Downloadable Data

Access and Download Enterprise Data

Using Azure Data Factory and a secure storage mechanism (Blob Storage, Archive Storage, etc.), AF has made your essential datasets available for local access. In light of the growing threat of ransomware attacks and the heightened industry focus on data security and disaster recovery, our clients have the capability to securely retrieve and download their enterprise data. This safeguard ensures that in the event of a system failure, whether on the AF's end or the client's, daily operations can continue while technology is restored.


This document outlines the steps to configure access to your enterprise datasets

  1. Download Azure Storage Explorer
  2. Utilize Secured Access Signature (SAS) to connect to secure cloud location
  3. Navigate and download daily files
  4. Navigating the CSV in excel
  5. Extract details and navigating best practices 

Download Azure Storage Explorer

The enterprise datasets are stored in Azure File Shares which provides a reliable and secure cloud storage location. In order to navigate the Azure File Shares, clients will need to download Azure Storage Explorer. This free application serves as an intuitive interface for seamless navigation of Azure Files within the cloud. The following steps demonstrate how to install and setup Azure Storage Explorer.

  1. Open your web browser and go to the official Azure Storage Explorer download page on the Microsoft website:
  2. Choose the version of Azure Storage Explorer that matches your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux). Click on the appropriate download link.
    Untitled (32)
  3. Once you've clicked on the download link, the installer file will start downloading. The filename may vary depending on the version.Picture2
  4. Locate the downloaded installer file (usually in your "Downloads" folder) and double-click it to run the installation.
  5. Accept the terms when it prompts you. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process. You may be prompted to choose installation options and select a destination folder. (The default file locations and options should be correct)
  6. Once the installation is complete, you can launch Azure Storage Explorer from your Start menu

Utilize Secured Access Signature (SAS) to connect to secure cloud location

Azure File Storage is securely isolated from public access, making it exclusively accessible through a Shared Access Signature (SAS). A SAS acts as an authentication key that grants access solely to authorized individuals. To access enterprise files, clients must be provided with a unique Shared Access Signature.

By utilizing Azure Storage, ActionFlow…

  • maintains complete oversight on the creation, delivery, and storage of the extracts
  • maintains full capabilities to issue and restrict access
  • requires no additional configuration work on the client side to ensure compatibility and a clean delivery of extracts
  1. In order to connect to your enterprise file share, you must input the SAS that was provided to you by your Account Manager
  2. Select the plug icon on the leftUntitled-2 (4)
  3. This will queue a popup where you can select which storage location you would like to connect to. Select File ShareUntitled-3
  4. There will be 2 text boxes: “Display Name” and “File Share SAS URL”
    1. For the Display Name, use “BackupFiles” and the prefix it with your shop name
      1. Ex: “ABCCountertopsBackupFiles”
    2. For the “File Share SAS URL”, input the the url that was provided by your account manager
    3. Click Next and ConnectUntitled-4 (3)
  5. You are now connected to the secure Azure File Storage

Navigate and download daily files

Now that you have made a connection, you will have full access to view and download your daily exports.

  1. After the connection has been made, the file explorer on your left panel will show your enterprise folder
  2. Double click on your folder.
  3. You will now see a list of folders that have been timestamped going back for 30 days. Each morning, a new folder will appear that holds a zipped export of all your job information.Picture7
  4. It is recommended that every day/week you download the export so that you can maintain an offline backup of all of your current and historical job information. This is to help provide insulation for your business if your shop or ActionFlow were to experience any type of catastrophic failure.
  5. In order to download your daily exports, navigate to the most recent folder.
  6. Right click on the “yyyy_mm_dd” folder and select “Download”.Untitled-5
  7. Navigate to the your preferred local folder click “Select Folder”
    1. This will download a file of all of your job information to your local driveUntitled-3 (1)
  8. Once the folder has been downloaded, you will have the ability to view your daily exports.

Navigating the CSV in excel

For efficient storage and memory usage, each entity is exported in CSV format. There are some basic steps that you can take to make the extracts easier to navigate

  1. From your file explorer, double click on any of the daily extracts to open the CSV file in excel
  2. Once Excel is open, turn on filtering capabilities. Use the "Sort & Filter" button in the tools ribbon 
  3. Ensure that the column widths are extended to show all the text in each cell. In order to do that, click on the corner of the sheet. This will select the entire sheet. Then double click between 2 columns and the sheet will automatically set the column widths to include all text. 

4. Zoom out to have a better view of your records and associated columns. (hold down CTRL + scroll out)

Extract details 

The Downloadable Data offering includes 7 data extracts which provide a comprehensive view of the daily activities and administrative tasks of the business.  By making these available, if technology goes down for any period of time, the fabricator will still have access to their essential data and maintain the ability to operate their day-to-day operations while technology is restored. 

The datasets are limited to actions which are have occurred or are set to occur a month behind and month ahead. By limiting the result set, the extracts become easier to digest and navigate. 


Best Practice: Start with the "Schedule" extract and filter the ActionStartDate to something upcoming in the next day or two. Identify a jobNum that you will trace through each extract.

  1. “Schedule” - Includes details about past and upcoming schedule actions  
    • Sample Questions: “I need to know what is supposed to happen today, tomorrow, and maybe the next day” “Which installs are taking place and what can I learn about that customer?”
  2. "Job" - Includes essential job details for any of the upcoming/past scheduled actions. All custom job fields are included. All “Accepted” jobs are also included if they do not have any associated actions. 
    • Sample Questions: “What are the basic and high level details for this job”
  3. "Area" - Includes essential area details for any of the upcoming/past scheduled actions. Revenue and invoicing details are included in this extract. All area details from “Accepted” jobs are also included if they do not have any associated actions. 
    • Sample Questions: “How many areas are associated to this job?” “What is the retail, cost, revenue, and payment status for the area?”
  4. "LineItems" - Includes Line Item details  for the jobs in the "Jobs" extract. All line item details from “Accepted” jobs are also included if they do not have any associated actions. 
    • Sample Questions:  “What are the pieces associated to this job that I need to account for?”
  5. "CalcTops"- Includes Top details for the jobs in the "Jobs" extract. All CalcTop details from “Accepted” jobs are also included if they do not have any associated actions. 
    • Sample Questions: “What are the tops associated to this job that I need to account for?”

  1. “Payments” - Includes historical payment activity details. All payments history  detail from “Accepted” jobs are also included if they do not have any associated actions.  
    • Sample Questions: “What was our payment activity from the last week?” “What is the payment status of this job?”


  1. “Inventory”  - Includes current inventory and upcoming inventory order details 
    • Sample Questions: “What orders are coming in today that I will need to stock?” “Which order came in yesterday?” “Which slabs are available and present that we could tag to a job?”