Managed File Transfer in Action – Scenario #1

Automatically Download Files Via SFTP, Delete & Notify

The cost to the business of not having data where you need it, when you need it, can be very significant. Downstream processes, whether automated or manual, that rely on data that isn’t available can’t run. At best it creates a bottleneck or in extreme scenarios processes stop completely, unable to proceed without the next set of instructions. In a simple scenario this could amount to a day of orders not processed or jobs not being allocated to drivers. The cost could run into the tens of thousands of pounds or more.

Real Life Use Case – Utilities Company

We have countless customers that use the automated collection of data feature of managed file transfer (MFT), but one springs to mind with an interesting use case. We implemented a MFT solution at a Utilities company to automatically pick files up from a council. The files were wayleaves, which provided confirmation whether they had been granted permission to access certain locations to repair water leaks. The process they had in place initially was manual and not always completed daily, resulting in site visits to repair leaks being delayed.

How Can Managed File Transfer Help?

Addressing this issue was a relatively easy process and can be achieved in the better MFT solutions available. In this instance we scheduled the automatic collection or download of the required files from the council servers via SFTP. The process would have looked something like this:

  • Log on to SFTP* server
  • Navigate to the correct folder defined by the path provided
  • Download only the files needed to a local file store
  • Delete them from the source
  • Notify someone of success or failure

*SFTP is more commonly used for this type of activity than FTPS, due to it being more firewall friendly and not needing certificates for the authentication process. In the example screen grab below you can see the typical options available for a standard automation task. Here, the task has been configured to log into an SFTP server and navigate to the folder from which to download the files. The other configurable options ensure that only files of the correct types, naming convention and age are downloaded.

SFTP File Transfer Automation
The task is the configured to run on specific days and at certain times, downloading the files to a defined location then providing for a simple email notification message to be delivered (see below).
Email notification