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Retrospectively Applying Templates

As the life-cycle of a DocMoto system progresses it can become necessary to update template definitions and re-apply them to parent folders in the repository.

As of DocMoto version 3.5 a set of tools have been made available to make this possible.

To re-apply a modified template is in principle extremely easy. All that's required is to select a single tick box within Template Manager and save your changes.

But before making any retrospective changes it's as well to understand the full logic that DocMoto uses when re-applying a template.

Retro-Application Rules

By default DocMoto assumes that any folder and file structure originally created with a template may have altered since that time. As such retrospectively applying templates does not remove any elements with the exception of column definitions.

Specifically DocMoto adheres to the following rules when re-applying a template to the repository.

  1. New folders and files are added

    Any new files and folders added to the template definition will be added to the repository on re-application of the template.

  2. Renamed folders and files will be created as new with the original named folder or file remaining

    Renaming a folder or file in the template definition will not result in the folder or file being renamed in the repository. Instead a new folder or file will be created in the repository.

  3. Folder column definitions (View Columns) and requested file tags (Requested Tags) will be completely reset

    Since both the columns presented in a folder view and the tags requested when a file is added have no historic significance there is no risk of unwanted data transformation. As such the re-application of the template fully resets them.

  4. Permission settings in the template will be re-applied

  5. Permission settings that are not present in the new template definition but which are present in the repository will be left unchanged

    This takes into account any permission changes that have been made to the repository since the initial application of the template. It avoids any unexpected security alterations.

  6. Folders or files with names created using a variable will be left un-modified

    Folders and files can be created using placeholders (variables), such as a date. In strict terms that "exact" folder or file name does not exist in the template.

    e.g. a folder in the template definition which takes its name as @{now} - Accounts may appear in the repository as 21st July - Accounts. Yet there is no folder with the exact name 21st July - Accounts in the template definition.

    Clearly folders or files created using variables often convey specific information, and it would not be desirable to change them.

  7. Template updates in which new folders or files have been defined using the @{now} variable will be created taking the date and time at which the parent folder was initially created as being the value for @{now}

    For example: a parent folder was created using a template on 31st August 2013. The template has been modified such that it now contains a folder which is named as @{now}-Accounts. The template is re-applied on 1st April 2014, the folder will be named 31 August 2013-Accounts and NOT 01 April 2014-Accounts.

  8. Template updates in which new folders or files have been defined using the @{user} variable will be created taking the name of the user who initially created the parent folder

    For example: a parent folder was created using a template on 31st August 2013. The template has been modified such that it now contains a folder which is named as @{now}-Accounts. The template is re-applied on 1st April 2014, the folder will be named 31 August 2013-Accounts and NOT 01 April 2014-Accounts.

  9. Existing folders, files or their corresponding tags and values will not be modified

    To ensure data integrity existing folders or files within the repository are not modified or removed, regardless of the new template definition. In addition no folder or file tags or their values are ever modified or removed on re-application of a template.

  10. Multiple occurrences of the same tag in folder tags are not supported

    It has always been possible to have a given tag appear more than once within a folder properties. For example a "Language" tag might appear twice, once with a value of "German", and again with a value of "French".

    Since applying templates retrospectively in such circumstances can have an indeterminate outcome you should avoid re-applying templates where multiple occurances of a single tag appear.

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