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Rule-Based Metadata Tags

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Overview

Egnyte provides powerful capabilities to create and manage metadata. The metadata can then be used to search, sort, and filter the files and folders. Rule-based metadata provides a new way to apply metadata tags at scale using simple prescriptive rules. 

This feature allows Power Users and Administrators to define simple rules that are used to apply a user-defined tag to all files and folders that match the rule. Any Power User that has ‘Full’ permissions on a folder can create a new rule and apply the rule to any folders that they have full permissions on. 

Every rule has a user-defined tag associated with it. Once a rule has been created and applied to a folder (or a set of folders), all files/folders that match the rule get the tag automatically applied to them. In addition, any new files or folders, that are added in the future, will be compared against the rules and the tags will be automatically applied to any items that match. Multiple rules can be created and applied to the same folder if needed. 

A user can also see the list of all rules already created (including rules created by other users), and can apply any existing rule to their folders (provided they have full permissions on those folders).

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Creating Rules

Editing Rules

Adding Existing Rules to a Folder

Removing Rules from a Folder

Deleting a Rule

Searching for Tagged Files

Creating Rules

A Power User or an admin can navigate to the Settings -> Metadata -> Rules menu and click on Add New Rules

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On the New Metadata Rule screen, the user can specify the rule name, tag (label), description, associated folders, and rule conditions. In order to associate folders with the rule, click on the Select Folder(s) button and choose folders. Note that a user can only choose folders where they have full permissions or higher.

The example below creates a rule that will apply a tag ‘fin-reports’ to all spreadsheets in the chosen folders, created by Alvin Wong, after Dec 1, 2023.

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The conditions can include a number of system properties such as item type, pathname, creator, date etc. In addition, a user can also choose any custom metadata value that they have previously defined.  This provides an extremely powerful mechanism to tag files based on previously applied metadata, including tags previously applied by other rules. 

The comparison operator in the middle can take on a variety of values depending on the property type.

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Note that when a rule has multiple conditions, it will apply the tag to files that match all of the conditions. In order to apply the tag to files that match any of the conditions, one can create multiple rules, each with just one condition; and apply all those rules to the same set of folders.

Editing Rules

Only the user that created the rule, or an admin, can edit a rule.

In order to edit an existing rule, a user can click on the Edit icon in the metadata rules list. Once the edit view opens, the user can edit the rule.

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Editing a rule only takes affect for new files/folders being uploaded, and new versions of existing files being created. An edited rule does not retag existing files that were already tagged via an older version of that rule.

Adding Existing Rules to a Folder

If a user has 'Full' permissions on a folder, they can apply any of the existing rules (including rules created by other users) to their own folder. In order to add rules to a folder, click on Folder Details and Options in the More dropdown menu.

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In the dialog box, choose the Metadata Rules tab and click Apply Rules.

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Choose the rules you would like to apply to this folder and save.

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When a rule is applied to a folder for the first time, it will scan through all files/subfolders and tag the ones that match the criteria. From that point on, the rule will scan and tag new files/folders being uploaded, and new versions of files being created.

Removing Rules from a Folder

If a user has full permissions on a folder, they can remove any of the rules applied on that folder. In order to remove rules, navigate to the Metadata Rules tab as described above, and click on the Edit icon. Now the rules can be removed by clicking on the X icon next to the rule names.

Note that if a rule is applied to a parent folder, all its subfolders automatically inherit that rule. The rule cannot be removed from the subfolders. It would need to be removed from the parent folder itself.

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Deleting a Rule

A rule can be deleted by clicking the Delete icon in the rules list.

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Deleting a rule does not delete any of the tags that have already been applied by that rule. It would only stop any new files/folders from being tagged.

Searching for Tagged Files

Once files are tagged, they can be searched using the normal Egnyte search functionality (see this article for more information).

Additionally, if a file is opened in the preview pane, the user can also see & edit all tags assigned to the file in the metadata section

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