5.2 Understanding Input Files

The Input Agent performs work based on input files. These are simple text documents, similar to CSV (comma-separated values) files, that contain lists of files and associated metadata to index into the Oracle I/PM system. The input file can use different encodings as long as the correct encoding is specified in the input definition. Input Agent looks for all input files that match the input mask of the input definition and not the sample file that is used to define the input definition. Note that sample files are not required when creating an input through the API. They are only used when creating an input through the user interface so a user can see the data to help choose the columns.


Input file masks must be unique to the Oracle I/PM system and cannot overlap. Input Agent only processes an input file for one input and will not restage a file to be processed again for a different input definition. The order in which inputs are processed is random so it is unknown as to which input will pick up a shared input file.

A sample input file looks like:

C:\IPMData\Input Files\print\NewPrintstreams\doc16.txt|NEW ORDER|10/06/94|B82L|218482 C:\IPMData\Input Files\print\NewPrintstreams\doc17.txt|NEW ORDER|10/06/94|N71H|007124 C:\IPMData\Input Files\print\NewPrintstreams\doc18.txt|NEW ORDER|10/06/94|B83W|24710

The detailed structure of an input file is defined as:

[path to document file][delimiter][metadata value 1]<[delimiter]<metadata value 2> ... <delimiter>>

  • Items in brackets ([]) are required and items in angle brackets (<>) are optional.

  • path to document file is the location of the tiff, jpeg, doc or other file type that is being saved to Oracle I/PM. It must be a path that is accessible to the user account running the Input Agent.

  • delimiter is the character that separates the values from one another, such as the | character.

  • metadata value x are the index values that the application uses to index the document.

  • The delimiter character must be the same character throughout the entire input file and match what is specified in the input definition. The default is a pipe character (|).

  • Only one metadata value is required per required field in the application. For example, if a Name and Date field are both marked as Required in an application, then the input file must have values for both the Name and Date field as well. Additional values are optional but they must continue to follow the [delimiter]<metadata value> format.

  • There is no length restriction per line, but all metadata pertaining to the file must be on a single line because the newline character specifies the start of a new document.

  • Each value is separated by a delimiter, with the delimited values treated by the Input Agent as Column 1 .. Column N. Any commands on the line do not count as a column. See "Using Input Filing Commands".

  • Columns in the input file need not match the ordering of the Application, but they must be in the same locations as specified in the input definition to be indexed correctly.


Dates and times specified in the input file are subject to current Daylight Savings Time rules, and not the DST rules in effect for the specified date. This can cause the timestamp of the document to shift forward or back up to two hours. If the timestamp shifts forward or back across midnight, the date used for the document input may also shift.