How to Automate SFTP File Transfers


IT team spends a lot of time scripting sftp file transfers

The average IT team spends 44% of their time on manual tasks that “keep the lights on.”1 If your IT team manually transfers files, there’s a better way.

Maybe you’ve automated file transfers with free or open-source software. But it’s complicated to use commands and write scripts. And what happens if the employee managing it leaves?

Managed file transfer (MFT) automates file transfers, giving time back to your IT team so they can focus on innovation.

Benefits of Automating SFTP File Transfer with MFT

MFT is:

  1. More efficient
    • Faster Onboarding – Add internal teams and partners to workflows in less than 30 minutes.
    • Easier Maintenance and Scaling – Eliminate server setup and maintenance costs with a cloud MFT solution that auto-scales.
    • Simpler Monitoring – When something goes wrong, receive an automatic alert with the reason it happened. Fix the issue in minutes.
  2. Less complex
  3. By choosing to do custom integration and custom file transfers, your organization has all its eggs in one basket. If the person managing the solution leaves, your team will struggle to maintain it and troubleshoot.

    With MFT, everything you need is in an online portal. Your IT team can learn to use it in a few hours and get support as needed.

  4. Tailored for your use case
  5. These file processing features support your use cases:

    • Trigger or semaphore files – Avoid sending a batch of files too early.
    • Scheduling – Choose how often the system should check for files.
    • File name filters – Include or exclude certain file types.

How to Automate an SFTP File Transfer Using Thru

Defining Our Terms

Thru is a no-code cloud MFT service, so you don’t need to manage hardware or scaling. Everything you need is in an online portal.

Before getting started, here are three terms to know:

  • Flows*

    Unlike traditional file- or folder-based file transfer systems, Thru is flow-based. A flow is a pathway created to transfer files between endpoints. You can modify flows at any time by adding or removing organizations or endpoints.

    * Note: flows are called transports in previous versions.

  • Organizations

    Organizations represent groups of people you want to send files to. They can represent internal teams (your accounting or marketing teams) or other companies.

    In Thru, organizations are independent from flows. Flows don’t have a limit on how many organizations you can add.

  • Endpoints

    Endpoints are exactly what they sound like. They define where the files will be picked up and dropped off.

    Organizations can have multiple endpoints. Because Thru can act as a client or server, you have the flexibility you need to satisfy business or security requirements.

Steps to Automate Your Transfers

Here’s how to automate SFTP file transfers in Thru:

Step 1: Create organizations

Create enterprise and partner organizations. Then, add the names, types and contact information for each.

Step 2: Add SFTP client and/or server endpoints

Click into each organization and create an endpoint. Name it and pick a type.

Add the necessary information and test the connection.

Step 3: Create a flow and add organizations

Name the flow and pick a type. Once it’s created, add organizations. You can subscribe as many organizations as you need because of how Thru is designed.

Then, choose a source or target organization.

Step 4: Add endpoints and begin transfers

Choose specific endpoints to add. Now you can start transferring files!

Step 5: Monitor automatically

You’ll receive automatic email or text alerts if something goes wrong. They include the reason for the alert so you can fix it fast.

If you’d like to see these steps in action, check out our 8-minute product demo.

Onboard Partners Up to 8x Faster

Crocs’ IT team shaved down their 2-4 hour partner onboarding time to under 30 minutes with Thru.

What could your IT team do with 3 extra hours per new partner?

See how Thru can help your IT team by signing up for a free trial. No credit card or commitment required.


1 Dynatrace 2020 Global CIO Report. Conducted by Vanson Bourne.



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