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Flexense Data Management Software

Rule-Based File Search

DiskBoss provides powerful and flexible file search capabilities allowing one to search files using multiple search criteria including the file name, file extension, file type, file size, last access, modification and creation times, text or binary patterns, JPEG EXIF tags, etc. The user is provided with the ability to define composite search queries using multiple search rules and apply the AND/OR logical operators.

DiskBoss Rule-Based File Search

One of the most powerful capabilities of the DiskBoss file and disk management toolkit is the integration of the rule-based search features in almost all types of analysis and file management operations. For example, disk space analysis, duplicate files detection, file classification, file copy and file delete operations may be performed on files matching one or more user-specified rules and policies.

DiskBoss File Search Results

Users are provided with the ability to display search results, save HTML, PDF, Excel, XML, text and CSV reports and perform file management operations on search results. In addition, DiskBoss allows one to send e-mail notifications and/or execute custom actions when a search operation reaches a user-specified number of search results. Finally, corporations and enterprises are provided with advanced database integration capabilities allowing one to submit search reports into a centralized SQL database.

DiskBoss File Search Video Tutorial

Searching Files by File Category

DiskBoss is capable of automatically recognizing more that 2,500 file types and categories organized into a logical hierarchy of file classes and class groups, making it very easy to search for broad categories of files such as documents, music files, videos, images, etc. In order to search for files by the file type select the 'Search Files Categorized As' file matching rule and press the 'Select' button to select a file category.

Search Files By File Category

File categories and file classes are organized into a logical hierarchy representing specific file types grouped into a number of broad file categories. DiskBoss includes a number of file classification plugins, which provide different types of file categories allowing one to categorize files by the file type, size, creation, last access and modification dates, etc. In order to select a different file classification plugin, use the plugin combo box located on the top side of the file categories dialog.

Search Files Select File Category

In order to open a file category, just click on the category item in the list. Select the required file category or file class and press the 'Select' button to select the file category for the file matching rule. During runtime, DiskBoss will match files related to any file class in the selected file category or the exact file class if the file matching rule was set to match an individual file type.

Searching Files by File Name

In order to search files by the file name, open the search operation dialog, press the 'Add' button, select the 'Search Files with the File Name' rule, select an appropriate file name comparison operator and enter a file name pattern string to compare file names with.

Search Files By File Name

The file name comparison operator allows one to find files matching, beginning with, ending with or containing the specified string pattern. In addition, negative comparison operators are provided as well. File name searches are case insensitive and the entered file name pattern string will match both low case and upper case letters.

Searching Files by File Extension

In order to search files by the file extension, open the search operation dialog, press the 'Add' button, select the 'Search Files with the File Extension' rule, select an appropriate file extension comparison operator and enter a file extension pattern string to compare file extensions with.

Search Files By File Extension

The file extension comparison operator allows one to find files matching, beginning with, ending with or containing the specified string pattern. In addition, negative comparison operators are provided as well. File extension searches are case insensitive and the entered file extension pattern string will match both low case and upper case letters.

Searching Files by Directory Name

In order to search files by the directory name, open the search operation dialog, press the 'Add' button, select the 'Search Files with the Directory Name' rule, select an appropriate directory name comparison operator and enter a directory name pattern string to compare directories with.

Search Files By File Path

The directory name comparison operator allows one to find directories matching, beginning with, ending with or containing the specified string pattern. In addition, negative comparison operators are provided as well. Directory name searches are case insensitive and the entered directory name pattern string will match both low case and upper case letters.

Searching Files by Date

DiskBoss provides two sets of file matching rules allowing one to search files by the creation, last modification and last access dates. The first set of rules matches files using absolute dates and the second set of file matching rules matches files using relative time periods.

Search Files By Date

Absolute dates are preferable when the user needs to find all files that were created or modified during a specific calendar month or year, while relative time periods are more useful when someone needs to find files that were created or modified during the last X days or Y months always giving correct results as the time goes on.

Search Files By Time

Searching files by relative access, modification or creation times may be very useful when the user does not know the exact period of time he or she is looking for. Another advantage using relative time periods is the constant validity of search queries, which are keeping up to date while the time is going on. For example, a search query configured to find all files that were modified during the last month is always valid independent of the current month.

Searching Files by Text String

In order to search files by a text string inside of files, open the search operation dialog, press the 'Add' button, select the 'Search Files Containing Text' rule, select an appropriate text comparison operator and enter a text pattern string to search inside of files.

Search Files By Text String

The text pattern comparison operator allows one to find files containing or not containing the specified text pattern. Text searches are case insensitive and the entered text pattern string will match both low case and upper case letters.

Searching Files by HEX Pattern

DiskBoss is capable of searching files by binary patterns located or not located at specific positions inside of files. In order to add a binary pattern search rule, press the 'Add' button, select the 'Search Files Containing HEX Pattern' rule, select an appropriate comparison operator, enter the HEX pattern to search for and specify an absolute position inside of files the pattern should be located on.

Search Files By HEX Pattern

The HEX pattern should be specified as a string of upper case HEX numbers delimited by the space character with each number representing a single byte of the pattern. Users needed to match multiple binary patterns located at different places in each file may use multiple binary file matching rules with each one configured to match a single pattern. Moreover, multiple hierarchical binary file matching rules may be combined with logical operators allowing one to compose sophisticated, multi-level file search queries capable of finding the exact files the user is looking for.

Searching Files Using Regular Expressions

Regular expressions provide a flexible and powerful way to match text patterns in file names and directories. DiskBoss provides RegEx pattern matching operators for the file name search rule and the file path search rule.

Search Files By RegEx

In order to search files using a regular expression, select the 'File Name' file matching rule, select the 'RegEx' pattern matching operator and enter a regular expression that should be matched. For example, the '\.(JPG|BMP|PNG)$' regular expression will match all JPG, BMP and PNG image files.

Search Files By RegEx Pattern

Regular expressions may be combined with other types of file matching rules allowing one to match a very specific set of files. In addition to the ability to match files using regular expressions, DiskBoss allows one to exclude files using regular expressions. For example, in order to search all programs and executable files while excluding files located in the Windows directory, use the regular expression '^(?!C:\\WINDOWS)' applied to the 'Full Path' file matching rule.

Searching Files by File Size

DiskBoss provides the ability to search files by the file size. In order to add a file search rule capable of matching files by the file size, press the 'Add' button, select the 'Search Files with File Size' rule, select an appropriate size comparison operator and enter the file size value.

Search Files By File Size

Searching Files by File Attributes

Sometimes, it may be required to find files by file attributes such as read-only, hidden, system, etc. In order to add a file search rule capable of matching files by file attributes, press the 'Add' button, select the 'Search Files with File Attributes' rule, select an appropriate comparison operator and press the 'Select' button to select the file attributes to look for.

Search Files By File Attributes

On the select dialog, check the required file attributes and press the 'Ok' button. When the rule is set to find files having the selected attributes, DiskBoss will match files having any of the selected file attributes. Otherwise, when the rule is set to find files hot having the selected attributes, DiskBoss will match files having none of the selected attributes.

Search Files Select File Attributes

Searching Files by User Name

DiskBoss is capable of searching files by the user name. In order to add the user name file matching rule, press the 'Add' button, select the 'Search Files with the User Name' rule, select an appropriate user name comparison operator and enter the user name pattern string.

Search Files By User Name

The user name comparison operator allows one to find user names matching, beginning with, ending with or containing the specified string pattern. In addition, negative comparison operators are provided as well. User name searches are case insensitive and the entered user name pattern string will match both low case and upper case letters.

Searching Files by JPEG EXIF Tags

DiskBoss provides a JPEG EXIF tags file matching rule allowing one to search JPEG images by standard and/or custom JPEG EXIF tags. In order to add a JPEG EXIF tags matching rule, press the 'Add' button, select the 'Search JPEG Images with EXIF Tag' rule, select the JPEG EXIF tag to match, select an appropriate comparison operator and enter the string value to search for.

Search Files By JPEG EXIF Tags

In addition to the ability to search for standard EXIF tags, users can customize the list of supported EXIF tags adding user-specific custom tags to the product configuration. In order to customize supported EXIF tags, select a JPEG image in the DiskBoss' file navigator, press the right mouse button and select the 'EXIF Viewer' menu item. On the EXIF viewer dialog, press the 'Customize' button and use the 'Add', 'Edit', 'Delete' buttons to customize the supported JPEG EXIF tags.

Integrating DiskBoss Search With External Tools

DiskBoss allows one to integrate external tools in the file search operations. The user is provided with the ability to specify which external tools, commands or script files to execute for which file extensions and then configure one or more text patterns to search in the output generated by the configured external tools.

Search Files Using External Tools

In order to configure a search operation to use an external tool, open the search dialog, select the 'Meta Search' rule type and press the 'Edit Rule' button. On the 'Meta Search' rule dialog, press the 'Add' button in the top view and specify one or more file extensions to process and a custom command to execute for each file with the specified extensions.

Search Files Using External Commands

Once finished configuring file extensions and custom commands, press the 'Add' button in the bottom view and specify one or more text patterns to search in the output generated by the configured custom commands. During runtime, DiskBoss will scan the specified input directories, process all the existing files, execute the configured commands for each file with the specified file extensions and search for the user-specified text patterns in the output generated by the executed custom commands.

Searching Files Using Hierarchical File Matching Rules

Nested, hierarchical file matching rules may be very useful when the user needs to find files related to multiple file categories and one or more additional criteria such as a specific file size or modification date. In order to create a nested rule list, select the 'Nested Rules' file search rule type.

Search Files By Rules

On the nested rules dialog, add all the required file matching rules, select an appropriate logical operator and press the 'Ok' button. There are no limits on the number of nested levels and the user can create as many nested levels as required.

Search Files By Nested Rules

DiskBoss provides the ability to configure sophisticated file search queries with multiple levels of hierarchical file matching rules allowing one to precisely search files matching user-specific needs and then generate reports and/or perform file management operations on files matching the user-specified rules.

Saving File Search Reports

DiskBoss allows one to save file search reports into a number of standard formats including HTML, PDF, Excel, XML, text and CSV. In the simplest case, perform a file search operation and press the 'Save' button located on the file search results dialog. On the save report dialog, select an appropriate report format, enter a report file name and press the 'Save' button.

DiskBoss Save File Search Report

For the HTML, PDF, Excel, text, CSV and XML report formats, the user is provided with the ability to save short summary reports or longer detailed reports, which may be very long for large reports containing many thousands of files. By default, DiskBoss will save a short, summary file search report in the HTML report format, which will include a list of the first 20 file search results and a list of tables showing the disk space usage and the number of file search results per file extension, file type, top-level directory, user name, etc.

DiskBoss File Search HTML Report

In addition, the user is provided with the ability to save file search results to the DiskBoss native report format, which preserves all information related to each specific file search operation and may be loaded at any time just by clicking on a report file in the DiskBoss file navigator.

Microsoft Excel Reports

Sometimes, it may be required to perform additional analysis of file search results using external tools such as Microsoft Excel. In order to export file search results to the Excel report format, perform a file search operation, press the 'Save' button located on the file search results dialog, select the 'Excel Summary' report format for a short summary report or the 'Excel Report' format for a detailed file search report.

DiskBoss File Search Save Excel Report

A summary Excel report will include a list of the first 20 file search results and a number of tables showing the used disk space and the number of file search results per file extension, file category, top-level directory, file creation time, last modification time, user name, etc.

DiskBoss File Search Excel Report

A detailed Excel report will include a list of file categories according to the currently selected file categorization mode and a full list of file search results, which may be very long for large reports containing many thousands of files. In order to control how many files are exported in the detailed report, press the 'Advanced Options' button located on the 'Save Report' dialog and customize the file search report for your specific needs.

Graphical PDF Reports

One of the most useful ways to export file search results is to use the PDF summary or the PDF report formats. Both of these report formats include various types of graphical pie charts showing disk space usage and the number of file search results per file extension, file category, creation time, last modification time, top-level directory name, user name, etc. In order to save file search results to a PDF report file, press the 'Save' button located on the file search results dialog and select the 'PDF Summary' report format for a short, summary report or the 'PDF Report' format for a detailed file search report.

DiskBoss File Search Save PDF Report

A summary PDF report will include a list of the first 20 file search results and followed by a number of pie charts showing the disk space usage and the number of file search results per file extension, file category, file creation time, last modification time, top-level directory name, user name, etc. A detailed PDF report will include a full list of file search results, which may be very long for large reports containing many thousands of files.

DiskBoss File Search PDF Report

In addition to the list of file search results, detailed PDF reports include pie charts showing the disk space usage per file category and the number of file search results per file category according to the currently selected file categorization mode. For example, if the second-level file categories mode is set to categorize file search results by the file extension, the PDF report will display pie charts showing the used disk space and the number of files per file extension.

Exporting File Search Reports to SQL Database

DiskBoss Ultimate and DiskBoss Server allow one to save file search reports into an SQL database. A long-term history of file search reports from multiple servers and desktop computers may be submitted to a centralized SQL database and used to analyze file search results across the entire enterprise.

DiskBoss SQL Database Configuration Options

In order to be able to export reports to an SQL database, open the 'Options' dialog, enable the ODBC database interface and specify the name of the data source, database user name and password to use to connect to the SQL database.

DiskBoss File Search Save SQL Database Report

In order to export a file search report to an SQL database, press the 'Save' button located on the file search results dialog and select the 'SQL Database' report format. Optionally, press the 'Advanced Options' button and specify the number of file search results to be exported to the SQL database.

DiskBoss SQL Database Reports

In order to open a previously saved report, press the 'Database' button located on the main toolbar and click on the required report item on the database reports dialog. For each report in the database, DiskBoss displays the report date and time, the host name, the input directories, the number of file search results, the total disk space and the report title.

Searching Files in Network Servers and NAS Storage Devices

DiskBoss allows one to scan the network, discover network servers and NAS storage devices, automatically detect all accessible network shares and search files in hundreds of network servers and NAS storage devices. In addition, the user is provided with the ability to export the list of detected servers and NAS storage devices (including lists of network shares for each server) into HTML, PDF, text and Excel CSV reports.

Search Files in Network Servers and NAS Storage Devices

In order to search all network servers and NAS storage devices on the network, press the 'Network' button located on the main toolbar and wait while DiskBoss will scan the network and show a list of detected network servers and NAS storage devices. In order to search files in one or more servers or NAS storage devices, select the required servers and NAS storage devices and press the 'Search' button.

Network File Search Command

DiskBoss will show all accessible network shares hosted on the selected servers and NAS storage devices allowing one to search files and save various types of file search reports. In addition, the user is provided with the ability to customize a large number of advanced files search options allowing one to tune file search operations for user specific needs and hardware configurations.

Batch File Search Operations

DiskBoss Server and DiskBoss Enterprise provide the ability to execute one or more pre-configured file search commands on all network servers and NAS storage devices on the network and generate an individual file search report for each server and NAS storage device. In order to be able to use batch file search operations, the user needs to pre-configure one or more file search commands customized to generate file search reports according to user-specific needs and requirements.

Batch File Search Operations

In order to start a batch file search operation, press the 'Network' button located on the main toolbar, search all servers and NAS storage devices on the network, select one or more servers and NAS storage devices, press the right mouse button and select the 'Execute Batch Command' menu item.

Select Batch File Search Commands

DiskBoss will display a list of preconfigured file search commands allowing one to select one or more commands to be executed on all selected servers and NAS storage devices. In addition, the user is provided with the ability to select how to save file search reports - for each server or for each network share. By default, all file search reports will be saved in the DiskBoss internal reports database allowing one to open each report, review results, generate various types of pie charts and export reports into a number of standard formats including HTML, PDF, text, Excel CSV and XML.

Excluding Subdirectories From File Search Process

Sometimes, it may be required to exclude one or more subdirectories from the file search process. For example, if you need to search files in a disk excluding one or two special directories, you may specify the whole disk as an input directory and add the directories that should be skipped to the exclude list.

File Search Exclude Directories

In order to add one or more directories to the exclude list, open the file search command dialog, press the 'Options' button, select the 'Exclude' tab and press the 'Add' button. All files and subdirectories located in the specified exclude directory will be excluded from the file search process. In addition, advanced users are provided with a number of exclude directories macro commands allowing one to exclude multiple directories using a single macro command.

DiskBoss provides the following exclude directories macro commands:

  • $BEGINS <Text String> - this macro command excludes all directories beginning with the specified text string.
  • $CONTAINS <Text String> - this macro command excludes all directories containing the specified text string.
  • $ENDS <Text String> - this macro command excludes all directories ending with the specified text string.
  • $REGEX <Regular Expression> - this macro command excludes directories matching the specified regular expression.

For example, the exclude macro command '$CONTAINS Temporary Files' will exclude all directories with 'Temporary Files' in the full directory path and the exclude macro command '$REGEX \.(TMP|TEMP)$' will exclude directories ending with '.TMP' or '.TEMP'.

Advanced File Search Options

DiskBoss provides a large number of advanced file search options allowing one to customize and tune file search operations for user-specific needs. The 'General, tab allows one to set the default report title, set the maximum number of search results to display and enable the display of files user names.

File Search General Options

The 'Advanced' tab provides a number of performance tuning options allowing one to intentionally slow-down file search operations in order to minimize the potential impact on running production systems. The 'Exclude' tab allows one to exclude one or more subdirectories from the file search process.

File Search Advanced Options

The 'Actions' tab provides the ability to configure one or more conditional file search actions allowing one to automatically save reports, send e-mail notifications, trigger pre-configured file management operations or execute custom commands when a file search operation finds a user-specified number of results.

Conditional File Search Actions

DiskBoss Server and DiskBoss Enterprise provide the ability to automatically save reports, send e-mail notifications, trigger pre-configured file management commands or execute custom commands when a file search command finds a user-specified number of files. In order to configure one or more conditional file search actions, open the file search operation, press the 'Options' button, select the 'Actions' tab and press the 'Add' button.

File Search Conditional Actions

On the conditional file search action dialog, enter the number search results to trigger the action, select an appropriate action type and specify all the required parameters. For automatic reports generation actions, the user needs to specify an existing directory to save file search reports in. In order to be able to save file search reports to an SQL database, the user needs to open the main options dialog and configure an ODBC database to use to save report to the database. For e-mail notification actions, the user needs to specify an e-mail address to send e-mail notifications to and also configure an E-Mail account to use to send notifications on the main options dialog.

File Search Conditional Action

In addition, the user is provided with the ability to execute a pre-configured file management operation or a custom command. In this case, the user needs to specify the name of the command to execute. For example, the user may execute a pre-configured file delete command when there are too many specific files in a disk or directory, automatically delete old files and recover the free disk space.

Pre-Configured File Search Commands

One of the most powerful and flexible capabilities of DiskBoss is the ability to pre-configure custom file search operations as user-defined commands and execute such commands in a single mouse click using the DiskBoss GUI application or direct desktop shortcuts. User-defined commands may be managed and executed through the commands dialog or the commands tool pane.

Pre-Configured File Search Commands

In order to add a new command through the commands pane, press the right mouse button over the pane and select the 'Add New - File Search Command' menu item. In order to execute a previously saved command, just click on the command item in the commands tool pane or create a direct desktop shortcut on the Windows desktop.

Searching Files Using DiskBoss Command Line Utility

In addition to the DiskBoss GUI application, DiskBoss Ultimate and DiskBoss Server provide power computer users and IT administrators with the ability to execute user-defined file search operations from batch files and shell scripts using the DiskBoss command line utility, which is located in the 'ProductDir\bin' directory.

diskboss -search <File Wildcard> -dir <Dir 1> ... [ <Dir X> ] [ <Options> ]

This command searches files using the specified file wildcard.

diskboss -search <File Wildcard> -server <Host Name 1> ... [ <Host Name X> ]

This command searches files in all network shares in the specified servers.

diskboss -search <File Wildcard> -network

This command searches files in all network shares in all servers on the network.

diskboss -search -regex <RegEx> -dir <Dir 1> ... [ <Dir X> ] [ <Options> ]

This command searches files using the specified regular expression.

diskboss -search -rules <XML File Name> -dir <Dir 1> ... [ <Dir X> ] [ <Options> ]

This command executes XML search queries defined according to the DiskBoss XML-Based format using input directories and files specified in the command line. For detailed information about the XML format, please refer to the DiskBoss XML format specification.

diskboss -execute <User-Defined File Search Command>

This command executes a user-defined file search operation pre-configured using the DiskBoss GUI application or imported from an XML file.

Parameters:

-dir <Directory 1> [ ... <Directory X> ]

This parameter specifies the list of input disks or directories to search. In order to ensure proper parsing of input directories, directories containing space characters should be double quoted. By default, DiskBoss will generate a combined file search report showing information about all processed disks, directories and network shares. In order to generate an individual report for each input directory, use the '-batch' command line option to enable the batch report generation mode.

-server <Host Name 1> [ ... <Host Name X> ]

This parameter specifies the list of host names or IP addresses of servers or NAS storage devices to search. DiskBoss will enumerate all network shares accessible in the specified servers or NAS storage devices, search files and generate reports if required. By default, DiskBoss will generate a combined file search report showing information about all processed network shares. In order to generate an individual report for each network share, use the '-batch' command line option to enable the batch report generation mode.

-network

In the network-wide file search mode, DiskBoss will discover servers and NAS storage devices accessible on the network, enumerate all network shares available in all detected servers and NAS storage devices, search files and generate reports if required. By default, DiskBoss will generate a combined file search report showing information about all processed network shares. In order to generate an individual report for each network share, use the '-batch' command line option to enable the batch report generation mode.

Options:

-exclude_dir <Exclude Directory 1> [ ... <Exclude Directory X> ]

This option specifies the list of directories that should be excluded from the file search operation. In order to ensure proper parsing of command line arguments, directories containing space characters should be double quoted.

-save_html_report [ Report File Name ]

This option saves file search results to an HTML report file. If no file name is specified, DiskBoss will automatically generate a file name according to the following template: diskboss_[date]_[time].html and save a report file in the user's home directory.

-save_csv_report [ Report File Name ]

This option saves file search results to an Excel CSV file. If no file name is specified, DiskBoss will automatically generate a file name according to the following template: diskboss_[date]_[time].csv and save a report file in the user's home directory.

-save_text_report [ Report File Name ]

This option saves file search results to a text report file. If no file name is specified, DiskBoss will automatically generate a file name according to the following template: diskboss_[date]_[time].txt and save a report file in the user's home directory.

-save_pdf_report [ Report File Name ]

This option saves file search results to a PDF report file. If no file name is specified, DiskBoss will automatically generate a file name according to the following template: diskboss_[date]_[time].pdf and save a report file in the user's home directory.

-save_xml_report [ Report File Name ]

This option saves file search results to an XML report file. If no file name is specified, DiskBoss will automatically generate a file name according to the following template: diskboss_[date]_[time].xml and save a report file in the user's home directory.

-save_report [ Report File Name ]

This option saves file search results to a native DiskBoss report file, which may be later loaded in the DiskBoss GUI application for future review and analysis. If no file name is specified, DiskBoss will automatically generate a file name according to the following template: diskboss_[date]_[time].flr

-save_to_database

This option saves file search results to an SQL Database using the ODBC interface configured in the DiskBoss GUI application options dialog.

-title <Report Title>

This option sets a custom report title.

-label <Report Label>

This option sets a custom report label.

-compress

This option instructs to save compressed report files.

-batch

This option enables the batch report generation mode. In the batch report generation mode DiskBoss saves an individual report file for each input disk, directory or network share.

-v

This option shows the product's major and minor versions.

-help

This option shows the command line usage information.