FlippingBook Automation Server is a complementary tool for FlippingBook Publisher that lets you process numerous PDF files automatically, in the background, without having to import and convert your files manually one by one in Publisher. You can then upload them in the same way as it is done via the “[Upload to] Local Folder” feature in Publisher.
It is not needed to launch Publisher in order to have it working. In fact, Publisher will only be needed in order to create a template - a .p2st file with the settings which will be applied to all PDF files that will be run through Automation Server.
How does it work?
Automation Server consists of two main parts:
- a service that constantly runs in the background;
- and an interface that is used to manage the service.
First, start the service application and then start the interface application, enter your credentials, and you will see the main interface of a tool. Here’s how it looks:
We can visually divide the window into three main elements:
- Menu panel
- Jobs panel
- Conversions panel
How to get started?
You can start the automatic conversion by creating a Job. A job is basically a set of instructions that Automation Server performs on all files you put in the Hot Folder. If you click on a Create Job button on a Menu Panel, you will see a Create New Job window:
Here you can specify:
- The name of the job
- Input file format (PDF files or XML-tickets - by using XML-tickets you can manage individual settings for the specific PDFs: what template to use, where to store the PDF file after the conversion etc.)
- “Hot folder” (a folder with the source files for conversion), the output folder, and a folder for the processed/failed source files
- SEO options (whether or not the flipbooks should be indexable by search engines)
- The template file which determines the layout.
You can modify these settings for the job that is already running with the Settings button.
After creating and running a job with a Run button, you can see its settings on the Job panel on the left.
Creating actual publications
Once the job is running, all you have to do is put your PDFs in the "Hot folder". The Automation Server picks them up, and you can see the progress of the tasks being performed on the Conversions panel on the right. You will also see the history of completed conversions:
Each conversion has three stages (PDF Import, Template application, Conversion to HTML5 publication files). Click on any entry to see the status of each step. You can also open each of the folders you’ve appointed in the job settings to see the actual files. The most important one is the 'Output folder', which contains your actual flipbook.
In the rare case that an issue occurs on any of the stages of the conversion, it is also possible to bring up the error message for the troubleshooting purposes:
After the conversion is completed, the publication files are stored in the output folder ready to be uploaded. You can upload them the same way as when you use the Upload to your server option in FlippingBook Publisher.
Please note that opening the index.html files directly in your browser to 'preview' it will most likely NOT work. Due to security restrictions, most browsers block the scripts that we use when performed locally. At the moment of writing only Firefox allows this, but that can change with any update. You can try to open it with Firefox, but we advise you to upload the files to a web server. That should work flawlessly in any browser.
Checking your usage
If your Automation Server edition has a page limit (per year) or a CPU limit, you can see how many pages you have already converted or how many CPUs you can use for the Automation Server purposes (as well as the general status of your license) in About menu:
Frequently asked questions
Can I trial FlippingBook Automation Server?
Yes, that's possible. Please leave your contact details to get the demo version. We will be in touch with you shortly to get you started.
What is the price for the Automation? Can I talk with someone about purchasing Automation?
Yes, that's highly recommended. There are different possibilities for the number of pages and the number of CPU cores which we will be happy to discuss with you. Please fill in the contacts form and our Sales team will be in touch soon to discuss possibilities and pricing.
How do I install the FlippingBook Automation Server? What are the technical requirements for Automation?
The installation procedure is described in our FlippingBook Server Quick Guide (please refer to pages 4-5). This document also contains the technical requirements on pages 10-11