Simplifying Managed File Transfer: A Manufacturing Use Case

As companies evaluate Thru in search for a managed file transfer (MFT) solution, many often ask, what differentiates Thru from other file transfer solutions?

A benefit that makes Thru stand out from the rest is simplicity.

Many of our customers migrate to Thru from complex file transfer solutions that require time-consuming configurations. Thru reduces complexity with an easy to use solution that requires no coding or scripts.

For example, Don McIntosh, Director IT, Development & Enterprise Systems at Crocs, stated in this video testimonial, “The ability of Thru to mask the complexity of file transfer solutions through a simple configuration-based UI is really the beauty of the product. File transfer solutions are not simple things to work with but Thru has really delivered in this area.”

Here are the key areas of MFT that Thru simplifies:

  1. As a cloud-native MFT service, Thru does not require deployment or maintenance by the customer IT department.
  2. No-code design allows fast and efficient configuration of file transfer workflows that integrate with multiple applications without requiring developer skills.
  3. Connecting with modern integration platforms as a service (iPaaS) is simplified via use of Thru native iPaaS connectors as building blocks within iPaaS design tools. Extended management API enables orchestration of MFT by iPaaS via event-driven automation.
  4. Onboarding and configuring connections to external partners is simplified via provisioning of partner self-service web portals with no coding or deployment.
  5. Publish – Subscribe design replaces multiple point-to-point connections with flexible subscriptions that connect organization endpoints to file transfer flows and iPaaS processes in a loosely coupled system.
  6. Web dashboards provide an easy and comprehensive view of internal and external file exchange flows which are configured, managed and audited in a uniform way via Thru cloud portal.

A Food Manufacturer Sets Up MFT Workflows Easily with Thru

To see how simple Thru is for yourself, let’s go through a common use case.

Imagine a food manufacturer needs to receive invoices on a schedule from several trading partners and integrate the files into its MuleSoft integration platform for processing.

Below are the steps the manufacturer would take to create this invoice workflow in Thru, integrate with MuleSoft and connect with its multiple trading partners.

Step 1 – Manufacturer Creates a New Transport (Workflow)

The first step is for the manufacturer to create a new file transfer workflow, which are called “transports” in Thru. There are multiple types such as “many to one”, “one to many” and ones specifically for connecting to iPaaS solutions such as MuleSoft® and Boomi®.

In this example, the company selected the MuleSoft iPaaS connector and a “feed” transport to feed incoming files into an iPaaS process.

Figure 1 – The manufacturer creates a new transport and calls it “Receive Invoices”

Invoices Workflow with Thru - Manufacturing

Figure 2 – The MuleSoft connector and “feed” transport type is selected

MuleSoft CONNECTOR Selected in Transports

Select Workflow Type - Thru Managed File Transfer

Figure 3 – The transport is created and ready for organizations to subscribe

Transport Created with MuleSoft Integration

Step 2 – Organizations Subscribe to the Transport

After the transport is created, the manufacturer turns on self-subscription to allow any number of partners to self-subscribe. This enables partners to log in to Thru and self-manage subscriptions without enterprise admin involvement.

Figure 4 – Self-subscription is turned on to allow partners to self-manage subscriptions and endpoints

Self-Service Managed File Transfer - Trading Partners

Figure 5 – Five trading partners subscribe to send the manufacturer invoices

Onboarding Trading Partners - Managed File Transfer

Step 3 – Partners Add Endpoints and Set Schedule

After a partner subscribes to the transport, they add endpoints that Thru will pick up files from and deliver to the manufacturer. They also set a custom schedule for how often Thru will check to pick up files. In this example a partner selected an SFTP server and selected for Thru to check for files every ten minutes.

Figure 6 – Partner selects an SFTP server source and sets the schedule

SFTP Solution for Enterprises

SFTP Server Details

Figure 7 – Example of a configured file transfer workflow in Thru

Completed Workflow with MuleSoft Integration

Thru’s Simple MFT Solution Provides Tangible Value

Thru’s simple user experience provides tangible value such as faster time to market for new business processes and significant reductions in maintenance costs. The simplicity of the platform has enabled companies such as Crocs to quickly implement file transfer solutions in hours versus days or weeks.

To read how Crocs is using Thru to simplify file transfer integrations, click the button below.

 

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