In a perfect world, filenames are unimportant in the EDI flow. All that is required is that they are unique so no file is ever overwritten. Bots takes care of this automatically by default when creating files, by using counters to generate unique numeric filenames.

But sometimes in the real world implementation of system interfaces, you want or need to have specific filenames:

  • Because your trading partner requires it
  • Limitations of other systems regarding filenames
  • To provide easy identification of files
  • Nicer for end users (eg. when emailing attachments)

Input Filenames

Bots uses filename pattern matching to select input files. This allows you to select all files, or only specific files, from the channel path. Some points to consider:

  • Many types of channel (eg. ftp) are case sensitive. *.TXT is not the same as *.txt

  • Files with and without extensions may be treated differently; * is not the same as *.*

  • For safety you should use a partially specified name if possible. This prevents accidentally picking up files that should not be there. eg. use ORDER*.TXT rather than *.*

  • For an in-channel with type=file a wild-card can be used in the path.If directory structure is like this:

      • botssys/infile/partner1
      • botssys/infile/partner2
      • botssys/infile/partner3
    • Use path botssys/infile/* to read the files in all these directories.

Output Filenames

  • A unique name can be generated with an asterisk; the asterisk is replaced by an unique number. Eg: order_*.edi -> order1.edi, order2.edi, order3.edi etc
  • (bots > = 3.0) Any ta value can be used; eg. {botskey}, {alt}, {editype}, {messagetype}, {frompartner}, {topartner}, {fromchannel}, {tochannel}, {idroute}.
  • (bots > = 3.0) Date/time using {datetime} with any valid date or time format specification; eg. {datetime:%Y%m%d}, {datetime:%H%M%S} etc.
  • (bots > = 3.0) Incoming filename can be used (name and extension, or either part separately); eg. {infile}, {infile:name}, {infile:ext}

Some examples are shown in the table below.

Channel filename Description Example filename generated
* or blank create a unique name, no extension 39724
*.txt create a unique name with .txt extension 39724.txt
{botskey}.txt use incoming botskey value (eg. order number) with .txt extension. Note: {botskey} can only be used if merge is False for the messagetype BA7358-0.txt
{infile} passthrough incoming filename & extension to output Order001.edi
{infile:name}.txt passthrough incoming filename but change extension to .txt Order001.txt
{editype}_{messagetype}_{datetime:%Y%m%d}_*.{infile:ext} use editype, messagetype, date and unique number with extension from the incoming file edifact_ORDERSD93AUN_20120926_39724.edi
{frompartner}/{editype}/{infile} You can also use subdirectories in the filename, but they must already exist. These will be appended to the path. KMART/edifact/Order001.edi
{frompartner}/INPUT/ORDER_{botskey}.csv Fixed values can also be included as part of the directory structure or filename KMART/INPUT/ORDER_BA7358-0.csv
{overwrite}daily_report.txt Force overwriting of a file if it exists. Use this with caution; make sure it is really what you want. May be required on some sftp servers that do not support append mode. daily_report.txt
{infile[4]}{infile[5]}{infile[6]}{infile[7]}.xml This functionality uses the Python Format String Syntax which does not have support for slicing, but you can use this workaround to pick a range of single characters. Beware: this does not check for wrong string positions. infile: INV_7389.txt generates: 7389.xml


Do not change out.ta_info[‘filename’] in your scripts. Although it may appear to work, it messes up Bots internal file storage.

User scripting for output filenames

Bots has the capability to set output filenames with a communicationscript; however this requires a new script for each channel and is somewhat complex. Prior to version 3.0 this was the only method available. It can still be used for difficult requirements (but let us know about your needs through the mailing list, we may be able to integrate it).