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A batch contains one or more Requests. Creating a batch gives you more flexibility in how Requests can be run. Here are some reasons you might want to create a batch:

  • You can schedule batches to run unattended on a regular basis. For example, at a time when your network is less busy. Or, you might want to have a daily report run and be emailed to you when you arrive at work each day.
  • You can run a batch containing several Requests without having to run each Request individually.
  • You can create a desktop shortcut to run the batch directly from the Windows desktop without running Foxfire!.

To see the available batches:

  1. Choose Batch Folders from the View menu or press CTRL+B. Any available batches will be in Existing Batches folder.
  2. Go to the Existing Batches folder.

Creating a Batch

You can create a batch using any Request. But if you want to create one that doesn’t require intervention and runs automatically you’ll have to choose a Request that doesn’t require user input or one that can be modified so that no input is necessary.

Hints for Creating a Batch that Runs Without Input

  • Only include Requests that are output to a printer, a text file or a PDF file. Do not include Requests that output to the screen or an Excel file. The output type is listed to the right of the Request in batch list.
  • Do not include Requests that are automatically sent to email unless all the email settings are stored.
  • Do not include Requests with Ask-at-Runtime filters into batches. The words “Ask at runtime” appears to the right of the Request in the batch list.

Note: You can view the Properties of a Request to see if the Request is appropriate.

To create a batch:

  1. Open the batch list by clicking on the View menu and choose Batch Folders or press CTRL+B.
  2. Drag the Requests you want to add from the Request list to the batch list.
  3. Click Save and assign a batch name. The new batch appears in the Existing Batches folder.

How to modify a batch so no input is necessary:

  1. Click on the name of the batch in the Existing Batches folder.
  2. Highlight the Request in the batch list.
  3. Right-click on the Request and select Request Options.

    1. Enter the amount of time, in seconds, you want Foxfire! to wait for a user response. Make sure you enter a number other than 0 (the default). Otherwise, Foxfire! will wait indefinitely for a user response.
    2. If the Request is being sent to the Screen or some other output that requires intervention, choose a different destination type in the “Send output to” drop-down box.
    3. If there are filter values required at runtime, they will be displayed in the Filter Parameters Runtime box. Double-click on each filter condition and enter a value in the box displayed. If the filter is optional, you don’t have to enter anything.
    4. (Optional) Make sure the Prompt for values check-box is not checked so that the user isn’t prompted at runtime.
    5. Click OK.

To modify a batch:

  1. Click on the name of the batch in the Existing Batches folder.
  2. Remove Requests by right-clicking on the Request in the batch list and click Remove.
  3. Add additional Requests by dragging them from the Request list to the batch list.
  4. Click Save as… and assign the batch a name (if you use the same name, your original batch will be replaced).

To delete a batch:

  1. Right-click on the batch name in the Existing Batches folder.
  2. Click Delete.

To reorder a batch:

  1. Click the grey box to the left of the Request name in the batch list (a double arrow appears) and drag the Request up or down in the list.

Creating Combined Reports

Reports in a batch can be combined to produce a single PDF. When the Batch window is open, click the Options button.

Change the Type drop-down from Multiple Reports to Combined Report.
If the output should go to a different location, change the name to point to a different PDF output.

When the batch is run, Foxfire! will create a PDF and attach each output in the batch to the same PDF.