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This is an example of using the File Connector to load an XML file that contains a single document. See Loading XML Content for other examples. 

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File Connector, Single Document per File

Since our sample file contains only one document, we we'll use a File Connector and the xmlIngest workflow to load the document. The exercise involves the following steps:

  1. Edit the project's schema.xml file to add some new fields, as described in a following section.
  2. Create a File Connector (OneDocPerFileConnector) that opens the book.xml file in c:\documents, and turns the contents into a single IngestDocument. Send this IngestDocument to the standard xmlIngest workflow.
  3. It will be necessary to configure the xPathExtractor component of the xmlIngest workflow to copy values from the XML elements to IngestDocument fields.
  4. Run the OneDocPerFileConnector and inspect the resulting records in SAIL. Verify that we got a single book, and that the content fields are as expected.

The next few subsections demonstration how to use the AIE Administrator to accomplish these steps.

Setting Up the Demonstration

We need to create a project and make some modifications in it before running AIE.

Create the Project

Create a new project that includes the demo group of AIE Modules. (None of the modules in the demo group is necessary to XML ingestion.)

aie-exec createProject -n xmlbooks -g demo -o c:\attivio-projects

Do not start AIE at this time. We need to edit the project's schema file first.

Mapping XML Elements to AIE Index Fields

We will be using a workflow transformer to map XML elements into AIE schema fields. This creates an issue. The schema for AIE's index is very robust, but it does not contain every imaginable XML element. We'll have to compare the schema to the XML document to see:

There are five attribute elements in a <book> description.  In this case, it turns out that the AIE Schema contains fields that exactly, or at least adequately, match most of the elements of the XML document:

XML Elements

AIE Schema Fields











However, we are going to need two additional fields. The XML contains firstname and lastname elements that are not in the AIE schema.

      <!--existing field descriptions...-->
	  <!-- add these new fields to handle the new fields from the xml elements -->
      <field name="firstname" type="string" indexed="true" stored="true" facet="false"/>
      <field name="lastname" type="string" indexed="true" stored="true" facet="false"/>

Setting Up the Target File

To experiment with XML ingestion, we need to create a directory and put a XML source file in it.

In this exercise we used the following source directory:


The file book.xml is our example of a file that contains a single document.

<?xml version='1.0'?>
  <book id="100">
    <title>Adventures of Tom Sawyer</title>
    <description>Mark Twain's classic about growing up in Missouri.  Tom Sawyer paints a fence, attends his own funeral,
    and gets himself locked in a dark cave.

Note that the document id number is coded as an attribute of the <book> element.  This lets us demonstrate how to extract attribute values as well as element values.

We placed a copy of this file in our source directory.

Start AIE

Start AIE with the new project. Use the start-aie-local.bat file (Windows) or the file (Linux) in the project directory.

Create the OneDocPerFileConnector

Open the AIE Administrator and navigate to System Management > Connectors. Click the New link. This opens the New Connector dialog box. Select File Connector and click OK.


On the Scanner tab of the New Connector editor, fill in the following values:

  • The name of the connector. We called this one OneDocPerFileConnector.
  • The directory that contains the source file.
  • Adjust the include/exclude filters until the connector will look for *.xml files only. (You can use an explicit file name if you wish.)
  • Designate the xmlIngest workflow as the destination of the new IngestDocuments.

UNC Paths

File connectors support the Uniform Naming Convention (UNC) path format used to designate Windows network shares. However, UNC paths are not supported for other path specifications in AIE for example the location of AIE logs or indexes. It is also possible to use a mapped network drive to specify a Windows file share as if it were a local drive. Note that scanners running on Linux hosts cannot access file content via UNC paths or local Windows paths - these scanners must run on Windows hosts.  


Click Save to store the new connector.

Configure the xPathExtractor Transformer

AIE includes a default xPathExtractor component, which is configured in <install-dir>\conf\core-app\attivio-components.xml.That component, in turn, is an instance of ExtractXPaths.  Although the xPathExtractor comes preconfigured in AIE, its default mappings are unlikely to match your XML. Fortunately, it is easy to configure a new xPathExtractor containing a new set of mappings.

Navigate to System Management > Workflows > Ingest and select xmlIngest from the list. Click on the name of the workflow. This opens a new Workflow Editor.


Select the xPathExtractor component and click the Edit Component button.

In this editor, enter the list of AIE Schema fields (such as creationdate) that you intend to use, paired with XPath expressions that tell AIE how to find the values for each field.
The XML elements are identified using XPath notation, which means we can take advantage of xPath's string operators to concatenate the authors' first and last names for a more graceful display:

xPath concat combines first and last names.
concat(/book/author/firstname," ",/book/author/lastname)


xPath can also be used to perform a variety of equality and inequality tests on element values.

Click the Save button to store the modified component. This exposes the Workflow Editor again. Click the Save button on that editor, too.

Note that the final stage of the workflow sends the transformed IngestDocuments to the standard ingest workflow for linguistic processing and, ultimately, indexing.

Testing the Configuration

Erasing the Index

While testing a new connector, you will frequently need to empty the index and try again. Four methods of deleting the index are described here.

To test the configuration, use the OneDocPerFileConnector to load the file that contains the book definition.

Then open SAIL and search for ":" (asterisk-colon-asterick). This retrieves all records in the index. If all has gone well, there should be one book record. Open the SAIL Search Options dialog and check the Debug checkbox. 

A close looks shows that all five of the extracted fields are populated correctly, including the concatenated first and last names in the author field.

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