1. General

Laidback Solutions recommend the user of FileTrain to read this guide thouroughly in purpose to fully understand the complex features and possibilities of FileTrain.

Images shown in this manual are from the Mac OSX version of FileTrain. All images may be clicked to be viewed in a bigger size.

For more information, updated FAQ, version updates, plug-ins etcetera, please visit www.laidbacksolutions.se

Mulltiple instances of FileTrain

If more than one FileTrain is running with a complete or partly equal setup there is inevitable that the two instances will be in conflict with each other and unexpexted behaviour willl be the result.

Make sure that only ONE instance of FileTrain is running!
If you are running FileTrain as a Windows service and starts the regular application, make sure to stop all the stations to prevent such unexpected behaviour.

1.1 What is FileTrain

FileTrain is a powerful tool created to simplify and automate static workflow handling of digital material. FileTrain comes with a set of advanced routing options and the default features will cover most workflows. Through plugins it is possible to extend the functionality for very advanced customization such as complex database conections and third party system integrations.

The default FileTrain can read both local and mounted network drives as well as FTP folders and email servers. The filtering of the existing objects on these locations enables more sophisticated handling depending on for example file name or content such as IPTC or XMP content. The detected files and folders may be handled in many different ways including moving, copying, sending email and put to external FTP servers.

FileTrain has many dynamic features such as changing file names dynamically (e.g. handling advanced math or date conversions to produce a new file or folder name). The advanced features also include conditions and file content parsing.

FileTrain is able to handle connections to FTP servers with regular FTP, SFTP and FTPS.

1.2 Requirements

FileTrain runs on Macintosh OSX and Windows. A java runtime, minimum version 1.5, is required for FileTrain to run. For windows platform there is a special version of FileTrain with a built-in Java runtime which will work only with FileTrain. This special version does not require any pre-installed java runtime.


Most Windows systems have no default Java runtime installed. Make sure that;
(i) a Java runtime installed and
(ii) the version of the Java runtime is at least 1.5.

To get help about your Java version, download your free Java and more, please visit http://www.java.com

Macintosh OSX

A Java runtime is installed in the operating system on Macintosh OSX.

To get help about your Java version, upgrade your free Java and more, please visit http://www.java.com

1.3 Plugins

The default set of features in FileTrain will cover most regular and advanced workflows. To enable special features such as searching databases etc. it is possible to implement plugins.

There are three different kinds of plug-ins in FileTrain, sources, filters and actions.

Sources are the modules which handle the searching of files or other objects. The default set of sources includes;

  1. Files and folders located on a local or remote network drive
  2. Files located on a FTP server
  3. Emails.
  4. Timers (with no need for actual objects to invoke handling in FileTrain)

Other sources that can be used via extended plug-ins may be databases or advanced folder handling where a file is dependent on another.

The filters will select which objects to handle. The default set of filters will cover most situations however it is possible to implement special filters.

The action sets are the actual handling of an object. In a basic workflow this is merely moving or copying a file or folder but the default set of actions in FileTrain also includes handling such as sending emails, uploading the files to various FTP sites and also expanding files. Special handling may involve IPTC-routing etc.

The sources and actions may fail in different ways while they are working and for this reason a special kind of action was introduced in FileTrain version 5. These error handling actions will be invoked when an error occur and this action may involve sending an email to an administrator or move the file that caused the problem to a certain error folder for example.

Even though FileTrain is shipped with a large set of components enabling very advance workflows the extended feature to create plugins separately makes FileTrain a complete tool for any possible digital workflow.

Failure loading plugin

If a plugin is failing to load at startup this plugin will be removed and not loaded the next time FileTrain starts.


1.4 Windows service

A service is a non-graphical process that will run in the background without any graphical user interface. Before running FileTrain as a service it is needed to do a setup of FileTrain. This is done by opening the regular FileTrain application. After the setup is done the service may be installed (use the File menu in FileTrain application) and started. The installed service will be in automatic mode which means it will automatically be started when the computer is restarted (this may be changed by the user in the systems service control dialog). However the service does not automatically start when it is installed, to start the service you finish the setup and close the normal FileTrain, then start the service in the system service control dialog.

FileTrain running both as service and desktop application
If FileTrain is running as a service AND as a regular desktop application the two instances might be in conflict with each other and unexpexted behaviour may occur in FileTrain.
Make sure that only ONE instance of FileTrain is running!
If you are running FileTrain as a Windows service and starts the regular application, make sure to stop all the stations to prevent such unexpected behaviour.

1.5 Files

The log files contains information about the FileTrain processes. These log files are vital in case you have a problem with your FileTrain, you may send a support case directly from FileTrain which automatically will include all necessary log files in the support case.

The preferences contains the current settings for FileTrain.

The cache files are used internally in FileTrain to remember it's state when restarted.

The files are default kept in the following locations. Note that you may change the folder for log and cache via the preferences dialog in FileTrain.

Log: user home/Library/Logs/FileTrain

Pref: user home/Library/Preferences/FileTrain/FileTrainSetup.xml
user home/Library/Preferences/FileTrain/FileTrainCore.xml (this file will be written if there is not enough rights to use the system local preferences node)

Cache: user home/Library/Caches/FileTrain


Log: user home/AppData/Local/FileTrain/Logs

Pref: user home/AppData/Local/FileTrain/Preferences/FileTrainSetup.xml
user home/AppData/Local/FileTrain/Preferences/FileTrainCore.xml (this file will be written if there is not enough rights to use the system local preferences node)

Cache: user home/AppData/Local/FileTrain/Caches


Backup files

Auto backup

Every 12th hour a safety backup of the preference file is copied to the folder -autoBackup found in the general preference folder. These safety backups are saved 30 days before automatically deleted by FileTrain.

Version backup

If a new version of FileTrain is installed and started the old preferences will be saved as a safety backup in case you want to start the old FileTrain later. These version backup files are found in the folder -versionBackup found in the preferences folder.

1.6 Help/Support

From within FileTrain you may send a support case directly to Laidback. FileTrain will automatically collect all relevant log files and setup information about your FileTrain and send these as a new support arrend.

To be able to get as much information as possible in a support case it is recommended to do the following in case of an error in Filetrain;

  1. Turn on ALL as log level (done in preferences dialog)
  2. Run FileTrain so the error occurs
  3. Go to the support tab in FileTrain main window and create a new support case (please give as much detailed information as possible when describing the problem)

Note that it is not recommended to run FileTrain on log level ALL for a longer period of time since this will cause a lot of log files which may effect FileTrain performance in a bad way.


Default the support case is uploading log files to ane xternal FTP and then sends a support email via Laidback SMTP servers. If Filetrain is running from behind a firewall which is not allowing this SMTP to be used you may in the preferences dialog select another SMTP server. The list of SMTP servers is taken from the SMTP configuration within FileTrain.