Last year was a whirlwind of change for companies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it didn’t stop many from pushing forward with digital transformation projects. Some people I talk to are interested in file transfer integration to increase productivity and simplify their IT ecosystems. Others are migrating to cloud-based integration platforms-as-a-service (iPaaS) that provide seamless integration between disparate cloud and on-premises systems.
Although an iPaaS is powerful, it doesn’t have all the necessary capabilities built in. Managed file transfer (MFT) software that can integrate with an iPaaS provides four essential capabilities: persistence, large payload capability, any-to-any capability and guaranteed delivery.
Integration platforms use messages, or small files, to connect applications. The iPaaS needs a lot of processing power because these files are sent hundreds or thousands of times a minute.
Because of this demand, most integration platforms are built with no or limited persistence, meaning that they can’t store files until delivery. They’re designed for real-time APIs and can handle around 10,000 API calls per minute.
In contrast, MFT software can store files until delivery with zero data loss because it doesn’t handle thousands of processes at once. Retention policies can be defined so that files are deleted after a certain time period.
Large Payload Capability
An iPaaS can only take small to medium file transfer payloads because it’s designed for fast execution and deals with a lot of demand at once. MFT software can handle unlimited payloads and any file format.
Typically, an integration platform has mostly point-to-point connections for file transfers. It can’t be a server and manages servers individually. Because of these limitations, developers need to code point-to-point connections between organizations for file transfer.
Developers can create more loosely coupled workflows with MFT because it has any-to-any capability. MFT software can also act as a client or as a server for more flexiblity.
As mentioned above, integration platforms deal primarily with messages, which are sent quickly and often. To add guaranteed delivery to file transfer workflows, developers have to hand-code and add it to each workflow.
MFT software should have guaranteed delivery built-in and IT teams should be able to easily check file activity, file delivery status and other information.
To learn more about the relationship between integration platforms and MFT, read Managed File Transfer (MFT) and EiPaaS: A Complete Solution.
[Note: This blog was originally posted on June 5, 2020, and was recently updated.]