The Document Export feature in Element451 is a great way to process batches of documents. Some potential reasons to use Document Exports are transferring documents to your institution's SIS, archiving application materials for your institution's records, or even to print certain documents that were uploaded to Element451.

On this page, we will take you step-by-step through the process of creating a Document Export task. First, however, it is important to have the data connector (the export's destination) set up properly. The data connectors feature works similarly for document exports as it does for data exports. You can choose between SFTP, Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, and Email Download Link. For this example, we will use SFTP. Set up a folder in your SFTP for each document type you will be exporting. We recommend distinguishing between documents for import and documents for export by having two main folders (one for "inbound" documents and the other for "outbound" documents).

Now that the data connector is good to go, we can get started creating a Document Export task.

1. Navigate to the Export section of the Data module and click the blue plus icon. Select Documents for the export type.

2. Choose a name for your export.

3. Once you have created the export, you will be taken to the export editor page. Start on the Source tab, where you have a few different options. These options are described below.

  • Application - application previews and any documents the student is asked to upload on their application before submitting it (such as a personal statement or a resume)
  • Info Request - any documents that are asked for as part of the "Info Request" section of the application, such as letters of recommendation or church endorsement forms
  •  General Bin - any "studentless" documents (a document that was imported but never matched up with a student in Element451)
  • MicrositeDocument - anything an admitted student can upload via the Microsite 
  • Webform - reports on your institution's forms and students' responses

For this example, we will select the Fire Graduate Application under the source "Application." We will then select the "ApplicationPreview.pdf."

Note: From this page, you could choose "Select All" and export both the Essay and Application Preview, for example. You could also select documents from many different sources, such as a document from "Application" and another from "InfoRequest."

Once you are satisfied with each selection, click "Add to Export." You will then be taken to the next tab, Files.

4. Under the Files tab, notice the three icons on the far right of the rows that list your export files.

The first of those icons is for filtering document exports. Click on the filter icon and then Add Condition. The filter options you can choose from will depend on the source of the document. If you chose files from the General Bin, for example, which is comprised of documents not matched to a student, you will not be able to filter based on student information. For this "Application" document from our example, there are five filter options:

The User Segment functions similarly to segments in other modules, including People, Workflows, and Data Exports. You can either load an existing segment that you have already created or build one within the export. The Name condition allows you to filter the exports based on file names (only file names that contain "official," for example). The Date condition lets you select only the files that were uploaded to Element451 either before, on, or after a particular date and the Size condition lets you select only the files that are less than, equal to, or greater than a particular file size. The Extension condition lets you choose if you only want files with extension .CSV, .PDF, or .DOC to be exported.

Once the filters are set, click back in the general export task. The filters will automatically save.

5. Click the gear icon to the right of the filter icon on the file row. This window will appear:

Here you can decide how you want the exported files to be named. In this example, we have used the Element ID token ([user:id], highlighted in orange). Here are some other tokens you might use:

  •  Student Email Address - [user:email_address]
  • Student First Name - [user:first_name]
  • Student Last Name - [user:last_name]
  • Year - [date:year]
  • Application Name - [application:name]

Note: You can also add a "/" at the start of the file name to indicate that you would like it placed in a particular folder within the export destination. For example, say you have a Documents folder within your SFTP that you will select as the Destination (coming up in Step 7 below). You are exporting Transcripts, Resumes, and Application Previews and want to keep them all in separate folders that already exist in your SFTP. For each file listed under Files, you can further specify the file destinations by adding "/Transcripts," "/Resumes," and "/Applications Previews" to the start of each file name.

To generate a cover sheet for the files, check the box. A cover sheet contains the student's first name, last name, email address, file metadata (such as file name, upload date, and original size), and the logo and header of your institution. It is merged to PDF files (including this converted to PDFs if the checkbox is selected below) or could exist separately when the file is not a PDF, stored next to the non-PDF file with the name "[originalfilename]-cover.pdf."

Navigate to the Transformations tab. Here, check the box to automatically convert the files to PDFs.

Once these settings are in place, click Done.

6. To the right of the gear icon is a minus sign. If this is your only source for the export, clicking on this icon will take you back to the Source tab in the document export. Otherwise, clicking the minus icon will remove just that one row.

7. Next, navigate to the Destination tab. For this example, we will select SFTP and choose the "2020" folder within the SFTP. If you are exporting multiple different files and would like to further specify each file type's destination, see the note above about adding "/[folder name]" to the start of the file name in the Files tab (Step 5).

8. After you have chosen the destination for your document export, navigate to the Packaging tab. Here you can select whether you want to Combine PDFs, create one folder per person, and/or zip everything.

  • Combine PDFs - Exports one large PDF file with all documents included in this export task. Could you be used to print application materials in bulk or transfer complete application files for university archives, for example.
  • One folder per person - Groups files by student and uses ElementID as the folder name.
  • Zip everything - Zips exported materials before storing them in the destination.

9. Now that you have set up the export packaging, navigate to the Run Task tab. In this tab, you could choose to run the document export immediately or schedule it to happen at a point in the future or on a regular basis. Scheduling exports works the same for document exports as it does for data exports.

Note: Element451 stores a copy of the exported documents after the task is run. You can access these materials again either from a notification email or by viewing the results of the export task in Element451's Data module.

To learn about importing documents, see here.

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