Dropzone Basics

The Datasource object represents external data sources in the I/O model of system:inmation and can be configured to be the interface to OPC servers or any other data producing source. When the Datasource is configured as a Dropzone it provides an interface to any file-based data you wish to import into your system. The Dropzone can be created underneath a Connector object like any other datasource object and must be linked to a "Disk Folder" that will be the "Drop" location for any files that are imported. The Dropzone must then be configured to specifically process the type and format of your import files In the following examples, we will demonstrate how to create and configure a Dropzone data source to handle different file formats. Although it is impossible to cover every individual file format that you may encounter, this guide should enable you (with some trial and error) to identify the steps you need to take to successfully import data files.

Creating a Dropzone Datasource

The first step is to create a Dropzone Datasource under a Connector in your I/O model in DataStudio (see the Infrastructure Hands On guide for information on creating a Connector object). You can create the Dropzone under either a local or a remote Connector, however, if using a remote Connector remember that the Disk Folder where you copy the files for import should be on the same machine as the Connector.

  1. To create a Dropzone datasource in DataStudio, select a Connector in the I/O model, right-click and select Admin → New → External Interfaces → Datasource to open the Create Object wizard:

    Create Datasource
    Figure 1. Create Datasource
  2. In the Create Object wizard, give the datasource a name and click the Next.

    Create Datasource Wizard
    Figure 2. Create Datasource Wizard
  3. On the Server type page of the wizard, select Dropzone as the server type from the drop-down menu.

    Create Datasource Wizard - Server Type
    Figure 3. Create Datasource Wizard - Server Type
  4. In the Disk folder, enter the filepath location of the folder you wish to use as the drop point to import files. In the inmation.root folder there is a “drop” folder that contains various sub-folders that can be used as the disk folder, but you can choose an alternative folder location if you wish. If the folder does not already exist, it will be created when the Dropzone object is created.

    Create Datasource Wizard - Disk Folder
    Figure 4. Create Datasource Wizard - Disk Folder
  5. The rest of the options on this page determine the types of files that can be imported by the dropzone object (txt and csv are selected as default) and the configuration to parse the import file. The following sections will cover the Dropzone Processing options in detail. If you already know the Dropzone Processing option suitable for your file type, select it from the drop-down menu, otherwise select Column Based from the Dropzone.

    Create Datasource Wizard - Dropzone Processing
    Figure 5. Create Datasource Wizard - Dropzone Processing
  6. Click on the arrow by Dropzone Options to expand the configuration options. Then expand the Dropzone New Item Preset options and the Value Storage Strategy sections (you may need to scroll down) and check the Raw History checkbox.

    Create Datasource Wizard - Archive Raw History
    Figure 6. Create Datasource Wizard - Archive Raw History
    File data imported using Dropzone is fundamentally historical data, therefore, the Dropzone preset options should usually be configured to archive history. Otherwise any history calls made on items will indicate that there is no data in the archive.
  7. Click Create to create the Dropzone object in the I/O Model tree.