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File automation and ingestion platform

A lot of platforms offer automation as a means to bind multiple SaaS applications or third parties. While this suffices for some tasks, the challenge is often seen when a secure file workflow requires automation, transformation on the actual file itself, rather than the content. Solutions like this are often required in banking, finance, insurance, logistics and health care industries as a means to share or exchange files between organisations or systems.

Traditionally, file automation platforms are hosted locally and referred to a “managed file transfer platform” which could be seen as a glorified SFTP or FTP server with some additional features. When looking for a modern file automation platform or solution it is worth considering if it is cloud hosted and managed, as well offers modern security functionality, not to mention the automation capability you require.

When looking at file automation solutions, Couchdrop is a solid modern solution. Couchdrop is fully cloud hosted and managed (SaaS), cost-effective, pay only per user or automation, and works with your cloud storage (SharePoint, Azure, S3, Dropbox, Google, etc.).

The functionality of Couchdrop as a file automation platform enables you to conduct the following on file workflows (although there is a lot more):

  • Securely pull/push data from a remote location (SFTP/cloud storage) to another location (either remote or local). Example: You could connect an SFTP server and a SharePoint bucket and copy files every hour from SFTP to a SharePoint site.
  • Route files based on conditions to different locations (folders or other storage providers). Example: if two files are dropped, based on the file names one file may go to Dropbox and another may be sent to an SFTP location.
  • Decrypt or encrypt files with PGP on upload or download. Example: A third party may upload a file to you via SFTP that is encrypted with PGP, using Couchdrop this file will arrive in your storage decrypted and ready to go.
  • Compress/Decompress files on upload or download. Example: Someone uploads a compressed file you could decompress it and have the files accessible and ready to go or you could take action on a directory every day to compress all of the files ready for action.
  • Mash the above together. Example you could pull a compressed folder that contains encrypted files from a remote SFTP server every day to your SharePoint storage and decompress it and decrypt the files ready to go.
file automation platform
Example of an automated file transfer workload in Couchdrop

Automation triggers

Automations can be based on certain conditions that can or must be met and you can trigger automations in multiple different ways, these are;

  • Based on a time interval, i.e. every 15 minutes, hour, 2 hours or weeks.
  • By firing at a webhook URI to trigger the automation.
  • Based on an upload or download event, i.e. when someone uploads the files via SFTP take action on those files based on certain conditions.

Methods of ingesting or exchanging files

  • Anonymous or user secure portal
  • API — either Couchdrops API or through Couchdrop’s cloud storage integrations
  • SCP
  • Rsync
  • Webdav

While Couchdrop can act as a fully automated file exchange platform that can complement your workflows and file transfer network, it can also be utilised as a simple cloud SFTP server for your simpler workloads.

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