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Upload and supersede documents using the Bulk Processing tool

Upload and supersede hundreds of documents in bulk using a metadata template.

What is Bulk Processing?

If you’re working with large numbers of documents, the easiest way to upload and supersede them in the Document Register is to use a metadata file.

Here's how it works:

  1. Create and download a metadata file.
  2. Enter the details for your updated documents in the metadata file.
  3. Upload your files into the Temporary Files area.
  4. Test your template.
  5. Run the bulk process to move the updated files into your Document Register (along with the updated data).

Required User Role Permissions:

Bulk Processing, Upload new documents, Supersede a document.

Step 1. Create and download a metadata file

  1. Click Documents
  2. Under Actions click Bulk Processing.
  3. Click the New Bulk Process button.
Click the New Bulk Process button
  1. Fill in the Title field to give your job a name. This way, you'll be able to find it easily if you come back to complete the job later. It will also make relevant document reports more meaningful.
  2. Click the Metadata Template button.
Metadata Template button
  1. Click Save File.
    This will save the file onto your computer or local network, depending on the way your computer’s set up. By default the file will be named TemplateMetadata.xls.

The downloaded metatadata template file will contain column headers for all document fields in your current project.  The columns in bold are mandatory fields and must be completed for the process to work.  All other fields are optional.  

As each project varies and fields can be changed by the project administrators, the columns and mandatory fields will likely be different from project to project, so you should always start with a fresh metadata template file when beginning a new bulk process.


Before proceeding you may like to export details of the Documents you wish to update, which you can use to copy and paste existing values into your metadata template file.

Step 2. Enter the details for your updated documents in the metadata file

Next, fill in the updated details for the documents.

To make this easier, you can cut and paste information from other systems such as CAD systems if you like.

Keep in mind that the information in your metadata file will overwrite any information that’s recorded against the documents in the Document Register.

  1. Open your metadata template file.  
  2. Complete all the mandatory fields. They're shown in bold in your file.
  3. In the File field, if you wish to replace the current file, enter the full filename (including file extension) of the replacement file. This is is the filename that you will upload to the temporary files area in the next step. For example, 581-AWD-278C.pdf.
  4. Complete as many of the other fields in the template as you need to.
  5. Double-check that you've recorded the correct document numbers in your metadata template. If the revision number or letter for a given document in your metadata file is higher than the revision that's stored in Aconex, the system can supersede the document for you when you run this bulk process.
Filling in the metadata template

Bulk Processing does not support Document auto-numbering schemes. This means if you are using Bulk Processing to register new documents,  you will need to provide Document Numbers in your metadata spreadsheet.

  1. Save your metadata file in CSV file format. To save an Excel file as CSV, click File > Save As and use the Format selector to choose CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv).

Step 3. Upload your documents into the Temporary Files area

There are two methods you can use to upload your files:

At the end of either upload process, you’ll see a confirmation that files are available in your Temporary Files area.

Files can be uploaded to the Temporary Files area without specific permission granted. Temporary files are just that - temporary and deletable. They are not yet registered Documents in the system audit trail.

Step 4. Test your template

Next, test your metadata template.

When you upload and test the metadata template it will:

  • check the information you’ve entered in the File column of your template
  • find the matching file that you've just uploaded into Temporary Files
  • check this file's Document Number
  • look for the existing Document Number in your Document Register.
  1. Click the New Bulk Process button.
New Bulk Process button
  1. In the Title field, give your bulk processing job a name. This way, you’ll be able to come back and complete this task later if you're interrupted.
  2. Click the Metadata File button.
Bulk process job information
  1. Click Local Computer/Network button.
  2. Click Browse.
  3. Select your metadata template document.
  4. Click Attach.
  5. You can make changes to the default bulk processing rules if you need to, by clicking on the Rules button.
    In most cases you won’t need to change the defaults. If you're only superseding documents, however, you may want to select the Supersede Documents Only rule.
Processing mode
Auto (default)If the document number already exists in the register then supersede the document, otherwise upload it.
Supersede Documents OnlyIf a matching number does not exist, an error is logged.
Upload New Documents OnlyIf a matching document number already exists, an error is logged.
If an error occurs
Skip and continue the run (default)Does not process the document that caused the error, and continues the bulk process.
Abort the run at this rowDoes not process the document that caused the error, and stops the bulk process.
Automatically clean up details of this runRemoves the details of this job — the title, metadata file, error log and any rules configured. It doesn't affect the documents or their event log history.
Email notificationsSends an email notification when the process finishes.
  1. Click the Test button.
  2. Click the Refresh button.
    You’ll see a file appear next to the Log file section.
  3. Open this file.
  4. Check the Result column in the Log file.
  5. If everything is marked as Okay, continue on to the next step.
    If there are any errors to correct:
    1. Edit your metadata file.
    2. In Aconex, click the Copy button to create a new job with the same details.
    3. Repeat this procedure from step 4 with your updated metadata file.

Step 5. Run the bulk process

Now that you have set up and tested everything, you can run the bulk processing job.

  1. Click the Run button to start the job.
Run button
  1. Click the Refresh button.
  2. Open the Log file report.
  3. Check that Okay is recorded against all documents in the Results column.

All your files have now been uploaded and superseded.

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