Enhancements in FTP adapter in BizTalk Server 2010 (beta)

I was really anxious about the new features which would be added to BTS 2010. After seeing and experiencing the new visuals of the BizTalk Mapper tool and other visual enhancements I am satisfied to a certain level. When I was going through the documentation I saw the FTP adapter enhancements so I wanted to try out and test the enhancements in the beta version.

The enhancements are listed below.

1- Support for downloading file from locations marked as read only

As stated in this feature and whoever used the FTP adapter knows that the file would be deleted from the FTP after the download had completed. Now the FTP adapter in BTS 2010 is enabled to download the file without deleting the file from the location. For any reason if you want to keep the file on the FTP location now you can do so. And previously for reading the file we would need write permissions on the FTP as the file would get deleted. There is a new property in the FTP Transport propery “Delete After Download” which you can set to No. You can see this in the screenshot below.



Whoever wants to use the FTP adapter can configure the FTP Services on the server. I took help from here.

I created a receive location for the FTP and a Send port and applied the filter simply. Just to see that if the file gets deleted or not.



Well good I can see the file in the FTP location and its not deleted. There is another new property Enable Timestamp comparision. It works if the Delete after download property is set to No. If the Enable Timestamp comparision is set to Yes the file from the FTP will be re-downloaded if there is a change in the file. The adapter compares the modified timestamp of the file and re-downloads the file again if the timestamp changed. I tried it and when I modified and changed the file I could see the file re-downloaded in my File Location.




2- Support for atomic file transfer in ASCII Mode

As mentioned in the documentation the atomic file transfer was present only in Binary mode. Now the adapter can do the atomic file transfer from the FTP in ASCII mode as well. There is a Temporary Folder property in which the path of the temporary folder is given. This folder is used by the adapter for temporarily writing the data onto the file. When the download is complete then the file in the destination is written from this temporary location and the delete action is taken on the source FTP locaion by the adapter but now depending upon the Delete after download property value. But unfortunately when I gave the temporary locaion path and chanded the representation to ASCII I got the error that temporary location can only be defined when representation is Binary. Well BTS 2010 is in Beta I reported the bug. When its released I will test it later.




3- Support for Read/Write on Secure FTP

The third is the major enhancement in the FTP adapter. The old FTP adapter did not work on the secure FTP and we had to use the SFTP adapter on codeplex. Now it can read and write on the secure FTP locations and looks like we can stop using the codeplex adapter and use the native FTP adapter after the release of BTS 2010.

7 Responses to Enhancements in FTP adapter in BizTalk Server 2010 (beta)

  1. Great introduction to new FTP adapter features in BizTalk 2010.

    I wonder hows ‘Delete After Download = No’ is implemented?
    As far I know, FTP Adapter is doing polling on the FTP location. how BizTalk knows that a specific has already been downloaded? does it change any file attribute on the FTP server?

    • Abdul Rafay says:

      It checks the modified timestamp of the file on the FTP. If it is changed then it further downloads it again depending upon the Enable timestamp comparision property as written in the post. I have no idea where it saves or how does it cache the timestamp when once it had downloaded it doesn’t downloads again.

  2. The updated FTP adapter supports FTPS (FTP over SSL), which is not the same as SFTP which is a subset of SSH (UNIX protocol). These are two very different protocols.

    Although it’s great (and about time) we got FTPS support, a common problem with FTPS is that it’s not a standard, and the implementations may vary depending on the server software and platform.


  3. Sajid Hussain says:

    Thanks Rafay for sharing the new features in FTP adapter, FTPS and an option to retain files and time stamp comparison features were all required and would come in pretty handy!

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