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Upgrade Info

Upgrading to PathFinder 6.0 for existing users

This document gives a brief outline of the major changes between the 5.2 and 6.0 releases of PathFinder; for more details on each issue, please check the release notes that accompany PathFinder 6.0. If you are not an existing PathFinder user, you may find more information in the full description of PathFinder, which can be found here.

Improved and Expanded

As well as numerous fixes and enhancements, many of them suggested by our customers, PathFinder 6.0 contains a number of significant new areas of functionality

JSON syntax

PathFinder 6.0 now contains support for the JSON syntax. JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is an open standard file format that is both structured and human-readable. It is becoming an increasingly common syntax for export and import for applications and web services. Although we had ways of managing JSON in previous releases of PathFinder, 6.0 now allows JSON as a native syntax both for PathFinder identification and in the translator and mapper.

Due to PathFinder’s flexibility regarding standards, there is no significant new technique to learn when mapping JSON – the user just needs to select the JSON syntax for the appropriate template when creating a PathFinder map.

Web services listener

To make interaction with PathFinder easier for trading partners, PathFinder’s HTTP listener now has an option to provide a web service to external or internal partners. Using six documented commands, parties can send, list, download and delete files from their PathFinder mailbox using a RESTful web service.

PDF data extraction

Although PathFinder’s document creator module has long been able to create PDF files, processing data from these is a very different process. PathFinder 6.0 can extract data from PDF files according to a template, and this will produce a data file that can then be mapped in the normal way. For example, data from incoming emailed orders PDF files can be converted into automatic orders import, saving considerable data entry time and increasing accuracy. It is important to note that this applies to PDFs generated automatically from systems, which contain the data fields within them – PDF files produced from graphical scans of documents will not be able to be processed.


PathFinder 6.0 is the most secure version of PathFinder so far. For communications. we have support for certificates and digests up to SHA512, support for S/MIME email to allow both signatures and encryption, and AS/4 communications. Mailbox access has been secured further. On the user side, access to the PathFinder service manager has been tightened.

Service Packs

The current Service Pack available for PathFinder 6 is Service Pack 2. The most notable feature is a significant improvement on transfer speeds for large files. Email processing has been improved by adding additional authentication mechanisms to the IMAP connections, and by improved handling of incoming emails.

Data encoding in Excel spreadsheets has been improved, and for installations using Windows servers, the startup section of the communications manager has been enhanced, improving handling of unplanned shutdowns.


All existing PathFinder users are, as usual, entitled to the latest upgrade software free of charge. If moving from release 5.2 or earlier, we recommend the use of Orion Consulting Services for the particular upgrade, due to the numerous changes to the product and underlying database. For more information, or to organise your upgrade, please contact Orion.

Explore our products and services or contact us for more information

As market leaders in our sector, we have been working with industry experts Orion Consulting for over 10 years. They have helped us to maximise our efficiency through the use of their Pathfinder solution to enable flexible, accurate and reliable data integration with our customers. This has helped ensure we delivered outstanding service and, in turn, delighted our customers.

Fowler Welch’s success is built on long-term, value-adding relationships with both our customers and suppliers, and Orion are a great example of that.

Matthew Downes, IT Director, Fowler Welch