This article is the latest in our series exploring the lesser-known features of Discovery Attender.  This time we are focusing on Custom Exceptions, a feature which is a useful aid in auditing and reporting on undesirable items based on file type.   Also called Create Your Own Exception, this functionality was introduced in version 3.90 to help users audit and handle documents that are not searched.   For example, if a user wants to ignore all media and program files but needs to track all or collect these items on the individual level,  the Custom Exceptions will do the trick.

In its current form, Custom Exceptions only works with attachments or files.  Options for Custom Exceptions will be in force for the entire application – all projects created – and searches that are run with these settings in place will use these rules.  To enable this functionality, navigate to Tools | Custom Exceptions from the Main Console.   This opens up the Custom Exceptions dialog box.

There is no limit to the number of exceptions that can be added to the list. To start creating Custom Exceptions, first click the Add button to open the Add/Edit Custom Exception dialog box. Start filling in the options.
The Name should be descriptive, as this value will appear in the detailed task text log file as well as the combined exception log table. The Group Name, which should be entered without spaces, also appears in the log files and is an optional value to help organize similar custom exception rules. The Notes are the description field to help users clarify why the exception is created.

Actions dictate what will happen to any file or attachment that matches the criteria in enabled custom exceptions.  Users have a choice of two types of Actions for enabled custom exceptions: ‘Ignore,’ or ‘Create Exception.’  The ‘Ignore’ option will simply skip any files of the types listed. In other words, files of the types listed will not be searched without other actions taken.

However, if logging is set to ‘Debug’ then files of the Ignored type will be entered in the log file during the search.  The ‘Create Exception’ option will create an entry in the Combined Exception Log for any files that match the file type criteria set up in these custom exceptions.   From the Combined Exception Log, (a general exception log file accessed from the Main Console) users will be able to create a report of the excluded items or export any files matched using the Custom Exception.

Check the ‘Enable’ option to deploy this Custom Exception on your next search. All entries can also be enabled or disabled from the Custom Exceptions main dialog box for project or search specific functionality.  If you do not want to have an exception enabled for a given project, navigate to this form before running any searches and disable the exception.

The last step is to enter the Criteria section, where the file type criteria is entered (one per line).  Do not forget to use the wildcards (*) when creating file types.  Exact file names can also be entered.  Click OK to save the entry.

This functionality can be used for a variety of purposes.  A common use for this is to identify files that need to be processed separately (e.g. OCRed) and simultaneously, as a standard search is run.  Instead of wasting time setting up two separate runs on the same data set, simply create a custom exception to find the files, enable the rule, set up the standard search and go.  All files identified for separate treatment will be available for export and further processing, while the standard results are collected.

There are some notes to keep in mind when using these options.  First, Custom Exceptions are processed before the File Name and Type wizard criteria.  Therefore if you Ignore a file type using this functionality, that file cannot be searched even if you include it in the File Name and Type wizard criteria. Also, keep in mind that files found in compressed container files (e.g. .zip, .tar, .rar) are only processed if the Container Files setting is ‘Folder’.

As you can see, this feature is both practical and easy to enable.   Try it out today,and as always, if you have any questions, comments or future article suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Sherpa Software.


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