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Different methods of SFTP

SFTP is the de facto method of backend file transfer, especially in compliance driven industries such as finance, insurance and healthcare. The nature of this is due to the robust and secure nature of the file transfer protocol and widely supported standards, rather than an API that does not follow the same standardisation.

When using SFTP there are multiple ways this method can be used to retrieve or share files externally. This guide will discuss how Couchdrop’s Cloud SFTP can solve these and provide insight to how use of a managed file transfer product like this can remove complex scripts and internally created solutions.

As Couchdrop sits on top of your cloud storage solution (SharePoint, Dropbox, S3, Azure etc.) all of these actions can be done in conjunction with your cloud storage, an external cloud storage or an external SFTP server.

The three methods of SFTP transfer with Couchdrop:

  • Collect — this is where you create a user and the external party sends you data to a specific folder
  • Pull — for pull you utilise Couchdrop’s automate functionality to pull files from an external platform (SFTP or cloud storage) and copy them to your cloud storage.
  • Push — this is the opposite of pull, with push you simply send files to an external party’s cloud storage or SFTP server

Configuring the three types within Couchdrop.

First you will need to configure your backend storage to store the files at rest — see Couchdrop’s guides on connecting your cloud platform

Configuring ‘Collect’

For collect, once you’ve connected your storage, all that remains is the configuration of an external user to send you files.

- Username and password

- Root folder specified within your connected storage

cloud sharepoint sftp server
Configuring an SFTP user in Couchdrop

As you can see this user is restricted to /couchdrop/test as their root folder and when logging in via SFTP will only access this folder. Once you’ve saved this user you can provide the credentials to your third party to send you files (or retrieve files) securely from your backend storage.

Configuring Pull

Unlike the collect method there is no need to create a user, rather you will need to configure the external location as another storage endpoint within Couchdrop. For example an external SFTP server.

SFTP as a service
Using an external SFTP server to pull files into SharePoint

Once you have connected both the source and destination storage platforms you will need to navigate to Automate then Scheduled/Trigged Workflows and then Add a new workflow

cloud hosted sftp
Couchdrop Automate dashboard

To configure an automated pull you will need to do is the following:

  • Provide the workflow a name
  • Specify the intervals you would like to pull files from the external location
  • Specify the remote folder to pull files from
  • Specify your folder to copy the files to
hosted ftp and sftp
Configuring an automated pull workflow in Couchdrop

Configuring Push

Configuring the push method follows exactly the same steps as the pull method, except you flip the source and destination around so that you are copying files from your folder to a remote destination.

Return to your Couchdrop automate dashboard and Add a new workflow

To configure an automated pull you will need to do is the following:

  • Provide the workflow a name
  • Specify the intervals you would like to push files to the external location
  • Specify your folder to copy the files from
  • Specify the remote folder to push files to
ftp as a service
Configuring an automated push workflow in Couchdrop

For more information or to get started jump across to or for more guides see




Couchdrop is the secure file gateway and cloud SFTP / MFT platform. Couchdrop acts as your secure access method between systems or for clients to send you files to your cloud storage backend, that can be completely automated.

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Jayden Bartram

Jayden Bartram

COO of Couchdrop and Movebot

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