An Analysis of TIBCO MFT

As the independent, managed file transfer industry experts, Pro2col pays close attention to all software within the marketplace. We aim to maintain a clear understanding of the evolution of the industry and key players in the space, and as such we’ve been tracking the evolution of TIBCO’s MFT offering since 2018.

 Tibco-Gartner-MFTIt’s important to state that this analysis has been entirely conducted based upon the publicly available information from Tibco and its websites, community pages and support documentation but has been prioritised due to an increase in requests from TIBCO users looking for alternative solutions.

In assessing TIBCO MFT we aim to be objective, based upon the publicly available facts, industry best practice and software development cadence.

History of TIBCO MFT

 Proginet, a software development company, was founded in 1988 with its headquarters in Garden City, New York. Renowned for its XCOM file transfer software, it went on to develop the CyberFusion Integration Suite (CFI), comprising of Command Center, Platform Server and Internet Server. A multi-platform managed file transfer solution serving the mainframe world and all major distributed platforms.

In December, 2009, Proginet announced the acquisition of RocketStream. It acquired the accelerated file transfer software suite to integrate into its CyberFusion Integration Suite, their MFT platform, providing customers, resellers and OEM partners with the option to move data at up to x200 faster than traditional FTP.

On September 16, 2010 Proginet Corporation was acquired by TIBCO for $23m, primarily for their CyberFusion MFT platform which was renamed Tibco Managed File Transfer

 What is TIBCO MFT?

 TIBCO MFT is a cross platform, managed file transfer solution. It comprises of three main components: the MFT Command Center, MFT Internet Server & MFT Platform Server. Each of the components are explained below, with details of the current & previous software versions and a look at recently added new features.

Learn About The Top MFT Tools 

MFT Command Center

  • MFT Command Center is the management component for MFT Internet Server and MFT Platform Servers. It provides a single point of control, a digital dashboard to manage file transfers within and outside of the organisation.
  • Current version 8.4.2, released in April 2022 with no new features
  • Version 8.2.x retired 31/1/23, extended support provided until 31/12/23.
  • Releases prior to 8.2.x have no support

MFT Internet Server

  • MFT Internet Server is the file transfer component acting as a portal or gateway through which all files are exchanged with external users. MFT Internet Server supports many open protocols such as HTTPS, HTTP, FTPS, SFTP, FTP, AS2, its own propriety protocol and open standards such as XML, SOAP and UDDI.
  • Current version 8.4.2, released in April 2022 with no new features
  • Version 8.2.x retired 31/1/23, extended support provided until 31/12/23
  • Releases prior to 8.2.x have no support

MFT Platform Server

  • MFT Platform Servers are peer-to-peer file transfer servers that typically execute in the internal network. MFT Platform Servers are built specifically for each operating system delivering file transfer automation across the enterprise. They we’re originally developed to be efficient and fast for very high volume of transfers.
  • Current version 8.4.2, released in April 2022 with no new features
  • Version 8.2.x retired 31/1/23, extended support provided until 31/12/23
  • Releases prior to 8.2.x have no support

 Our Assessment of TIBCO MFT

 In looking through TIBCO’s documentation, the one key take away is the lack of innovation of the MFT platform since June 2020. Whilst managed file transfer is a mature technology, technology providers in this space continue to innovate their solutions to adapt to modern business challenges and an increasingly hybrid infrastructure and integrated world.

 On the face of it TIBCO appears to tick a lot of boxes. It supports the major communication protocols, is API enabled and has added some cloud storage endpoints. It provides file transfer automation across the enterprise with support for all operating systems, this sets it apart from some vendors which are locked into Microsoft Windows only support.

However, a review of the release notes for the suite highlights a continued lack of investment in each component, particularly in comparison to other MFT vendors. Whilst some new features have been added, if TIBCO MFT is being considered for a new project, we recommend paying particular attention to the latest encryption standards, operating system & web browser support and the capabilities provided by the API’s and automation rules. The last release which stated any new functionality made reference to updating the Tomcat webserver in order to modernise the suites interfaces, which suggests a lack of innovation and a focus on extending the lifespan of the suite ‘as-is’.

 TIBCO MFT’s architecture follows a largely redundant deployment guide, when compared with other MFT solutions. Almost all modern MFT deployments make use of a gateway proxy server to ensure all data is kept out of the DMZ and authentication is controlled by a LAN-side service. Increasingly modern MFT deployments make use of agents deployed outside of the firewall to control an increasing number of datasets. It is unclear whether the MFT Platform component can be used in this way.

 In summary, TIBCO MFT appears to tick many boxes that modern enterprises require for their file movement and integration. However, the continued lack of innovation results in this being categorised as being ‘managed into decline’.

Learn About The Top MFT Tools 

TIBCO MFT Release Notes

Further details are consolidated below to provide clarity of the software releases since March 2019, specifically highlighting the lack of product evolution. Supporting documentation is available from the links provided.

MFT Command Center

No new functionality released since June 2020, subsequent updates have amounted to an update in interfaces in the 8.4.0 release.

 

Version

Release Date

Comment

8.4.2

April 2022

No new features or changes to functionality

8.4.1

Feb 2022

No new features or changes to functionality

8.4.0

October 2021

Tomcat upgrade. New user interface. Some limited updates.

8.3.1

Feb 2022

No new features or changes to functionality

8.3.0

June 2020

New features added include cloud storage endpoints and API calls

8.2.0

March 2019

Additions include REST API, language packs, various libraries and existing feature enhancements.

MFT Internet Server

No new functionality released since June 2020, subsequent updates have amounted to an update in interfaces in the 8.4.0 release.

Version

Release Date

Comment

8.4.2

April 2022

No new features or changes to functionality

8.4.1

March 2022

No new features or changes to functionality

8.4.0

October 2021

Tomcat upgrade. New user interface. Some limited updates.

8.3.1

Feb 2022

No new features or changes to functionality

8.3.0

June 2020

New features added include cloud storage endpoints and API calls

8.2.0

March 2019

Additions include REST API, language packs, various libraries and existing feature enhancements.

 

MFT Platform Server

No new functionality released since June 2020, subsequent updates have amounted to an update in interfaces in the 8.4.0 release.

Version

Release Date

Comment

8.4.2

April 2022

No new features or changes to functionality

8.4.1

Feb 2022

No new features or changes to functionality

8.4.0

October 2021

Tomcat upgrade. New user interface. Some limited updates.

8.3.1

Feb 2022

No new features or changes to functionality

8.3.0

June 2020

New features added include cloud storage endpoints and API calls

8.2.0

March 2019

Additions include REST API, language packs, various libraries and existing feature enhancements.

 

If you’re currently using TIBCO and would like to learn more about other MFT solutions, our MFT experts can help.

References

https://www.tibco.com/press-releases/2010/tibco-completes-acquisition-proginet-corporation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proginet

https://support.tibco.com/s/article/Support-Policy-for-TIBCO-Managed-File-Transfer-Platform-Server-for-UNIX-and-z-Linux-7-2-x

https://support.tibco.com/s/article/Support-Policy-for-TIBCO-Managed-File-Transfer-Platform-Server-for-zOS-7-2-x

https://support.tibco.com/s/article/Support-Policy-for-TIBCO-Managed-File-Transfer-Platform-Server-for-Windows-7-1-x-and-prior-versions

https://support.tibco.com/s/article/Support-Policy-for-TIBCO-Managed-File-Transfer-Platform-Server-for-zOS-7-2-x

https://community.tibco.com/s/article/managed-file-transfer-product-overview

https://www.tibco.com/products/tibco-managed-file-transfer

https://support.tibco.com/s/end-of-support

https://docs.tibco.com/products/tibco-managed-file-transfer-platform-server-for-windows-8-0-1

https://docs.tibco.com/products/tibco-managed-file-transfer-platform-server-for-z-linux-8-1-0

https://docs.tibco.com/products/tibco-managed-file-transfer-platform-server-for-unix-8-1-0

https://docs.tibco.com/products/tibco-managed-file-transfer-platform-server-for-z-os-8-1-0

 

About the Author

 
James-headshot-new

 

James Lewis is the Managing Director at Pro2col, Independent Managed File Transfer Experts and the owner of the Certified File Transfer Professional (CFTP) training course. James' experience in MFT & B2B solutions has enabled the Pro2col team to work in partnership with SME's and leading global brands across a range of industries. 

Find out more about James here.