How to Onboard Partners with SFTP Servers Faster

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Partner onboarding is a common challenge for IT organizations in every industry as they seek to simplify and move away from manual file transfer processes. Partner onboarding isn’t very simple when departments are still using point-to-point integrations to transfer files with partners.

Many companies still use custom scripts to automate transfers across clients and servers. This works with a few users, but doing this on a larger scale causes problems:

  • File transfers often break
  • There’s no centralized way to track transfers between servers or clients
  • Coding is time-consuming for developers

Thru has multi-protocol functionality and can be used to onboard partners with SFTP/FTPS endpoints without coding.

Step 1 – Enterprise Creates Flow and Partners Subscribe

Thru is an enterprise-grade solution that automates file transfers on a schedule between enterprises and their partners.

Thru works like a post office. Enterprises and partners each drop off and pick up files in folders from different endpoints (e.g. SFTP, FTPS, Amazon S3, ERP) and the “post office” orchestrates deliveries between source and target endpoints based on workflow processes set up by the enterprise called “flows.”

Each flow type is used for different use cases (e.g., receive files, send files, receive files with possible return to sender). Flows can also be integrated with integration platforms as a service (iPaaS) such as MuleSoft and Boomi via Thru’s file transfer integration connectors.

Figure 1 – Thru’s platform architecture. All automated file transfers across the enterprise and partners can be orchestrated by Thru.

Thru's platform architecture with MFTaaS

Figure 2 – The enterprise can choose from 6 different types of flows. For example, an enterprise can use the “One to Many” flow when it needs to push files from a single source to multiple partners and departments.

selecting from different types of flows from thru's mft interface

Partners subscribe to flows either through a self-service portal or can be manually added by the enterprise.

Figure 3 – “Flow Dashboard” where partners subscribe to flows.

Thru Screenshot - Transport Dashboard where organizations subscribe to file exchange processes

Figure 4 – Partner selects a flow to subscribe to.

Thru - Organization selects a transport to subscribe to

Step 2 – Subscribers Choose Endpoints and Set Transfer Schedule

After subscribing to a flow, partners can start adding endpoints where they would like to drop off or pick up files. They also set a schedule for how frequently they want Thru to deliver files.

To pick up or drop off files via endpoints, subscribers can choose from SFTP/FTPS servers and clients. Organizations authenticate endpoints only once and can reuse them in any number of other flows. No scripting or coding required!

Figure 5 – “Flow Process” dashboard where subscribers add their source or target endpoints. Endpoints can be quickly added, edited or removed without breaking other processes.

Thru - Transport Process dashboard

Figure 6 – Partners can choose from SFTP/FTPS clients and servers to send and receive files with the enterprise.

A closer look at Thru endpoints

Figure 7 – Example of a target SFTP server endpoint. The partner chooses the folder path on the SFTP server where they want to receive files and sets the schedule (the frequency can be hourly, daily, weekly or monthly).

Thru - Example of a target SFTP server endpoint

Step 3 – View All File Delivery Activity in a Single Dashboard

After files are moving between endpoints with Thru, the enterprise and subscribed organizations with self-service access can go to the “File Delivery Dashboard” to monitor file transfer activities.

Figure 8 – The enterprise can view and download files transferred across all flows from the File Delivery Dashboard including delivered/failed transfers.

Thru - View and download files transferred across all transports

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To see Thru in action, watch our demo.

[Note: This blog was last updated on November 19, 2018, and was recently updated]

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