Creating an archive transforms copies of a set of objects (folders, documents, discussion forums etc.) into one compact document, thus saving storage space and download time. Archives are especially useful for downloading numerous or big files. You may also encode the resulting archive document – usually with the aim of further reducing the size of an archive.
On the one hand, you may archive objects in BSCW in order to download the archive to your local computer, extract the original files there or to send the whole archive per e-mail to some other person. On the other hand, you may pack local files and folders into an archive (Zip or Tar), upload the archive to a BSCW workspace and extract the original files and folders. You may also archive entire BSCW workspaces in order to extract them on the same or some other BSCW server at a later point in time.
You may optionally also have BSCW metadata archived along with the objects. The optional archiving of metadata in form of an XML file supplies additional information on the objects archived and may be evaluated automatically by other programs. When extracting an archive with metadata on a BSCW server of version 5.0 or later, the objects are restored along with their metadata.
You should take into account that not all types of objects may be archived and that not all metadata – such as event history, attachments or ratings for example – may be archived. This means that archiving and extraction without any loss of information is not possible. Details on which object types and which metadata may be archived are to be found below in this section.
In order to archive a set of objects you proceed as follows.
• Select (check-mark) the entries of the objects that you want to include in the archive file. Your clipboard may be helpful in bringing together objects from ‘distant’ locations that you want to include in one archive file.
• Click in the multi-selection toolbar to bring up the ‘Archive’ form. It includes a list of the archive types that your BSCW server can produce, and of the encoding methods that may be applied to the archive file. The archive types and encoding methods offered depend on the configuration of your BSCW server.
• Change the name of the archive if necessary.
• Click one of the ‘Storage’ options to specify what to do with the archive: download only, add to clipboard or add to current folder.
• Under ‘Options’ you may activate additional features when creating the archive:
the option ‘create index file’ if BSCW is to create an index file of the entries
archived. The file
index.html is a table of contents of the
archive also containing some metadata like the descriptions of the
the option ‘create metadata file’ if BSCW is to create an XML file
.bscw containing some metadata of the objects archived. This
minimizes loss of information when the archive is extracted again on the
same or another BSCW server. Which metadata may be archived at all is
• Check the option ‘include document versions’ to have all document versions archived. If you leave this option unchecked, only the latest version of versioned documents will be archived.
• Check the option ‘select character set for file names automatically’ to let BSCW automatically select the character set for encoding of the file names in the archive. If you uncheck this option the Unicode character set UTF-8 is selected, which on some operating systems may cause problems when extracting the archive.
• Select the archive type which fits your local computer platform and eventually select the encoding/compression to be applied.
• Start archiving by clicking [OK].
With smaller archives, the message ‘Archive created’ appears with a link to the archive and a list of the objects that could not be archived. The types of objects that cannot be archived are listed below. If the option ‘download only’ has been selected, the archive created is offered for immediate download.
With bigger archives, the archiving process is executed in background. In this case, the message ‘Archiving in progress’ appears and you will receive an e-mail message to your primary address when archiving has been completed. This message contains a link to the archive and a list of those objects that could not be archived.
If you have chosen the option ‘download only’ with bigger archives, the archive is appended to the notification e-mail message or – with very large archives – is stored in your clipboard; in the latter case the notification contains a link to the archive.
Note: In order to open archives downloaded to a local computer, the necessary extraction programs have to be installed and the Web browser has to be configured to start these programs when archive files of the respective file types are encountered. When encoding is used, matching decoding programs have to be installed and the Web browser has to be configured to start these programs when encoded archive files of the respective file types are encountered.
In order to upload local files to a workspace via the archive mechanism you proceed as follows:
• Create an archive of the files you want to upload on your local computer (Zip or Tar archives depending on your platform; also an e-mail message with documents attached will work as an RFC822 archive if available on your BSCW server).
• Upload the archive document to one of your workspaces.
• Extract the original files by invoking Extract in the action menu of the archive document. This will create the original files as documents in your clipboard.
With smaller archives, a message ‘Archive extracted’ appears along with a list of the objects extracted.
With bigger archives, you receive a message ‘Extraction in progress’ – extraction is executed in the background. You will be informed by a further message when extraction has been completed.
• Files extracted to your clipboard are ready to be pasted to some appropriate place in your folder hierarchy.
The following types of object may be archived:
o contact lists and contacts
o calendars and appointments
o blogs and discussion forums with notes
o website folders
o URL objects and RSS folders
Such objects are restituted from an archive in all essential aspects during extraction, if metadata have been archived as well. With other object types, e.g. tasks or flow folders, many details are lost when extracted from an archive.
The following types of objects cannot be archived:
o polls, votings and appointment schedulings
o workspace portals and their widgets
The following metadata may optionally be archived:
o name, description and further details of objects archived,
o creator and date of creation,
o BSCW specific data like object type and object number.
o events and history (apart from creation and the extraction itself),
o members and access rights, i.e. workspaces are archived as ordinary folders,
o attachments and ratings,
o automatic versioning options concerning documents and folders,
o locks and versions of documents,
o participants, reminders, tags and user-defined attributes of appointments,
o start and end dates of projects, phases and tasks,
o responsibles, states and details of tasks and flow folders.