Workflow Automation

Integrating and automating HELIOS applications with other server-based and client-based applications, processes, and workflows
  • Server hot folders
  • Automation via scripting
  • Advanced printing workflow
  • Distributed and scalable automation
  • Mac, Windows, and Web clients

Meeting deadlines and budgets requires cutting time and overhead from every process. Automating processes and workflows can streamline production, to improve efficiency, reliability, and quality. HELIOS server solutions are designed with this in mind. Not only can the HELIOS processes be automated, but HELIOS Script Server and Tool Server enable the easy integration and automation of 3rd party server applications, as well as client applications.

HELIOS has a tradition of taking complex and high-performance server solutions, and making them easy to use for Mac, Windows, and web clients. Users simply see print queues, server network volumes, or hot folders. Anything that can be accomplished via these user interfaces can also be fully automated. So a print job sent to a HELIOS Create PDF print queue can be automatically preflighted, and a proof automatically generated. Or images uploaded to a hot folder via WebShare can be automatically converted to another file format and color space. Or a digital asset management (DAM) system could be notified of incoming files for automatic cataloging, with previews created by HELIOS ImageServer.

Remote workflows can be enabled by sharing Script Server hot folders via HELIOS WebShare. Remote proofing, PDF preflight, image conversion, and more can be accessible anywhere. WebShare also supports Action Scripts, which can be chosen from a menu list to act upon any selected files.

Many server or client applications with command line or other automation support can be automated and integrated to work together in a single workflow.

With the new HELIOS ScriptAssistant application, hot folder workflow setup is now child's play. ScriptAssistant simplifies the creation of scripts for the HELIOS Script Server hot folder automation system. Now automating image conversion, PDF printing, PostScript printing, and PDF-native OPI is possible for any user. Even automation of client applications via HELIOS Tool Server is only a few clicks away. Simply select the desired options, and ScriptAssistant will create a Perl script, ready for use by Script Server.

The secret to the HELIOS automation is that HELIOS Script Server and Tool Server take care of the infrastructure. All of the complexity is handled behind the scenes via the automation frameworks:

Script Server:
  • Setup and administration with HELIOS Admin
  • Event driven – much faster and more efficient than polling
  • Individual folders or entire HELIOS volumes can act as hot folders for Mac, Windows, and web clients
  • Only events containing the folder path are processed by the Script Server
  • File type & suffix recognition, with wildcard support
  • Queuing, logging built-in
  • True server solution – implemented as a background server service

 

Tool Server:
  • Automates remote applications
  • Load-balancing and fail safety
  • Automatic configuration, find Tool Servers via Bonjour
  • Job dispatching, monitoring and reliability
  • Separate process for each job with error handling and cleanup

As a result, administrators only need to script the actual procedure they want to automate. And a library of ready to use or modify sample scripts and Tools is included to make this process easy.

20 sample scripts included
(with source code):


action-psd-cs2.pl archiver.pl
convert2Lab.pl convpdf2eps.pl
eps2jpeg.pl HTML2PDF.pl
inspectPDF.pl PDF2BMP.pl
pdfflatten.pl pdfresolve.pl
printpdf.pl printpdfOptions.pl
printps.pl printtext.pl
setimgdpi.pl setimgsize.pl
sharpen-psd.pl splitPDF.pl
webjpeg.pl webpicts.pl

Broad selection of 3rd party scripts available.

HELIOS Scripting Solutions

Available Tools from HELIOS:
  • PDF flattening (Mac/Windows)
  • HTML- to-PDF conversion (Mac)
  • Japanese PDF preview generation (Mac)
  • Word, Excel, PowerPoint PDF conversion (Windows requires Office 2007)
Sample Tools (Source code included):
  • Visual Basic Tool automation sample on Windows
  • AppleScript automation sample on Windows
  • Perl automation sample for UNIX, Mac, and Windows
  • REALbasic sample tool for Linux, Mac, and Windows

The cross-platform HELIOS Admin is then used to assign the script to act upon a volume, print queue, or hot folder. Users and administrators can also use HELIOS Admin to monitor and manage Script Server and Tools Server jobs in progress, and review logs.

HELIOS has made workflow automation not only possible, but also practical.

Read the HELIOS white paper “Integrating and automating HELIOS applications” for how to get started now (PDF)