Archiving within Sierra
There are two different ways of archiving jobs within Sierra, manually and setting up an automated schedule. There are pros and cons for each method, and hopefully by the end of this, you will find what works best for you. First, we will discuss the basic job archive settings. Click on the Admin option in your Sierra Client.
Here, you will select the Archiver option to see your basic settings and archive schedule.
This window will display:
Archiver module - We suggest that the Archiver module is always running. It doesn’t take up much system resources to run in the background. It only causes a noticeable effect on the system when it is actively archiving or restoring a job.
Archive List and Archive Logs
Archiver schedule - If you never plan on running an automated archive schedule, you can just set this to never. We will cover automated archiving later.
Location of your archive - We strongly suggest that you set your Archive location to a local drive (hard drive that exists on the Sierra Server PC). While you can choose a network drive, or a USB drive for the target location, it may cause errors or other major issues while archiving. We suggest saving the files locally, them manually copying them to an external drive.
Naming conventions - Folder templates can be used to place your archive files in a separate folder based on certain criteria. The most common is creating a folder automatically based on the date of the archive itself. File name templates let you choose what name you would like your job archives to have. The example in the screen shot show that the archive will be named as Job Name (the name of your job as it appears in the queue)_Job ID (the Sierra ID)_Date (Date of the archive).
Archive contents - The Archiver contents determine what is actually archived. Although you can select all four options, we suggest not clicking on the Third Party Compatibility, or the Rendered files options. Both of these options create exceptionally large files.
To change any of the settings, click on the Edit Settings button in the bottom right corner of this window. Once you have your basic settings, you need to decide how you are archiving your files: Manual or Automated?
Manually archiving, while slow and a bit more labor intensive, does give you immediate verifiable results. To manually archive, select your job(s) in the queue, and click on the archive button in the very top of the Queue window.
This will bring up a small dialogue box. Here you will just click on Archive the Job now. If you are ever using an automated archive process, make sure you turn on Disable Subsequent Automated Archive. That way, you will not have two separate archives for the same job.
This will automatically archive the jobs one at a time, locking each job one at a time while the archive is processing that specific job. This will have an effect on your system’s overall performance. If other users are processing jobs in Sierra at the same time, there may be a bit some lag. When the files are complete, you can verify that the archived files are correct, and move them to their final storage location (if applicable).
Automated archiving is a simpler option, but requires a bit more work to setup. The first thing you will need to do is determine when the automated archive will happen. You will need to set this for a time when the Sierra Server PC is on, as well as any network locations to which you may be saving your job archives. Click on the Edit Settings of the Archive window.
This will bring up a second window where you can change the settings. You will need to decide how often you want Sierra to archive jobs, and then when specifically. Most customers have Sierra archive once a week around midnight. Click OK when you are happy with your settings. Remember that you need to pick a time when you know the Sierra Server PC will be on, and the Server application is going to be running.
Now you have set the schedule, but now you need to configure the individual jobs to archive. If you have been manually archiving jobs (or not archiving at all), and want to make the switch to automated archiving, there will be a bit of a transition between the setups. The first step is to go into your job templates, and make the required changes for all new jobs coming into your system. You will need to do this for all of your job templates that you want Sierra to automatically archive.
As soon as you click Edit, you will need to change your job settings. You will likely have to click on the black triangle to show the icon fully.
Click on the Archiver Automation icon. This will show you the options available.
First you need to determine the Trigger. What is the specific item that will flag this job for archiving? Below is the list of items, and the benefits/drawbacks of each.
After Due Date – This is only helpful if you use due dates in your Sierra system. If it is only occasionally (or never) used, then this option is not for you.
After Last Activity – This will archive the job after a set time of inactivity. If you open a job, then close it (changing nothing), that does not change the date of activity. I personally like this option, as you can set it for a set time after the last operator has made any changes.
After Job Completion – This sounds like the best option, but if the job does not read as 100% complete, this will not Archive. For example, if you have everything finished, then the Press operator needs CIP data resent, you have to retry the plates to recreate that file. Your plate output is now 67%. As it is not complete, it will never cause the trigger for archiving.
Now you need to decide when (after the trigger) the jobs will be archived, and/or deleted. We always recommend that if you are archiving and deleting jobs from the queue, the deletion trigger should always be at least a day after the archive trigger date. The reason is that if both items are set for the same number of days, and there is a lag in the archive, Sierra could delete jobs before they are actually archived. Be sure to save the job template when you are done.
This will take care of any new jobs from this point on, but does not affect any jobs already in your queue, or any archived jobs that you restore. Those jobs will have to have the job setting adjusted manually for automated archival, or continue to be manually archived and deleted.