Search Strategies - Keyword File Search vs DOPUS Description

Just starting to evaluate DOPUS (looks impressive) - but would like to find optimum search strategies for files on our network. I need to strat removing lots of old files form our network and need to somehow tag the files we want to keep.

Please excuse if this topic has already been answered elsewhere.

What I'd like to do is assign keyword(s) to the specific versions of files (lots of Access mdb and Excel xls files) I want to keep. Looks like I might be able to either the DOPUS description or NTFS keyword for this. In either case, how do I?

  1. Assign one or more keywords to a set of files (in a collection) in a single command

  2. Perform searches against these keywords (one or more)

  3. Preserve any file tags in case these files are moved on the network

I'm open to other suggestions on how to handle this if there is a better way.


Hi Brendan,

Programming is only a hobby of mine, but I'm curious.
Have you considered using a MySQL database to accomplish this ?

Good Luck !

:opusicon: porcupine

Well your third requirement is the only reason I'd go with an external tracking method like what Porc is suggesting with a database... you can use the SetAttr DESCRIPTION command from a button or context menu entry to set notes on files (uses the windows descript.ion mechanism)... and Opus lets you search on this metadata. But if these are network based files, then how would you prevent others from moving files around in a way that might not preserv the descriptions :frowning:... I guess it depends on how long you'll be taking to work your way through all your files.

Are you using a backup product like ARCserve or something that will let you backup files and 'archive/delete' files meeting certain 'last accessed' criteris? If a file has not been accessed in 2 years, put in on tape for a rainy day and delete that sucker. Then again there are also HSM solutions out there that will migrate 'old' files to near-line storage... You could even search for files based on specified access dates (ranges, before/after, etc) with Opus.

Well Steje,
It's good to see that you understood my grasp at it!
Yes, that's exactly what I'd try to do.
I'd attempt to implement a program that updates the database with every copy or move by another user.
In other words, other users would need to use a "special" program to move or copy files until this thing is worked out.

It also has the advantage of locking other users out of the database.
The Descript.ion file attempt in this case would require a Site Licence of Opus.

To be honest Steje, I doubt this is a good solution at all.
It is tedious at best even with a DOpus site licence.
What is needed is something that can get it all with a "simple" recursive dir search.

Hmmm.... well .......

Thanks for the reply Steje,
I apppreciate it Very Much !

:opusicon: porcupine

You can view or set keywords or comments for individual files by selecting the file and choosing the summary section "Properties". To set the descript.ion description for all selected files/folders use the Opus menu command of:


You also mentioned a file collection. I'm not sure if you were referring to an Opus file collection or not, but if you weren't I think that would be the way I'd do this. To "mark" your files by sending them to an Opus File Collection. For example you could put all Access files of a specific version in one collection, a different version in a different collection and so on. You could even create a "To be deleted" collection of files that may be physically located in many different places. Once you have your Opus collections set up, then you could do what you wanted with the files. Copy, delete, archive whatever.

Just a quick thank you to those who responded - John Zeman's response basically confirms the approach I had in mind in my original post. However I was curious if there was a better alternative.

This will work as I am the main person managing these files and can use DOPUS exclusively for this task, thereby no risk of losing the ".ion" files.

WRT managing this info in a db - not a good idea since this creates a maintenance nightmare. In the long term I expect that Microsoft will build this level of functionality into the OS (I'm surplrised it's not been done before now.

BTW - Has anyone seen any tools/utitilties that allow searching of the properties/keyword attributes that can be assigned within RMB -> Windows/Properties/SUmmary

Just Curious about this - thx again for the resposnes so far.

Hi Brendan...

Regarding Microsoft building the sort of functionality into the OS... I believe this is a facet of WinFS that has been much discussed and long delayed. Should be cool indeed when it comes out though...

Regarding your question about searching for files based on the data you can assign from the Windows RMB->Properties->Summary tab... I've heard of this fantastic tool called:


When you do a find/search within Opus, click on the Advanced tab of the Find dialog. I believe this shows a "Name" filter by default... which you can click on and from the drop down select different filter 'categories' such as Attributes, Name, Type, etc etc. The category you're looking for depends on what type of metadata you want to search on as Windows allows different types of metadata for different 'types' of files. If you select Document from the drop down, to the far right you can then select from fields you should recognize from the Windows Properties->Summary tab such as Author, Category, Comment, etc etc if you were to look at a text or .doc files properties... You can also then save this filter for use later on by either a manual command (button) or for selection from the filter drop down in the Find tools...

I think the support for these attributes is still a bit limited in Opus.

Opus will search the Summary (etc.) attributes of Office documents (and probably other files stored in the OLE file format), but I don't think Opus is currently aware of the generic Summary (etc.) attributes that NTFS allows you to store on absolutely any type of file.

Unless Jon added support for NTFS attributes and I forgot, which is always possible. :slight_smile:

Yes it does both these days.

Jon & Nudel,
Thx for following up on this discussion - the wheel has come full circle on this - I think the ability to search on NTFS file attributes is what I really want - this is a better generic solution than using "descript.ion" files which are DOPUS specific.

I just tested it your NFTS attribute search approach (with limited success) by adding a few keywords to a file and then searching. However the advanced filted you described does not include a drop down selection for KEYWORDS - and using "Any Field" option seems to ignore the KEYWORD fields - so the search fails. If I use some other summary field (Title/Subject etc.) it works as advertised.

FWIW - IMHO the real power comes when I can assign one or more keywords to a file/collection of files and then search on any combination of these. This would be a great enhancement to DOPUS - however there needs to be a user friendly way to:

  1. Assign the NTFS keywords to a multiple files (collection) at once
    (Perhaps DOPUS could maintain a list of user specified keywords in the background)

  2. Search by specifying any keywords contained in the list. (The current advanced filter interface is not very intuitive and few users would discover this capability on their own).

I hope this discussion is useful to all - I've just started an eval of DOPUS last weeekend and already see that it's a great product. Perhaps this type of feedback can help improve it in the future.

Some final comments

  • one of the frustrating things with learning a functionally rich product such as DOPUS is that the functional boundaries are often unclear - IOW - I'm not sure if/when I'm pushing the enveloppe/ scratching the surface/have hit the wall - guess that's why this forum is invaluable.

  • NTFS keywords have been around for a while and there seems to be minimal support for these - even within XP and other Microsoft products etc. Can you shed any light as to why this is?

I don't really know but I think it's probably because they're hidden away in the properties dialog and Microsoft have never gone out of their way to make them particularly accessible. You really have to know they're there in order to find them.

Also note that (obviously) the NTFS property fields are only available on NTFS file systems. If you copy the files to other filesystems (FAT/FAT32, CD, FTP, etc) they will be lost. I'm not sure if they can even survive being copied across a network (although I haven't tried). This also limits their usefulness somewhat.

The next (major) version of Opus will include support for the Keywords field.

Hello, I want to recommend you nice search tool which can add keywords to the files:
I know you were looked for it long time ago nevertheless I'm hope you can use it to perform your current tasks :wink: This program will be helpful for everyone!