ImportBot – Workflow and Setup (EN)

What is the FTP ProductionBot? The FTP ProductionBot is an automated production solution for ePaper output on the Smarticle platform. The main benefit of the FTP ProductionBot: PDFs are automatically produced after they have been uploaded to the Smarticle or customer FTP server. The old 3DZ.creator (editor) is no longer needed for the entire process.Please make sure that the FTP server supports “Transfer Mode: Passive”. Otherwise the ProductionBot can not pick up the required issues.An enrichment of the magazines is possible with links and videos via the corresponding add-on.

FTP ProductionBot Workflow

If you have downloaded the PDF file on our or your own server, our automatic production robot performs the following steps:

  1. Get your PDFs
  2. Generates one issue per PDF in the corresponding title group
  3. Load the PDF into the issue
  4. Rename the issue – according to the filename guidelines (see below )
  5. Sets the publication date
  6. Executes all required exports (eg mobile export)

You will receive an e-mail notification upon successful completion of the magazine creation. Also, errors will be notified by e-mail.

FTP ProductionBot Setup

The setup of the FTP ProductionBot takes place in your customer dashboard on the Smarticle platform at the group settings level (title groups).


  • Smarticle account (contact your account manager if required)
  • SFTP or FTP server credentials (SFTP recommended)
  • PDFs of magazine issues, created according to our PDF guidelines

If all requirements are met, follow these instructions to set up:

1 Select desired title group in Smarticle – Click group name

Choose desired title group

2 Activate the FTP ProductionBot in the group settings

Group Settings: Enable FTP ProductionBot

3 Specify your notification emailUpdate all FTP settingsDo not forget to test the connectionFinally, save everything and activate it

Enter connection credentials and test connection

4 Please check the options, change them if necessary

Please note options – change settings  

File formats, file extensions and file names

  1. File formats The FTP ProductionBot accepts only two file formats, PDF and XML.PDF files must comply with our PDF guidelines .XML files: Import of existing XML files is also possible – please refer to the notes in the separate support document .
  2. File extensions: As file extensions, .pdf and .zip are accepted.A PDF file (.pdf) is processed as an issue.The following rules apply to ZIP files:ZIP file contains ONE PDF: is processed as ONE issueZIP file contains MULTIPLE PDF files: the different PDFs are merged into ONE issueYou can save .pdf and .zip files also in your server directory.It is crucial that all files in the directory respect the conditions for the file name:
  3. Filenames – Basics: JJJJMMTT_HH_MM_Issuename.pdf or JJJJMMTT_HH_MM_Issuename.zipFrom JJJJMMDD_HH_MM the release date of the output is generated. This may be in the past or future.Date: JJJJ = year (eg 2017)Date: MM = month (eg 11)Date: TT = day (eg 22)Time: HH = hour (eg 09)Time: MM = minute (eg 23)Example: 20171122_09_23 → the bot is generated as 11. November 2017 09.23 UhrFrom Issue Name, the title of the output is generated. Uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and the following special characters can be used: _ « » – . The underscore _ is resolved as a space. The ( -slash- ) string -slash- is resolved as -slash- /.If you want to use German umlauts, special characters, and sharp S in the file name, you can use the following strings to sort them: -point- =. -point- =.  -hash- = #  -ue- = ü  -oe- = ö  -ae- = ä  -ss- = ßSpaces are not allowed in the output name!Example of a title: ABC-Testmagazin_03-slash-2017 → from this the bot generates: ABC-Testmagazin 03/2017Complete example: 20171122_09_23_ABC-Testmagazin_03-slash-2017.pdf
  4. Filenames – Year of Issue and Volume: The above filename schema is expandable by a year for all editions of a year, as well as a volume, with the following conventions for the FTP ProductionBot:Default, JJJJMMTT_HH_MM_Issuename.pdf + Volume ( JJJJMMTT_HH_MM_Issuename.pdf ): JJJJMMTT_HH_MM_Issuename.pdfBoth , year of issue + volume set: YEAR_VOLUME_ JJJJMMTT_HH_MM_Ausgabenname.pdfExample: 2017_Q4-17_20171207_10_00_MeineAusgabe.pdfOutput year set – Volume not set: YEAR__ JJJJMMTT_HH_MM_Ausgabenname.pdfNote: 2 underscores after YEARExample: 2017__20171207_10_00_MeineAusgabe.pdfIssue year not set – volume set: _VOLUME_ JJJJMMTT_HH_MM_ISSUENAME.pdfNote: 1 underscore before and after VOLUMEExample: _Q4-17_20171207_10_00_MeineAusgabe.pdf

Please note: The following strings for the issue name of the ePaper are “locked” as they are used for the -replace-page-{Seitenzahl} add-on : -replace and -replace-page-{Seitenzahl} . In addition, the string -slash- is locked for the slash /.

Using ZIP files: Files within a .zip archive may only be named with the following characters: [0-9a-zA-Z_«»-]*[0-9]+\ . The respective file name must end with a numeral, z. Eg page 01.pdf

Use of special characters:Special characters like & $ @ . ä ö ü ß & $ @ . ä ö ü ß ,  the space SPACE and others cause the FTP ProductionBot to stop and abort the entire import!

Weitere Support-Artikel:

PDF Upload Guidelines (EN)

[This document in German / auf Deutsch]  PDF is a very complex format that allows you to make a wide range of settings. Therefore, it