Auto Run Workflows

Hi. It would be really useful for us if there was a way of creating a workflow that can be triggard when files are placed in folders automatically or on scheduled events.

We would like to create the workflow and then for it to run without the need of someone hitting the play button and ideall without the app window needing to be open

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This is possible right now with Finder Folder Actions if you’re familiar with that.

Here’s a sample script to attach to that:

on adding folder items to theAttachedFolder after receiving theNewItems
	tell application "Retrobatch"
		set d to open "/Users/gus/Desktop/My Workflow.retrobatch"
		tell d
			execute input items theNewItems
		end tell
	end tell
	tell application "Finder"
		-- Optionally move the items to the trash.
		move theNewItems to the trash
	end tell
end adding folder items to

Having RB watch a folder when a workflow is open is something I’m looking into though.

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Thanks yes we have typically moved away from folder actions because we find with multiple users dropping in multiple large files the folder action regularly failed to execute and then was stuck.

It would be nice to have a more robust way of handling this within the tool.

What would you want it to look like? At first though, I can think of a checkbox or along those lines for the folder node, which basically says “kick things off when new images are added to the folder”.

Did you want something along those lines, or something different?


Something like this would be great - OR a separate button next to the play button that indicated on or ‘live’.

With this type of process do you have to move the original out so that it is not re-processed or is Retrobatch smart enough to leave an already processed file alone?


Retrobatch doesn’t remove any files right now, so it’d have to be smart enough to not re-process things that don’t need it.


Yes exactly it would need to be able to purge the folder or move them into another location. It would also need to be smart enough to know when its still processing one and to not process that file again even if new ones come into the folder during a process running.

The way we handle this is by creating a working folder where the file is moved into a working folder at the very beginning of a workflow so that if the workflow is started again it does not pick up anything currently being worked on

It’s already got smarts to handle the cases when hooking it up with Folder Actions + AppleScript. If new things come in when it’s already processing, it’ll hold those until the current process is done and then pick up again with the new things.

Shouldn’t be too hard. Probably want a launch-at-login helper daemon that uses FSEvents to monitor a set of hot directories based on the documents one has registered as auto-process.