In this article, you are going to learn about FTP and SFTP and how to send data through the Generic FTP/SFTP Gateway available on the Platform.
- What is "FTP" and "SFTP"?
- The Platform's Generic FTP/SFTP gateway (PUSH server)
- Register a generic FTP/SFTP Gateway in the EMS
- Send data through the generic FTP/SFTP
- Additional information and logs
What is "FTP" and "SFTP"?
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) are protocols to transfer files through the internet between systems (hardware and/or software systems). The only difference between both is that FTP is not secure (is not transporting files encrypted), while SFTP is secure, and thus SFTP is gaining more and more adoption with time.
Regardless of the security, both protocols behave the same way, always there's a connection established between 2 points, where one point acts as a server and the other point as a client.
The concept of "server" and "client" is analogous to a local storage management in a PC, where a "server" is a file system repository and a client is a logic that allows a given user to access the file system and manage files (store/delete/move).
In the EM Platform, the server would be the FTP/SFTP server URL that we provide you to send the data, and the client would be the logic that you use to import that data, for example FileZilla, or a hardware system (gateway) capable to establish connection and send data to this URL.
Differences between FTP and SFTP
As commented, SFTP it's very similar to FTP, but secure. SFTP allows you to register to the server with a user and password or with an SSH key (which provides a secure connection).
The Platform's Generic FTP/SFTP gateway (PUSH server)
The EM Platform has a generic FTP/SFTP server available that you can use by adding a Generic FTP/SFTP gateway to your account (gateway icon in the following image)
This action creates a specific folder under the URL provided by the EM Platform, secured with a username and a password, available just for your data. Please note that, regardless of the security of the transport, the access to the FTP/SFTP URL is always secured by user and password.
Note: The use of this FTP/SFTP server is free of charge, included in the license price.
The FTP/SFTP server from the EM Platform contains a list of File Formats mapped that can be used. Depending on the format, the data must be inserted in one way or another for the EMS to understand what's being inserted.
These File Formats are called Parsers.
Register an FTP/SFTP Gateway in the EMS
To register this gateway, follow these steps and select the FTP/SFTP Gateway.
Once in the settings of the gateway, you have to give it a name in the Platform, select your timezone, and select the File Format, from the list of available formats, that you are going to use to insert data into the Platform.
Please note that the gateway form will automatically provide you with the following important information:
- FTP URL and Port (this is the URL and port to be configured on the external system side to access the EMS FTP server):
- URL: ftp.source.dexma.com
- Port: 21
- SFTP URL and Port (this is the URL and port to be configured on the external system side to access the EMS SFTP server):
- URL: sftp.source.dexma.com
- Port: 23
- FTP/SFTP user: User solely for this gateway to access the FTP/SFTP server.
- FTP/SFTP password: Password solely for this gateway to access the FTP/SFTP server.
Important note: The port and the address for FTP and SFTP respectively have to be exactly the ones indicated above. Any other combination won't work.
Send data through FTP/SFTP
Once you have the FTP/SFTP folder created, by registering your generic FTP/SFTP Gateway, you can use the credentials provided by the Platform to import your realtime and historical data using a tool like FileZilla.
Check out how to do it here.
Additional information and logs
It is important to know that, regarding FTP in passive mode, we have a defined range of ports: 49152 - 49260.
The maximum file size supported by this gateway is 15MB.
Inside the Platform, in the Generic FTP/SFTP gateway section, there's a tab dedicated to the logs in the gateway, where you can easily visualize when the EMS is properly processing the files that are being sent to the FTP/SFTP server.
This can be very useful to discover if the reason why the data is not being inserted is that the format used doesn't match the chosen one on the Gateway.