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Documentation & User Guides | FotoWare

Setting up an index

The indexes are at the heart of the FotoWare system. By first setting up an index with a single or several document folders attached to it, it will be possible to configure FotoWeb and/or FotoStation clients to connect to the system and start working with the files. Follow the topics below in the order they are listed to successfully set up your first index.

Creating an index

Tip before you start: Take care not to confuse the index folder with the document folders. This index folder contains binary data that Index Manager uses internally, while the document folders are the folders that you want to make available to users of the system.

To create an index, go to the Indexes tab on the Index Manager configuration screen and click on New Index in the left side panel (The green Plus icon in the lower left corner.) The index properties are then configured on a number of associated pages, namely General, Document Folders, Access list, Filters, Fields and Advanced.

General Index settings

If you like you can also group collections of indexes by creating a group and dragging an index into the new group.

Go to the General tab to set the basic properties pertaining to the new index you are creating.

Name: Type a name for the index in this field. This name will be shown when connecting to the archive in FotoStation and FotoWeb.

Important: The index name cannot contain characters that are illegal for use in URL's.

Description: The Description field can be used to add additional information about the archive.

Index Folder: Here you choose the location of the folder where the index should be stored. The index folder is only used internally by Index Manager, so it does not have to be in a shared location. It should, however, be stored on a fast, local disk with a large cache, since Index Manager will access this folder extensively when processing searches. Use the fastest drive available on the server and make sure it has plenty of space available. A disk that is close to running full will inevitably become heavily fragmented, which in turn will affect the performance of the system.

Adding document folders to the index

Open the index properties and go to the Document Folders tab to add folders that contain the files that you want to index.

You can also set up Windows share paths (UNC-based) and Macintosh volume mappings to enable network clients to access the high-resolution files, for instance to open them in third-party applications from FotoStation.

Tip: If a local document folder is shared before you add it to the index, Index Manager will fill in the correct Windows share path automatically.

Fill in the path to the document folder at the top of the screen in the Document folder area using the regular file path (e.g. C:\Archive\Pictures) or use the Browse button (...) to locate it. Then fill in the Windows Share path and the Macintosh Volume name if access to the high-resolution files is required.

Note: The document folder does not have to be on a local drive - it can also point to a network share.

To add a new document folder, click on the Add new folder link at the bottom of the window.

The Unique name column lets you type in a description of the folder you are adding to make it easier to tell the different folders apart. Once set, it should not be changed, since the permalinks in FotoWeb are based on the index' unique name. (See paragraph on FotoWeb permalinks below.)

Adding document folders to an index

What's the Offline folder?

When adding document folders to an index, there's always an Offline folder listed by default, and its location is inside the index folder itself.

This folder is used when a FotoStation client adds an offline resource to an index. FotoStation then copies thumbnails, previews and metadata to the Offline folder, so that these files show up in the index and can be searched for.

How many document folders are supported?

Up to 32 document folders can be added per index. Each of these document folders can contain any number of subfolders, so long as the hierarchy does not produce a path length that exceeds 225 characters, including folder path, file name and extension. In some languages a character is composed of several bytes and this will affect the number of characters a full path can have. If the path becomes too long, Index Manager will not index these files but rather record an error in the log: "Path too long" with a reference to the files that could not be indexed to allow you to correct the issue.

Document folder options

Each time you add or edit a document folder, a number of options become available just below the area where you type in the path information. The options you can choose from are:

Index Document folder options

Include subfolders: If the document folder contains subfolders with files that you also want to add to the index, you must choose to include subfolders. Index Manager will then scan through and monitor all subfolders within the top level document folder.

Enable background scanning: When you enable background scanning Index Manager will check all file folders for changes at regular intervals. If it finds that the modification date of a folder has changed it will scan the files in that folder and update the changes in the index.

Background scanning increases the network traffic if the document folders are on another server than Index Manager, and is generally intended for non-NTFS file systems and SMB connections that do not support the hotfolder system which automatically notifies Index Manager of file changes.

Scan unchanged folders: This option is related to the background scanning option above. It will force Index Manager to scan the contents of the document folders at regular intervals even if the folder's modification date is not changed. This is typically required when indexing files on certain Unix disk systems where modification of a file in a folder does not change the folder's modification date. Enabling this function will increase the amount of scanning performed and may reduce system performance.

When setting up a FotoWeb system, the asset paths that Index Manager serves to FotoWeb are used to create permalinks to the objects. If a document folder's Unique name changes, so do the ​permalinks to all objects in that document folder.


In short, changing the unique name of a document folder has the following consequences:

  • Permalinks to archives, folders and files become invalid

  • Assets disappear from albums and pins

  • Exported assets may be lost and cannot be exported again after they expire or are revoked

  • Comments disappear from assets


Changes that do NOT affect permalinks:

  • Changing the physical path or folder name of a document folder (so long as the Unique name is not changed)
  • Changing the name of an archive (However, when accessing an existing permalink, the user is redirected to the new archive - a 301 redirect.)

What's next?

At this point you have created a working index with document folders that will be scanned once you save the configuration and start the service. Click on the Save button in the lower right corner to do so. Each index also has a number of more advanced options associated with it - you can read more about those possibilities in the guide's table of contents.

Tip: Before you proceed to save the configuration and start up Index Manager, it may be practical to enable guest access to the index so that any FotoWare client application on the network can connect to the index without authenticating.
You can learn more about the implications of doing so here.

Checking Index Manager status

Check the Index Manager Status screen in the Operations Center and make sure you get green lights on the index you created and a count of the number of assets in the index. The activity indicator goes blue while the index is building and finally green when it is ready for client connections.

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