Automated File Transfers and SharePoint
Traditionally organization’s have shared and exchanged data between two platforms, often local file servers or local applications (that could also be housed in the cloud or data centers). With the move from the file server to platforms such as SharePoint, the need to securely exchange and share files from say an SFTP endpoint to SharePoint, or between local windows servers and SharePoint has not disappeared.
The demand for a SaaS based, fully managed and hosted cloud based managed file transfer (or cloud SFTP) platform is growing as organizations move their file storage and workloads to the cloud. This is where a solution such as Couchdrop comes into its own. Couchdrop is adopted by financial companies globally for secure file exchange, or health and life sciences to receive and share PHI and logistic companies to process manifests timely and reliably.
The foundation to Couchdrop is the SFTP protocol. SFTP is a standardized protocol that is compliant with both HIPAA and PCI file transfer. Unlike API’s there is no need to agree to a standard, and it just works, securely and reliably. Couchdrop takes the SFTP protocol and acts as a gateway or virtual file system on top of your storage platform whether it’s a Windows file server, SharePoint, Azure Blob or another SFTP server. What makes Couchdrop great is not only it’s compliance (SOC2) but also it’s automation functionality where it can automatically pull or push files on a timeframe between any platform (think SFTP <--> SharePoint) or decrypt PGP, rename, move, copy, compress or a combination of all.
We’ll quickly run you through a simple automated file transfer pulling files from an SFTP server into a SharePoint site.
Create a Couchdrop account
Anyone can sign up for a free 14-day trial to test out the capabilities of the platform. The team can always extend the trial too if you’d like. To get started create an account at Couchdrop’s registration page.
When you log in for the first time you’ll be asked to connect a platform (this is for data at rest). You can mount as many platforms as you’d like later on, and you can automate between any where and really, any where. In this case we’re going to connect SharePoint.
Connect remote SFTP server
You now need to mount/connect the remote SFTP server that we will be automating file transfers to your SharePoint from. It’s as easy as selecting +Add Storage Integration then from the list, select SFTP Server.
Complete the configuration options below with the remote SFTP server’s information.
Configure Automation between SFTP and SharePoint
Now we have mounted both platforms, we can configure an automation between the two. Navigate to the automations dashboard within Couchdrop and then Add a new automation → Create a scheduled workflow.
Provide the following:
- A plain name to identify it by
- Select when you would like the automation to run
- Enter the platform you would like to monitor for new files (in this use case it will be the SFTP server we connected)
- Enable/disable subfolders
Skip the conditions (unless you wish to have specific conditions on what files are copied across) then under actions select Copy File and specify the SharePoint directory you’d like the files to be put into.
You can also enter in an email address for automation notifications, if this is not required then select Save and Continue.
Last step is to test or enable the automation. Simply find your new automation and either Run/Trigger Workflow to test, or Enable Schedule for the new automation to begin.