Using Automonitoring for Bulk Download Creation

How to create large number of downloads automatically.

Auto monitoring is rather like a general import.  It provides the capability of creating categories, sub categories and downloads automatically.  The resultant downloads are of a basic type without additional descriptions, special pictures and so on.  But the main chore of uploading and creating the categories and downloads is readily accomplished.

The first step is to go to Configuration - Monitor tab

Note usually a good idea to limit type of files uploaded.  Also I suggest you set the Download Directory Monitoring to No as explained later.  Setting the Automatic Publishing option is a matter of choice.  It can sometimes be useful as you can readily determine what has been uploaded and make any changes manually.

See also the file and directory naming scheme below that is used by jDownloads to resolve potential conflicts.

To check out all is well it is recommended that auto monitoring is turned off. The actual monitoring will be initiated manually as indicated below by clicking on 'Check Download area now'.

Actually I always turn off Auto Monitoring as it can take some time and it is easy to initiate manually, also   jDownloads always gives a summary report in the Staus sub panel as illustrated below.


File and Directory Naming

Some files systems are case sensitive, that is they distinguish between upper and lower case letters.  For example a directory name, which will later be used as a Category name, which is say TEst and another one called TesT are two separate directories in such file systems. Similarly a file called say MyData.pdf  and another one called mydata.pdf are different files in these systems. The most common web servers are based upon Linux or Unix operating systems and their associated file systems. Both of these operating systems are case sensitive.

In the monitoring scheme the name of the Download is, in principle, taken directly from the name of the File.  Additionally Joomla! requires a unique alias, and aliases are created as lower case versions of the Download name albeit with underscores in place of spaces.  The same occurs in categories.  So whilst the file system itsef is case insensitive, the result could cause a confusion in the aliases that are created.

To solve this challenge jDownloads compares names using lower case, if there is no match then the original name is used.  If there is a match then jDownloads generates what might be called an 'incremented name'.  For example suppose  a category TEST exists. If another directory called say test is found in the automonitoring then as it is new the name will be cahanged to test(2). Of course if test(2) alreadt exists the new name will be test(3) and so on.  The same happens with file names and Download names except here the 'incrementing' is slightly different. For example if a file with name already exists and there is potentially a new Download again using a file called, or, or any mixture of upper and lower case characters of test then it will be changed to
This is also the case for manually created categories and Downloads.


The basic structure of jDowloads Categories are just folders and sub folders starting at

<site-root>/jdownloads as indicated opposite.


In this simple example a new sub folder was created and the 'downloads'  were uploaded into the sub folder.

This could be done by an ftp program such as FileZilla, by using the site cPanel, by using a Joomla! directory manager component like eXtplorer or similar.

No matter which way it is activated the monitor function carries out the  operations and checks given below.

  • It checks that all published categories and downloads exist in their upload directories.
    If not, the directories or the download are automaticly set to unpublished.
  • If a new directory is found, it is added in the database as new category.
  • If a new file is found, it is added in the database as a new Download.

Any new categries or Downloads may be created as published or unpublished as set up in the Monitoring tab of the jD Configuration.


The next step is to initiate the monitoring manually from the jDowloads Control Panel - Status subtab and then clicking on 'Check Downloads area now' link.

This will give a report such as shown opposite.  But if a lot of files please be patient!  It all depends on the speed and load of your server.  When you have a large number, say more than 500 files and folders, to upload then see the special notes on automonitoring a large number of files and folders.


When activated in the jDownloads configuration the monitoring occurs whenever you go to the jDownloads Control Panel.Because of this I always turn it off.

If this option is deactivated then you can run it manually by clicking on: Check download area now in the jDownloads Control Panel as noted earlier.

Another option is to use a 'cron job' application to initiate monitoring at specific times - see Automatic Publication at Scheduled Times (Cron job) for more details


The result is a set of automatically created downloads, and in this example a new sub category as well.



Important: Adding a large number of files and folders
If you want to add add  many files or folders (> 500) , it is strongly recommended to add them in more than one one step.  For this process always set the auto-monitoring function off in Configuration Monitoring tab.  The backend will also be loaded faster if Automonitoring is off.
An illustration:

  • you will add 200 folders with more as 3000 files
  • upload your FTP program or by one of the other methods no more than a combined total of 500 files and folders. for the toal of 3200 entries this isrepeating the process seven times.
  • after every 'set of 500' or less has been uploaded then run the monitoring function manually.




Colin Mercer January 2015, revised November 2017

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