A step that is based on the SplitDocuments step template updates the document properties file to define child jobs within the group. For example, a group might have 100,000 documents but the inserter can only hold 45,000 at a time; the SplitDocuments step can divide the 100,000 documents into three smaller print jobs. If a single document exceeds the maximum document threshold, it is placed into a job by itself.

If the maximum number of documents or sheets is exceeded, SplitDocuments splits the child jobs into smaller child jobs. The ordering of the documents is preserved in the child job, but the value is adjusted when a job is split so that the first document in the job always has a sequence of 1 and the sequence increments by one for the subsequent documents. When the documents are split into groups, the value of the sequence properties change, but the actual ordering of the documents in the document properties file does not change. If the maximum number of documents or sheets is not exceeded, SplitDocuments does not split the job, and does not change the production job IDs.

You can change the point at which a job is split using the Split boundary property and the Exceed maximum split to reach boundary property. To use these properties, you must have already defined a property that identifies groups of documents that you want to keep grouped in the same job.

Optionally, you can choose to balance the sizes of the resulting child jobs using the Split balance property. Without balancing, the child jobs will be at or close to the maximum size except for the last child job, which might be much smaller than the other jobs. Using Split balance will produce the same number of child jobs as splitting without balancing, but the jobs will be nearly the same size. Optimally the size of each child job would be the same and would be the total size of the original job divided by the number of children (the average of the sizes of all of the children). However, the actual size of the child jobs can differ due to differing sizes of documents and the use of the Split boundary option. Balancing works best when the largest document size (or group if you use Split boundary) is relatively small compared to the maximum size. For example, if the largest document or group is 10% of the maximum size, then the difference in child job sizes could be up to 20% of the maximum.

For example, you might want to make sure that child jobs are split between mailpiece trays so that documents for each tray are all in the same job. First, define a custom document property named Tray ID and make sure that each document has a value for it. Without a split boundary the SplitDocuments step might split the job in the middle of a tray. However, if you enter Tray ID as the value of the Split boundary property, SplitDocuments considers only split points for child jobs where the Tray ID for adjacent documents is different. If Exceed maximum split to reach boundary is Yes, the step will move the split point to the end of the tray so that the child job size equals or exceeds the maximum job size. If Exceed maximum split to reach boundary is No, the step will not add a tray to the child job if adding that tray will cause the child job size to exceed the maximum job size. If you select a Split balance option, the SplitDocuments step will select split points so that the number of mailpieces in each child job is distributed more evenly.

Job property defaults

Maximum documents per child job: Not set

Maximum sheets per child job: Not set

Split boundary: Not set

Exceed maximum split to reach boundary: Yes

Split balance: None

Usage notes

  • You might want to set the maximum number of documents and sheets to 45,000 each. This corresponds to a typical roll of paper and the capacity at many print shops. Inserter input capacity, paper thickness, business processes, and other factors can affect the optimal value.
  • If a step based on the SortDocuments step template occurs before this step, document sequence is preserved.
  • You can enter a value for both the Maximum documents per child job property and the Maximum sheets per child job property; when either limit is reached, the job splits.
  • SplitDocuments updates the values in the document properties file, not the database. To update the database values of document properties, add a step based on UpdateDocumentsInDatabase in your workflow after SplitDocuments.
  • The Split balance algorithm does not always produce an optimal job balance; you might want to try running the step with and without the option to see which results better meet your needs.
  • When the step balances the job using a Split balance option, document sequence is preserved; for example, the step does not move a document from the first child job to the third child job.
  • If you select a Split balance option but the step determines that it would create more child jobs than with normal processing, the step ignores the Split balance option.
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