The automation of SFTP, FTPS and FTP file transfers is a common need for IT organizations in every industry as they seek to simplify and move away from manual file transfer processes. But this requirement isn’t very simple when departments are still using point-to-point integrations to connect these file transfers across internal departments and with external trading partners.
Many companies still use custom scripts to automate FTP transfers across clients and servers. This works fine with just a few users, but doing this on an enterprise scale will produce many issues. File transfers will often break, there’s no centralized way to track transfers between servers/clients and scripts are very time-consuming for developers; especially when onboarding new users and making changes to scripts.
In this post we will show you how Thru’s cloud-native managed file transfer platform can be used to easily set up automation for SFTP/FTPS/FTP file transfers between internal and external organizations with complete tracking of activities; all with no scripting requirements. View the steps below:
Step 1 – Enterprise Creates Transport and Extended Enterprise Subscribes
Thru’s managed file transfer as a service (MFTaaS) offering is an enterprise-grade solution that automates system-to-system file transfers on a schedule between enterprises and the “extended enterprise” (partners and internal departments).
Thru’s platform works very similar to how a postal service operates. The participants (enterprise, partners and departments) each drop off and pick up files in folders from different endpoints (e.g. SFTP, FTPS, FTP, Amazon S3, ERP) and the “postal service” (Thru MFTaaS) orchestrates deliveries between source and target endpoints based on workflow processes set up by the enterprise called “transports”. Each transport type has a different purpose that is each used for different use cases (e.g., receive files, send files, receive files with possible return to sender). Transports can also be integrated with integration platforms as a service (iPaaS) solutions such as MuleSoft via Thru’s iPaaS connectors.
Figure 1 – Thru MFTaaS platform architecture. All automated file transfers across the enterprise and extended enterprise systems can be orchestrated by the Thru platform.
Figure 2 – The enterprise can choose from 6 different types of Transports to create a file exchange process. For example, an enterprise can use the “One to Many” transport when it needs to push files from a single source to multiple partners and departments.
External partners and departments subscribe to transports either through a self-service portal or can be manually added by the enterprise.
Figure 3 – “Transport Dashboard” where organizations subscribe to file exchange processes.
Figure 4 – Organization selects a transport to subscribe to.
Step 2 – Subscribers Choose Endpoints and Set Transfer Schedule
After subscribing to a transport, organizations 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 FTP endpoints, subscribers can choose from SFTP/FTPS/FTP servers and clients. Organizations authenticate endpoints only once and can reuse them in any amount of other transports. No scripting or coding required!
Figure 5 – “Transport Process” dashboard where subscribers add their source or target endpoints. Endpoints can be quickly added, edited or removed without breaking other processes.
Figure 6 – Organizations can choose from SFTP/FTPS/FTP clients and servers to send and receive files with the enterprise.
Figure 7 – Example of a target SFTP server endpoint. The organization chooses the folder path on the SFTP server where they want to receive files and sets the schedule (the frequency can be every 15 secs, daily, weekly or monthly).
Step 3 – View All File Delivery Activity in a Single Dashboard
After files have started being exchanged between FTP 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 transports from the File Delivery Dashboard including delivered/failed transfers.
To see Thru MFTaaS in action, watch this short demonstration video.
Try Thru for free
To try Thru MFTaaS for 30 days, create a free account in the Thru Developer Portal.
Schedule time with a Thru expert who can answer all of your questions about Thru’s managed file transfer offering.
[Note: This blog was originally posted on February 24, 2017, and was recently updated to demonstrate the latest Thru features]