FTP Facility on a Website

Hi,

I may be in well over my head here but hopefully one of you experts could lead me in the right direction!

I work for a digital print company which has it’s own FTP server that clients can upload their artwork to and we retrieve across our network. A lot of the time however is spent explaining to clients how to upload to our FTP. A few use Windows so they can use Internet Explorer and others are Mac users who, as you know, have to use FTP software such as Fetch, Transmit, Cyberduck etc. and trying to give out login details over the phone often results in errors because of spelling, missing dots and the likes.

I am currently rebuilding our website and would like to add some kind of FTP functionality where clients can securely upload files to our ftp easily without any other software or need for usernames and passwords. By the way, our webspace is hosted by another company, not our own server if that’s important. I have seen plenty of companies such as YouSentIt offering services such as SiteDrop but that’s going to cost us nearly $60 per month for the privilege and seems a bit of a waste when we have our own FTP. Does anyone know if there is an action or script I can use to achieve this?

If anyone can help I would be really grateful!

Regards, Jon


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You can (if you have the right version of PHP on your Web server) do a sort of Web → FTP bridge. Essentially, you create a file upload form (and this is rife with trickiness, particularly when you want to allow large file uploads) and then have your Web server initiate an FTP upload once the file has uploaded. Essentially, the file uploads twice.

You’ll need to check with your Web host as to the maximum allowed upload size, the maximum time that a PHP script may run, and look at the average and extreme cases of what size files your customers are throwing your way.

And then you have security to consider – you have to keep this upload form private, because it will have a hard-coded back door into your FTP server.

Another thing you might try is to put a one-click link on a secure page, maybe labeled “Mac Users, Click Here”. If you include the login and password in the link, like this:

ftp://username:password @ftp.example.com/path/to/folder

…then a well-behaved Mac FTP application will load all the proper parts into their places, and the link will Just Work™. (Remove the space after ‘password’ in this example; I had to add it because the Web forum thought this was an e-mail address that needed scrubbing.)

Walter


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Jon,

We have/had the same issue, and decided on using Trouble Ticket Express. This is essentially a ticketing system, but you can include a file upload (up to 3) option and can limit files sizes. And its all run in a browser with an access code to stop spam. We’re very pleased with it and customers find it easy to use.

If your customers are like mine then PDF is the way to go to move files, and quite large jobs can be quite small PDF files. (We limit the system to 4mb files x3 making up to 12mb, but they can each be set larger.

David

On 13 Aug 2008, at 13:52, Jon wrote:

Hi,

I may be in well over my head here but hopefully one of you experts could lead me in the right direction!

I work for a digital print company which has it’s own FTP server that clients can upload their artwork to and we retrieve across our network. A lot of the time however is spent explaining to clients how to upload to our FTP. A few use Windows so they can use Internet Explorer and others are Mac users who, as you know, have to use FTP software such as Fetch, Transmit, Cyberduck etc. and trying to give out login details over the phone often results in errors because of spelling, missing dots and the likes.

David Owen
Freeway Friendly Web hosting and Domains ::
(Test Drive a web hosting account for Free)

http://www.ineedwebhosting.co.uk

http://www.printlineadvertising.co.uk/freeway

Printing:: (leaflets, letterheads, cards etc)
http://www.printlineadvertising.co.uk/print.html

I have experimented with WebDAV for the same ends. When I have set it
up right, all I need is to send a script file to the end user - which
connects to their FTP location but via their operating system (like a
mounted disk) with a password and username.

I have also been working for a print company, and we also offer users
a Web Upload, an email address to send files to, and FTP service. They
can also mail files, or walk them in the door. But no matter what you
do, it will never be convenient enough for some. The rule that I have
developed in all these methods of transportation, is to never ever
compromise the security of the company or the customer. Yet I
understand your position as there is a demand from customers and my
boss to make the process easier. None of them think about security
until it has been breached.

Of course it doesn’t help that my people can point to some really
slick file transfer websites and say “why can’t you make it more like
that”. Sometimes I think I would get no credit if I offered to pick up
and deliver all of the customer files personally.

Best wishes,

On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 5:52 AM, Jon wrote:

I may be in well over my head here but hopefully one of you experts could lead me in the right direction!


Ernie Simpson – Freeway 5 Pro User – http://www.thebigerns.com/freeway/


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Thanks guys for all your help and advice which I will be looking into.


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By the way David, our company is large format printing and believe it or not, some of the PDF’s we receive are 50mb and above! BIG file for a PDF!


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We are using this script:
Attachment Mailer Plus. It is drop dead simple and works great. I was having a few problems until we moved to a new host. It is working fine now. Lots of options. Check it out here:

http://www.perlscriptsjavascripts.com/perl/attachment/index.html


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