In batch mode, actions from the data source can be applied to a number of input documents.

The plugin Batch only provides the user interface and is optional.

Using the panel Batch the batch operation can be configured and started or stopped:

  1. Start time in the form HH:MM - if the start time is earlier than the current time, the operation will not start until the next day. The start time is not taken into account until batch operation is started via the button at point 5.
  2. Input folder from which the input documents are retrieved
  3. Output folder to store the output files
  4. Current status of the batch operation
  5. Start / Stop of batch operation
  6. Selection of batch actions
  7. Interval that is waited between each batch job
  8. Current data connection display

Batch processing processes all documents from inside the input folder ('Hotfolder'). Processing is performed in alphabetical order and includes the following steps:

The second step is decisive here, in which all processing of the input document must take place.

Batch actions are always cScripts with ClassID 22. These are stored as usual in the data source (e.g. actions.xml in case of XML offline).

The following global variables are defined in the script during the execution of a batch action on an input file:

Variable Type Description
gObjectPath char * File path of the input file before moving it to the XCache. This file does not exist anymore at this point, because it has already been moved to the XCache!
gInFile char * File path of the input file in the XCache. This is the current file you are working on!
gSourcefolder char * The designated input folder
gDestfolder char * The designated output folder

All variables are only provided as global variables in the cScript - for a correct processing like e.g. opening, changing and saving the input document into the output folder you are responsible yourself!

Since the document is not opened automatically by the batch mode (e.g. other input documents than Illustrator files could be processed), variables like gDocument are not defined here!

Here is an example for processing a document in batch mode and saving several variants:

//This script creates a language variant of a document by setting the
//gLanguage attribute on the document itself, loading all placeholders
//and saving the document under a new name with the language as suffix.
		
#include "internal/types.h"
#include "internal/products.h"

int main()
{
	String languageVariants = string::alloc("deDE;enEN");
	String languageVariant = string::alloc();
	int languageVariantsCount = string::token_count(languageVariants, ';');
	ItemList allFrames = 0;
	int framesCount = 0;
	int i = 0;
	int j = 0;
	int k = 0;
	ItemRef frame = item::alloc();
	Image preview = 0;
	String outPreviewPath = string::alloc();
	
	ItemRef doc = 0;
	
	String docName = string::alloc();
	String docNameShort = string::alloc();
	String outName = string::alloc();
	String outPath = string::alloc();
	
	//get the products from the product pool panel which are watched
	ProductList products = productlist::get("watched");
	int productsCount = productlist::length(products);
	
	Product currentProduct = 0;
	int productID1 = 0;
	int productID2 = 0;
	int productID3 = 0;
	String productStringID = string::alloc();
	String productName = string::alloc();
	
	if (!productsCount) {
		showmessage("You need to set some products watched in the product pool!");
		batch::stop();
		return 0;
	}

	//Make sure we only handle .ai input files
	wlog("", "Begin batch job for input file '%s'", gInFile);
	file::extender(inFileExtension, gInFile);
	if (string::compare(inFileExtension, "ai") != 0) {
		wlog("", "Skipping input file '%s' - not an Illustrator file.\n", gInFile);
		return 0;
	}

	//open the base document and prepare it
	doc = document::open(gInFile);
	if (!doc) {
		return 0;
	}
	document::select(doc);
	
	document::name(docName);
	wlog("", "Document name is:%s\n", docName);
	if (!string::length(docName)) {
		//no document opened
		return 0;
	}
	
	//iterate over all language variants
	for (k = 0; k < languageVariantsCount; k++) {
		string::set(languageVariant, string::token(languageVariants, ';', k));
		
		//now iterate over all products
		for (j = 0; j < productsCount; j++) {
			//fetch the frames from the document
			allFrames = itemlist::allframes_of_doc(doc);
			
			//set the language for the placeholders to load
			xml::set_document_attribute(doc, "gLanguage", languageVariant);
			
			//fetch the product ids so we can link all frames to this product
			currentProduct = productlist::get_nth(products, j);
			productID1 = product::get(currentProduct, kID);
			productID2 = product::get(currentProduct, kID2);
			productID3 = product::get(currentProduct, kID3);
			string::set(productStringID, product::gets(currentProduct, kStringID));
			string::set(productName, product::gets(currentProduct, kRow1));
			
			wlog(", "Linking all frames to product %d, %d, %d, '%s' - '%s'\n", productID1, productID2, productID3, productStringID, productName);
			
			//calculate the output name
			string::set(outName, "%s_%s_%s", file::shortname(docNameShort, docName), productName, languageVariant);
			wlog("", "Output name is:%s\n", outName);
			framesCount = itemlist::length(allFrames);
			
			wlog("", "Linking and loading %d frames\n", framesCount);
			for (i = 0; i < framesCount; i++) {
				itemlist::get(allFrames, frame, i);
				
				//link the frame to our current product...
				placeholder::link2(frame, 0, productID1, productID2, productID3, productStringID);
				
				//...and load the frame
				placeholder::load(frame);
			}
			
			string::set(outPath, "%s/%s.ai", gDestfolder, outName);	
			string::set(outPreviewPath, "%s/%s.png", gDestfolder, outName);
			
			wlog("", "Creating preview at %s\n", outPreviewPath);
			preview = image::snapshot_page(0, 1, kOriginalSize, "PNG");
			image::save(preview, outPreviewPath, 1);
			
			document::saveas(doc, outPath);
		}
	}

	if (doc)
		document::close(doc);
	}
	
	return 0;
}

There are several cScript functions available for driving the batch processing:

The panel has the classID 405