Print Files on Schedule with FolderMill Service

Case:

We have new sets of documents every day which should be printed by the next day, and we wish FolderMill could do it after most employees have left the office. Is there a way to automatically start and stop FolderMill at a certain time? For example, start FolderMill at the end of the working day and cease file processing in the morning, right before the work hours.

Solution:

FolderMill can be forced to start and stop its work whenever you want. Just schedule its operation using built-in Windows Task Scheduler to plan the time for conversion or printing of documents with our step-by-step guide.

Alternatively, you can easily configure Task Scheduler to copy new files from a defined local folder to a Hot Folder. In this case, FolderMill real-time processing keeps running.

How to run FolderMill as a service on schedule

  1. Create the necessary Hot Folders and Actions
  2. Open Task Scheduler. You can quickly find Task Scheduler if you press Windows Start button and start typing "task scheduler": Use Task Scheduler with FolderMill
  3. Create a new task in this folder: Create a new task for scheduled file conversion
  4. Input a name for the new task, e.g. "Run FolderMill", and make sure to enable Run with highest privileges option: Configure task settings and enter task name
  5. Go to Actions pane and add command sc start FolderMillService which will make FolderMill service start: Start FolderMill service
  6. Click "OK": Start FolderMill Action
  7. Let's specify the triggers to define when FolderMill should start. Go to the Triggers pane and add a new trigger by clicking New: Create a new trigger to launch FolderMill service
  8. Set a time-based or event-based trigger. You can specify the exact time and make the task recurrent by defining time intervals: daily, weekly, monthly or even certain days of the week. Event-based triggers allow you to start FolderMill at a specific event, e.g. at user log on. You can add multiple triggers, if necessary. Make time-based or event-based trigger settings Let's set the time trigger to Daily, 18:00 and click "OK".
  9. Now let's create a task which would stop FolderMill. Just follow the same steps as above, but use sc stop FolderMillService as the command line in the Action pane, and don't forget to set the right time for the time trigger. In the end, you should have something like this: Document conversion is scheduled by Task Scheduler

Now FolderMill service is configured so that it starts real-time processing of files at 6 PM and stops working at 9 AM every day.

You can test in advance whether everything is set correctly. Open FolderMill Control Panel (FolderMill processing should be stopped). Switch to Task Scheduler, select the sc start FolderMillService Action and click "Run" on the right menu to make a test run. You will see the task running: FolderMill's windmill will start rotating, and the status will change to "FolderMill is running" on the program's Control Panel. You can also open the FolderMill Control Panel right before the scheduled trigger should work, and check the windmill rotation.

How to schedule start/stop FolderMill Processor (desktop mode)

FolderMill can also work as a regular desktop application (FolderMill Processor). Take the same steps as described above, but select FolderMill Processor to run.

Start

When creating a new action in the Windows Task Scheduler, click Browse…, go to FolderMill installation folder and select FolderMill Processor:

Browse to open FolderMill Processor

Select FolderMill Processor

Stop

To schedule an action which would stop real-time file processing, add a -shutdown attribute:

Stop FolderMill Processor

How to copy files to Hot Folder on schedule

If you have files accumulated in a certain folder during the day, there's another way to set the right timing for their processing. You can just set Windows Task Scheduler to copy the needed files to a Hot Folder on schedule. This can make things much more flexible this way since FolderMill keeps running without interruption.

  1. Create a folder for input files (e.g., C:\Input)
  2. Add a task with a simple command line in the Task Scheduler:

cmd /c move /y "C:\Input\*" "C:\FolderMill Data\Hot Folders\1\Incoming\"

This command will move all files appearing in C:\Input to the Incoming folder. Just set it to launch at the right time – using a time-based or event-based trigger (as described above).

How to copy files to Incoming folder on schedule

FolderMill combined with Windows Task Scheduler gives you many options to set up timing for your files processing. If something doesn't work for you, please contact us, and we will find a solution for you.

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