An Association in Axon Commander represents a workflow rule that automatically places files in an organizational structure (a Folder or Cabinet) and securely moves them about the network (to a Destination) when certain conditions are met. This automated engine is called the Association Matrix. Using the Association Matrix provides an administrator with the ability use a hands-off approach to managing file transfer and movement in the system. Associations can appear daunting at first but after you understand them, they are very powerful for automated management of files in Axon Commander.
Note: When Axon Commander physically moves files, it follows all IACP standards for transferring data from location to location, calculating an SHA-2 hash of every file (pre-move and post-move or copy), and auditing all transfers that take place.
An Association always contains at least one Constraint, the condition checked to determine if the rule is triggered, and a location where the file is sent when that condition is met. A Constraint can be based on Areas, Markers, Sources, Tags, and Users. The location where the file is sent can be a folder Cabinet, or Destination.
An Association can have multiple Constraints and you can set how the Constraint relate to one another. There are two types of Constraints: Union Constraints and Intersection Constraints. Each type is described below.
- Union Constraints: A Union Constraint triggers an action when any of the individual Constraints are met. When multiple Constraints are set up, by default they are Union Constraints. But they can be changed to Intersection Constraints when creating an Association (see Step 8 of the Creating an Association procedure).
Example: If a Union Constraint has individual Constraints for User A and Marker Z, then the Association rule is triggered if a file is owned by User A OR if it has Marker Z.
- Intersection Constraint: An Intersection Constraint triggers an action when all the individual Constraints are met.
Example: If an Intersection Constraint has individual Constraints for User A and Marker Z, then the Association rule is triggered if the file is owned by User A AND has Marker Z.
When an Association is created, it is added to the Association Matrix.
This section provides examples of Associations, and how they appear in the system, based on real world situations.
An administrator wants to track all DUIs submitted by Officer Jones and place them in a specific location only accessible by him. Additionally, the DUI files should go to the normal file location. The administrator adds a Storage Location named Secure San and adds a Folder named Jones-DUI with Access Control allowing only him.
The administrator creates an Intersection Constraint that looks like the following figure.
Notice that the Rule field shows: Marker: “DUI” -> “” And User: JJones. This means that this Association only triggers when the user JJones uploads videos marked with the DUI Event Type. Then the administrator goes to the Folders tab and adds the Jones-DUI folder. When the Association is saved, appears in the Association list as shown in the following figure.
So, in summary, the DUI Rule for Officer Jones states that all files made by User JJones and marked with a DUI Marker is associated with the Jones-DUI folder.
An administrator wants to send all traffic stop files to a low-cost storage array and only keep them in Axon Commander system for 90 days.
First the administrator creates a folder named Traffic Stops and sets the Retention to 90 days and assigns the folder to the Storage Location Low Cost SAN. Then the administrator creates an Association with the Constraints Marker Event Type Traffic, Description Keywords Traffic, and Tag Traffic, and then adds the Folder Traffic Stops. The Association appears in the Association list as shown in the following figure.
Creating an Association
- Click Associations in the Administration navigation pane.
A list of existing Associations is shown. The list shows the Association Name, Constraints, Cabinets, Folder, and Destinations.
- Click Add.
The Association Properties dialog box appears.
- Enter a Name for the Association.
- Under Constraints, click Add.
The Constraints dialog box appears.
- Select the Category for the Constraint. This sets what is checked by the Association. The available categories are: Area, Bookmark, Source, Tag, and User.
- Enter or select the Value for the Constraint. The available values depend on the selected Category:
- Area: Select the value from a list showing all the Areas.
Description: A text box is available to enter any keywords to look for in a Marker Description.
- Source: Select the value from a list of the Sources.
- Tag: Select the value from a list of all Tag templates. The Tag template type, Choice or Text, is shown before the name.
If a Choice Tag is selected another list, with choices for that Tag template, is shown. Select the appropriate choice for the Association.
If a Text Tag is selected, a text field is shown. Enter in the value for the Association.
- User: Select the value from a list of all users.
- Click OK to add the Constraint.
The Constraint is added to the Constraints list and the Rule field is updated.
- Repeat steps 4 through 7 to add all the Constraints for this Association. If you add multiple Constraints, set how they relate to one another. There are two types of multiple Constraint, Union Constraints and Intersection Constraints.
Union Constraints: A Union Constraint triggers an action when any of the individual Constraints are met. When multiple Constraints are set up, by default they are Union Constraints. But they can be changed to Intersection Constraints.
Intersection Constraint: An Intersection Constraint triggers an action when all the individual Constraints are met.
- To change a Union Constraint to an Intersection Constraint, click on the word Union, right-click and select Change to Intersection Constraint.
- To change an Intersection Constraint to a Union Constraint, click on the word Intersection, right-click and select Change to Union Constraint.
- To add another Constraint, click the on the word Union or Intersection (depending on the type), right-click and select Add > Atomic Constraint, and then follow steps 5 through 7 to add the Constraint.
- If you want to send the file to a Cabinet, click the Cabinets.
- Click Add and select the Cabinet(s) to add.
- If you want to send the file to a Folder, click the Folders.
- Click Add and select the Folder(s) to add.
- If you want to send the file to a Destination, click the Destinations.
- Click Add and select the Destination(s) to add.
- When you are finished with the Association settings, click Apply.
The Association is added to the Associations list.
- Click Close to close the Association Properties dialog box.