Christmas in July: How CFT can save your holiday season

What follows is a tale as old as Internet Time itself. A tale of two children, FTP and CFT, who needed to send their business-critical data, namely their Christmas Wish Lists, to Santa at the North Pole.

So, gather around the fireplace, with your eggnog in hand, and listen to this tale of Managed File Transfer and the differences between how FTP and CFT each communicated with Santa at the North Pole.

FTP, once upon a time…

FTP wanted to send a file containing her Christmas Wish List to Santa.

FTP looked up Santa’s address and sent the file there. The 226 Response Code from the mail carrier was all that was needed for FTP to be happy and content, knowing that she can now sleep soundly and dream of the pony that will inevitably arrive at the holiday.

On Christmas morning, FTP awoke and ran downstairs to look for the pony from Santa. There, nestled by the Christmas tree, tagged with FTP’s name and signed by Santa, was a red toy fire truck.

With trembling lips and a brave face, FTP said, “Just what I always wanted” and ran back upstairs to sob in her bedroom.

Meanwhile, CFT…

CFT also wanted to send a file containing her Christmas Wish List to Santa.

However, CFT was a meticulous and thorough child, especially when it came to mission-critical data transfers such as their Christmas Wish List. CFT knew that this task would be repeated yearly, and that there was no room for error. She began to execute her plan…

First, CFT installed an agent at the North Pole. After all, how could you guarantee that your file wasn’t tampered with unless you had an agent at the other end to check these details?

The agent can also be instructed to perform important tasks:

  • Prioritize the received files, so that files addressed to Santa will be processed before files addressed to the other elves.
  • Validate the file contents to make sure it wasn’t tampered.
  • If only half the file arrives, retry and only continue once the whole file has been received.
  • Convert the formatting of the file so that it meets Santa’s standards.
  • Personally, deliver the file to Santa and confirm that Santa opened and read the file.
  • Provide acknowledgments and updates about the progress of the file delivery.
  • Send back any files that Santa, or the elves, need to return to CFT.

Now that the agent was installed at the North Pole, CFT sent her file to the agent, for delivery to Santa.

The agent received the file and checked that it hadn’t been tampered with and was not missing any parts. The agent notified CFT that the file had been received, complete, and unaltered.

The agent knows that Santa, that jolly old elf, prefers to receive files formatted in Elvish Scroll (the local elves refer to this as EBCDIC) rather than human languages (which the elves refer to as ASCII). The agent automatically converted the file format to the Elvish Scroll.

The agent personally delivers the file to Santa and waits to watch what Santa does with it. When Santa takes the file, reads the file, and acknowledges that he has read and understood it, the agent sends back notifications to CFT of Santa’s actions.

CFT now has acknowledgments that Santa has received, opened, read, and confirmed his understanding of the file and the Wish List contained within it. CFT goes to bed knowing that she can now sleep soundly and dream of the pony that will inevitably arrive at the holiday.

On Christmas morning, CFT awoke and ran downstairs to look for the pony from Santa. There, nestled by the Christmas tree, tagged with CFT’s name and signed by Santa, was a pony.

With smiling lips and a contented face, CFT said “Just what I always wanted” and ran back upstairs to put on her riding boots.

Happily, ever after…

So, as the flames in the fireplace dwindle, and your eggnog glass sits empty, spare a thought this holiday season for all the children that would be disappointed if they use FTP instead of CFT.

Ho, ho, ho, and to all a good night!

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