How to create a Data Retrieval Task with Custom Patterns

How to create a Data Retrieval Task with Custom Patternslink

Many data retrieval requirements can be completed with the search patterns which come packaged with the Ascema Endpoint system. For more specialised or specific requirements the Ascema Endpoint system supports the building of more complex queries in the form of Custom Patterns.

Creating a Keyword patternlink

To create a Keyword pattern for a retrieval select the Keywords button

  • The Keywords dialog will be displayed
  • Enter one or more Keywords each of which may use a wildcard character
  • Once keywords have been entered the Add Keyword button will be enabled


In the Add Keyword dialog you can enter one or more keywords each separated by commas. Each keyword may consist of either a single word or could be two or more words separated by spaces which form a key phrase. A keyword may also have a * character at the end in which case any word starting with the defined keyword will match; so birth* will match the words birthdate, birthday and also the word birth. The wildcard character * can only be used at the end of a word when creating keyword searches.

When you create a list of keywords within the Add Keyword dialog a search will alert if any of the matching words are found, if multiple words in your list match then you may see multiple reported items in your search reports.

Uploading a Keyword Listlink

To upload a list of keywords from a file select the Keyword List button

  • The Browse button will open the usual File Selection dialog for your browser
  • When you select a file its name will be populated in the dialog
  • The Add Keyword List button is now enabled
  • To save this list for use in future retrieval tasks select the Save Keyword list for future use
  • Select the Add Keyword List button to save the keyword list to the retrieval task

Creating a Similar File patternlink

The Ascema system has the similar file facility to aid in searching for data which would be found in documents based from a template. To upload a file for this type of retrieval task select the Similar Files button.

  • The Browse button will open the usual File Selection dialog for your browser
  • When you select a file its name will be populated in the dialog
  • The Add Similar File button is now enabled

Creating a Regular Expression patternlink

Regular Expressions are a technical syntax for defining a pattern of sensitive data which can be far more complex and flexible than keywords. To create a retrieval pattern using a regular expression select the Regular Expressions button.

  • Once a regular expression has been entered a name will be populated in the dialog which you can change if you choose
  • Once a regular expression has been entered the Add regex button_ will be enabled
  • The Test String can optionally be used to put in a string of text which you use to check that the regular expression has been entered correctly
  • If using a test string then the Test button will return a message showing whether matches for the regular expression were found
  • To save this regular expression for use in future retrieval tasks select the Save regex for future use

Creating Compound Patternslink

Patterns for retrieval tasks with the Ascema usually combine using or logic - if one pattern or another applies the file will be matched and reported. If you want a task to only retrieve data if one pattern and another apply then this can be achieved with a compound pattern. For a compound retrieval criteria select the Compound Patterns button

  • This dialog has three parts to it * The left hand pattern * The condition to connect the patterns * The right hand pattern
  • Each of the pattern parts has a prominent option to Add Custom Pattern
  • These options work as explained on the rest of this page
  • To instead add one of the preset patterns use the blue drop arrow
  • Select Add Preset Pattern and the Preset Patterns dialog will be displayed
  • Preset patterns can be selected for this part of the compound pattern in the same way as in How to create a Search Task
  • Select both the left and right hand patterns you want to use for the compound search
  • The final part of creating the compound pattern is to choose the operator between the two sides of the pattern
  • Select Choose an Operator
  • Once all three parts of the expression have been entered a summary will be displayed and the Create Compound Pattern button will be enabled
  • To save the compound pattern to use in later searches select the Save compound pattern checkbox
  • A name for the pattern can then be entered
  • When you are finished select the Create Compound Button button

Using saved patternslink

Some of the custom pattern types described above can be saved for use in creating further retrieval tasks. To apply a previously saved custom pattern to a new retrieval task select the Saved Patterns button.

  • From the list of saved patterns select the checkbox next to the ones you want to apply
  • The saved pattern will be displayed on the wizard against its pattern type
  • The saved pattern can be removed from this search by selecting the x on its display against the pattern type


Saved patterns can be deleted from the Saved Patterns part of the wizard. Each is displayed with a small trashcan icon next to it which can be used to delete that saved pattern if it is no longer of use.