9.2 LabArchives Folder Monitor for Windows
Posted by on 06 May 2016 09:25 AM

The latest version of the LabArchives Folder Monitor utility allows you to upload files from your computer or designated drop boxes from your instruments to designated notebooks within LabArchives. In addition, it provides new options for specifying file types along with the ability to send files directly to folders within LabArchives notebooks.  


Quick links

Getting Started

Installation process

Log In for the customer without Single Sign-On

Log in with the Single Sign-On system

Creating an Upload Rule

When New Files are Found

Adding File Filters

Managing Multiple Rules

Folder Monitor Settings, Synchronize and Logout menu

Folder Monitor Indicators

Using Folder Monitor on a Shared Lab Computer

Common Problems when uploading files


Getting Started

To begin, you can find the program by clicking the triple bar icon at the top of any LabArchives page, go to "Downloads", and click "Folder Monitor", as shown below:



Note 1: Notice that there are two different downloads available: one for Windows, and one for Mac.

Note 2: Before you install the Folder Monitor 2, make sure to uninstall any older versions you have installed.


Installation process

When the file is downloaded and you have clicked on the file you will see the following screens.



  1. Preparation for installing the Folder Monitor. No action from the user is required.

  2. Welcome message, click "Next"

  3. The installer is ready to begin the installation. Click "Install".

  4. The installation begins and this could take some time. No action from the user is required.

  5. Installation is complete. The checkbox for launching the program is automatically checked. Click "Finish".


Signing in

If you log into LabArchives directly (using an email and password), then read and follow the instructions "Log In to the customer without Single Sign-On system."

If you log into LabArchives via your institution's Single Sign-On system, follow the instructions for "Log in to the Single Sign-On system".


Log In for the customer without Single Sign-On

Once you open the program for the first time, you will be prompted to log-in to LabArchives as shown below:


Use the same email and password you use to log-in to LabArchives.

Note: For Australia and New Zealand You will need to change the "Service URL" to


Log in with the Single Sign-On system

If your institution is using Single Sign-On access to LabArchives, follow these steps to obtain the plug-in credentials:

1. Log into your LabArchives account via a browser through your institution's Single Sign-On system.

2. Select "LA App Authentication" under the "User Management" menu.


3. A "Password token for external applications" screen will appear. The token can be used in lieu of a password to log into the account from the mobile app or MS Office. However, keep in mind there is a time limit for this token when it can be used (which is one hour). But if the token expires, a new one can always be generated.


Once you go through this procedure for each external module or application, the authentication credentials will be stored and you will not have to enter in a new token each time, as long as you save your credentials.After you log in, you will see the main Folder Monitor screen as shown below and you will be prompted to Add an Upload Rule:



Creating an Upload Rule

An upload rule allows you to identify the local folder that will be monitored, along with the criteria for types of files to be uploaded, and a location within your LabArchives account where files will be sent.

1. The first time you use Folder Monitor, the Upload Rule Editor will be open by default. Thereafter, you will need to click the Add Rule button on the top left of the page.  The Upload Rule Editor window appears as follows:


2. Give your rule a Description by typing in the box labeled as such at the top of this window.
3. Select the local folder you wish to monitor by clicking the folder button to () the right of the Local Source Folder box. A window will pop up where you may select your local folder.

4. The File Filters selection allows you to set the criteria for the type of files to upload.  By default, the filter will be set to All Files (*.*).  To see more options, click on the filter icon to () the right of the File Filters box. This will open the File Filter Selection box.  You can select one or more options from this list.  You can also add your own filter.  See Adding File Filters below for more information on adding custom filters.


5. Specify your preference for handling Sub-folders of the local source folder.  If your local source folder has sub-folders that contain files that match the file filter criteria for this rule, you have the following options for those sub-folders:  

  • Exclude: Use this option when you want to upload only the files in your source folder and ignore its sub-folders completely.  

  • Combine: Use this option when you want to combine all files in your local source folder and its sub-folder(s) and upload these as a group to a notebook.

  • Map: Use this option when you want to see the folder structure in your local source folder displayed in your notebook when the files are uploaded. With this option, folders and sub-folders will be created in the designated notebook following the same structure and naming convention used in your local source.  Files found in the local source folder or its subfolders will be organized into the mapped folders in your notebook.

6. Specify your
LabArchives Destination for the uploaded files. You can do this by clicking the select folder icon ( ) to the right of the LA Destination field. This will open the LabArchives Target Folder box displaying all the notebooks you see in your Notebook Navigator.  When you find the notebook where you want to add files, expand the selected notebook by clicking on plus sign and browse the folder hierarchy and then click on the folder to which you would like to upload files found in your local source folder.   Click on OK to complete the selection.   See Folder Monitor Settings below information on options for what notebooks are displayed.   Note that you must have Edit privileges on folders in notebooks that you do not own to be able to select one of these folders as a destination.


7. Specify whether you would like to Create Daily Pages. If you choose "Yes" (which is the default setting), a new page will be created for each new day files are uploaded. Daily Pages are a great choice if you are constantly uploading new files and would like to organize them by date. Each Daily Page has the name formula: yyyy-mm-dd.n, where n is the number of the page created on that day. For instance, the first page of files uploaded on May 15th, 2015 will have the name 2015-05-15.1. When that page reaches its file limit within the same day, a new page is created with the name 2015-05-15.2.   If you choose "No", the uploaded files will accumulate on a single page until the maximum number of files is met.  

8. Specify the Max Entries per Page.  The default number is 20.  When the maximum number of files is met for a page, a new page is created for additional files.

9. Click on OK to save your Upload Rule.  The new rule will be displayed in the main Folder Monitor window where you will see the Name (the Description), Local Folder info, the Filter, the Subfolder option, LA Destination, and Max Entries.


When New Files are Found:

When you create a new rule and files found that match the filter criteria, the New Files Found window will appear displaying all files found within the source folder that qualifies for upload based on the rule's details within a table. Notice that directly above the table are two choices: "Upload all files except selected below" and "Ignore all files except selected below". Use these buttons as well as the checkboxes below to exclude any particular file(s) from upload as desired. Click OK, and the uploading process will begin.  If this is the first time you are running a rule that has found a large number of files, the upload process can take some time.

Note that each time you log back into LabArchives and new files have been found in your local source folder and/or its sub-folders, you will see the New Files Found window with the same options to upload files.  However, if you are running Folder Monitor and new files are found, those will be uploaded automatically.  The source folder is constantly being monitored, but you will only be asked to approve the files to be uploaded when the rule is first created or if you are re-connecting to Folder Monitor.


Adding File Filters:

You can further refine your Upload Rule by adding File Filters that are not part of the default set.  This allows you to upload only files with "unusual" extensions or to use wildcards to identify very specific files.  To create your own filters, open the File Filters Selection box and click on Add Filter.



In the top box, enter the name for your filter. In the box below, type all of the file name patterns that fall under the filter that you want to create, separated by commas. You can use the wildcard designator "*" to represent multiple characters, or the "?" to represent a single character.  If you wanted to create a filter that only accepted .xpt and .sk2 files, type "*.sk2, *.xpt" in this box.  If you wanted to create a filter that would upload files of any type that had the word "JDoe" in the file name, type in "*JDoe*"  and it would find files such as Expt_2015_JDoe.xlsx or DataJDoe.jpg.  Click on OK to save the filter and the new filter will be added to the File Filter Selection list, where you can check or uncheck the filter to turn it on/off just like any other filter.


Managing Multiple Rules:

As you add multiple Upload Rules, it is important to know that the order of rules matters:

Newly found files can only be uploaded to one LabArchives destination.  If a new file meets the upload criteria for more than one rule in your Folder Monitor, it will be uploaded based on the first rule it matches only.  It will not be uploaded to multiple notebooks.  

Therefore, you may want to change the position of or manage your rules accordingly.  You can do this by clicking on a rule and then accessing the array of buttons in the upper left of the Folder Monitor main window, shown below:


  • Using the "Move Up" and "Move Down" buttons, you can choose the vertical order in which your rules appear.  This will allow you to ensure that matching files follow the first upload rule if there is more than one rule that would "find" the same file.

  • To delete a rule you don't want anymore, select the rule with your cursor and click the "Delete" button.

  • If you want to make a rule very similar to a pre-existing one, then try the "Duplicate" option. With this option, you can quickly make a copy of a rule and then edit it to add the small differences.

  • As shown before, you can edit a pre-existing rule by selecting it with your cursor and clicking the "Edit" button.  


Folder Monitor Settings, Synchronize and Logout menu:

In the upper right of the screen is the Settings and Synchronize Menu, which is shown below:


In the settings menu, you have the following options:


  • Start Automatically:  Checking this box makes Folder Monitor start automatically after the machine starts up.

  • Show Hidden Notebooks: Checking this box will include notebooks in the LabArchives Target Folder box that you have removed from the Notebook Navigator list (via Notebook Manager).

  • Show Student Notebooks: Checking this box will include Student LabArchives Notebooks in the list displayed in the LabArchives Target Folder box.

NOTE:  If you are using Folder Monitor on a shared computer, the first setting applies to the computer so it will apply to all users; however, the other two settings are user specific.

In the Synchronize menu, you can Syncronize your Folder Monitor rules without having to log out and in again.


Folder Monitor Indicators:

On the bottom left of this window are three different indicators, pictured below:


  • The Connection Indicator shows whether you are connected to the LabArchives Service. It will read either "Connected" or "Disconnected".

  • The Account Indicator shows the name of the LabArchives account you are connected to. If there is no connection, this indicator reads "none".

  • The Last Upload Indicator shows the time of the Last Upload. If you are disconnected, the indicator reads N/A. If you are connected but have not yet uploaded anything, it will read "Never this session". A time will only display if you are connected and files have already been uploaded in the same session that Folder Monitor was opened.


Using Folder Monitor on a Shared Lab Computer:

In some labs, equipment-generated files may be sent to a single, shared computer.  Multiple users can set up their own Folder Monitor rules without any conflict between the different users' rules sets.  Each user will need to login to Folder Monitor with their LabArchives account information.  It is important to note that only the currently logged-in user’s folders will be monitored. Therefore, users will need to take turns logging in (and out) when someone needs to have files uploaded to their notebook.

Common Problems when Uploading Files

Forbidden characters

It has come to our attention that some instrument can generate filenames that contain forbidden characters. The following characters can cause a problem if they are a part of the file name.

 < (less than)
 > (greater than)
 : (colon)
 " (double quote)
 / (forward slash)
 \ (backslash)
 | (vertical bar or pipe)
 ? (question mark)
 * (asterisk)

The size of the folder and individual files can prevent the files to be uploaded

When the source folder is approaching 1 GB in size it can sometimes prevent the upload from starting and make Folder Monitor shut down. When this happens, we recommend that the user split the folder into subfolders or create rules for each sub-folder instead. It's not the number of files, but the size of the combined folder that is causing the problem. Also, keep in mind that Folder Monitor will not upload files larger than 250MB.
Various limits for number of characters in file and path names


Maximum number of characters

All components together including null terminator
  260 Limit imposed by Windows OS.
All components without null terminator. (Disk or volume plus folders plus file)
  259 Actual limit since null terminator always uses up one character.
All folders plus file
  256 Number left after allowing three characters for disk or volume name.
  255 Limit imposed for any one object. Practical limit likely to be less unless file is in the root directory.
All folders
  244 Limit for folders imposed by the need to reserve characters for alternate 8.3 short names for files.



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