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Alfresco Document Transformation Engine

Installation overview

The standalone Document Transformation Engine runs on Microsoft Windows and provides file transformations.

Prerequisites

There are a number of important notes to consider when installing the Document Transformation Engine in addition to the supported platforms.

  • The Document Transformation Engine requires an installation of Alfresco Transform Service.

  • The standalone Document Transformation Engine requires the software components to be installed and available on the same machine.

  • Only install the English versions of Microsoft Windows Server 2012, Microsoft Windows Server 2016 or Microsoft Windows Server 2019, and Microsoft Office because other languages cause encoding issues resulting in unpredictable behavior.

    Note: Although the engine must be configured in English, this has no impact on the transformation language used for documents.

  • Microsoft Office 2016 or 2019 32-bit & 64-bit.

  • To enable the Document Transformation Engine to work with non-English documents you must install the desired Microsoft Office language pack of the language you want to work with.

  • The Document Transformation Engine does not work with Windows non-English regional settings.

  • Make sure that the Windows print spooler service is running.

Sizing

There are a number of recommendations for calculating sizing. You will need:

  • Four high clocked cores per engine, with between 4 GB and 6 GB RAM. If you find that you need more power, it is better to add another engine instance with a similar specification than to upgrade the hardware. The reason for this is that Microsoft Office is not very scalable.

  • Between 10 GB and 15 GB of free space. Storage is not that important, but if you have lots of large files, you should make sure that creating temporary copies of those files will not slow the system down.

  • Gigabit Ethernet.

  • At least one CPU for each concurrent transformation that is expected to be processed by the engine.

Disc I/O bandwidth

Microsoft Office transformations are I/O-heavy, and so on some solutions, I/O contention can be a performance bottleneck. When multiple Word conversions occur in parallel, performance can suffer heavily from poor random read and write speeds.

Using an Amazon EC2 instance c3.2xlarge, the I/O metrics are as follows:

  • sequential read speed: 131 MB/s
  • sequential write speed: 83 MB/s
  • random qd32 read speed: 10,4 MB/s
  • random qd32 write speed: 3,8 MB/s

Installation

The Document Transformation Engine is installed using an msi file where you can select to install a T-Engine at the same time. Alternatively you can install the Document Transformation Engine using the msi and use Docker Compose to install the T-Engine. See Install with MSI for more details. There is also an SDK that can be installed.

Set JAVA_HOME

If you’re using any JDK which does not set a registry key, you need to manually set the JAVA_HOME system variable. This mostly happens when using a zip package installation of the JDK.

  1. Locate your JDK installation (it’s most likely in a directory such as C:\Program Files\jdk-11.x.x).
  2. Search for Advanced system settings.
  3. Select View advanced system settings > Environment Variables.
  4. In the System variables section, click New (or User variables for a single user setting).
  5. Add the following settings:

    • Variable name = JAVA_HOME
    • Variable value = path to the JDK installation (from step 1).
  6. Click OK (twice) and finally click Apply to save the changes.

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