Workflow to split AFP jobs by size

The AFP Support feature includes step templates that you can use to split a job into smaller jobs so that, for example, they can be printed on separate printers.

To split a job without fragmenting any of its documents across two jobs, you must identify the boundaries of the documents in the job. To do that, you must define page groups in the AFP file, either when you create the job, or by using a step based on the IndexAFP step template, provided with the AFP Support feature.

The IdentifyDocuments step applies the rules that you defined in Document Property Designer to create the document property file for the original job. The SplitDocuments step determines which documents are placed into each child job, and updates the document properties file with that information.

Now you can choose a method for building the new AFP files for the child jobs:

  • You can use a CreateJobsFromDocuments step, which makes document properties files for the child jobs but does not create AFP files. In this implementation, you must include a BuildAFPFromDocuments step in the workflow assigned to the child jobs. BuildAFPFromDocuments creates the AFP file with all the documents in the correct order. We recommend this method. Because BuildAFPFromDocuments is defined in the child workflow, the step runs in parallel for all the child jobs. This parallel processing can cause the overall job to complete faster, although the existence of several parallel processes might lead to database contention issues in rare cases.
  • You can add a CreateAFPJobsFromDocuments step in the Assemble phase of this workflow. If you choose this method, all the AFP files for all the child jobs are built sequentially.
    We do not recommend this method if you have the Inserter feature and the inserter controller specifies the open-loop reprint method. You must add the BuildAFPFromDocuments step in the child workflow for the open-loop reprint method; so, adding the CreateAFPJobsFromDocuments step in the original workflow causes duplicate processing, and degrades system performance.

The original workflow does not have any steps in the Print phase because the child workflow controls printing. After all the child jobs complete, the parent job goes to the next step in the original workflow.

The child workflow should begin with steps based on these two step templates: SetJobPropsFromTextFile and SetJobPropsFromOriginal. SetJobPropsFromTextFile sets values for job properties from the steps of the child workflow. SetJobPropsFromOriginal copies the values that were set in the original workflow to become the values for those properties in the child workflow. Then if you chose to run the building of the child AFP files in parallel by including a CreateJobsFromDocuments step in the original workflow, you need to use a BuildAFPFromDocuments step in the child workflow.

If you have customized phase names in your system, the phase names in the tables might not match the names in your system.

Splitting jobs by size, using CreateJobsFromDocuments

Parent/child Phase Step
Parent Receive

SetJobPropsFromTextFile

In the Input data stream field, select AFP.

Prepare UseInlineFormDefinition
IndexAFP
EnableRepositioning
IdentifyDocuments
Assemble SplitDocuments
CreateJobsFromDocuments
Complete RetainCompletedJobs
RemoveJobs
Child Receive SetJobPropsFromTextFile
SetJobPropsFromOriginal
Assemble BuildAFPFromDocuments
Print EnableRepositioning
CreatePageRanges
PrintJobs
Complete RetainCompletedJobs
RemoveJobs

Splitting jobs by size, using CreateAFPJobsFromDocuments

Parent/child Phase Step
Parent Receive

SetJobPropsFromTextFile

In the Input data stream field, select AFP.

Prepare UseInlineFormDefinition
IndexAFP
EnableRepositioning
IdentifyDocuments
Assemble SplitDocuments
CreateAFPJobsFromDocuments
Complete RetainCompletedJobs
RemoveJobs
Child Receive SetJobPropsFromTextFile
SetJobPropsFromOriginal
Print EnableRepositioning
CreatePageRanges
PrintJobs
Complete RetainCompletedJobs
RemoveJobs

 
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