsql_File_Unique_Ref NVARCHAR(100)

Step 4: Create all the new objects in M-Files

FROM Scion32.scu.vw_Filedata AS vf;

EXEC spmfupdatetable 'MFDrawing',0

Step 5: Set the process_id for records to add files to.

 SET Process_ID = 6
FROM MFDrawing t
INNER JOIN Scion32.scu.vw_Filedata AS vf
ON IS NOT null

Step 6: Import the files

DECLARE @ProcessBatch_id INT;
EXEC dbo.spMFSynchronizeFilesToMFiles @SourceTableName = 'scion32.scu.vw_Filedata',                -- varchar(100)
                                      @FileUniqueKeyColumn = 'ID',                            -- varchar(100)
                                      @FileNameColumn = 'FileName',                           -- varchar(100)
                                      @FileDataColumn = 'FileData',                           -- varchar(100)
                                     @MFTableName = 'MFDrawing',                               -- varchar(100)
                                      @BatchSize = 500,
           @Process_ID = 6,                                     -- int
                                      @ProcessBatch_id = @ProcessBatch_id OUTPUT,             -- int
                                      @Debug = 1,                                             -- int
                                      @TargetFileUniqueKeycolumnName = 'mfsql_File_Unique_ref'; -- varchar(100)

Step 7: view the results in SQL

FROM dbo.MFFileImport;

SELECT id, name_or_title, MFVersion, FileCount, Single_File, Mfsql_File_Unique_Ref, Process_ID
FROM dbo.MFDrawing;