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Can dropbox replace existing FTP process

Level 3

Hello,

We are currently using FTP to share file with external vendor. The file is generated via scheduled batch job and placed in the FTP location for external vendor to download and process it further. We have Dropbox for Business - Advanced subscription. We are currently in the process to determine if we need FTP server on an on-going basis. 

Please advise if we can achieve this file sharing with external vendor using Dropbox. If yes, then will vendor also have to make any changes on their end. 

Regards,

Dipesh Bagadia

8 Replies

Re: Can dropbox replace existing FTP process

Dropboxer

Hey there  Dipesh (@dbagadia) - how are you today?

From what I understand you'd like to know how you can go about automate or schedule the sharing of files (or folders) with users that are outside of your Dropbox for Business Team (on the Advanced plan as you mentioned), as you'd like to determine if you'd be keeping your FTP server working as well moving forward - correct me if I got anything wrong please. 

Keep in mind that Dropbox lets anyone back up, share and access files easily while there's no need to manually log in to a server and wait for files to upload one by one, like with FTP hosting. Dropbox makes transferring files from anywhere simple. For a list of our requirements please take a look here: https://help.dropbox.com/installs-integrations/desktop/system-requirements 

Note that with Dropbox you can use -apart from team folders- shared folders, shared links and even file requests to share with users that are inside or outside your team. As you're on the Advanced plan, you can also set permissions on your shared links.

You can have a look at these options below: 

For Shared Folders

https://help.dropbox.com/files-folders/share/share-with-others

For Shared links: 

https://help.dropbox.com/files-folders/share/view-only-access

For File Requests: 

https://help.dropbox.com/files-folders/share/create-file-request &

https://help.dropbox.com/files-folders/share/received-file-request

Lastly, if you're looking to connect your FTP server and your Dropbox account to copy files back and forth automatically some enterprise content migration platforms can let you easily streamline this process. You can feel free to look for a solution that might suit your needs here: https://www.dropbox.com/app-integrations 

I hope this information helps to some extent and please let me know if you have any questions!

 


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Can dropbox replace existing FTP process

Level 3

Hi Walter,

Thanks for the response. I understand that I will be able to upload file and share it programatically. However, please advise if the vendor will be able to download the file (programatically via scheduled batch job). If yes, then please share what changes needs to be done on the vendor side. 

Note: Currently vendor connects to FTP via script, download the file and uses it for further processing.

Regards,

Dipesh Bagadia

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Re: Can dropbox replace existing FTP process

Dropboxer

I'm not sure how this setup works exactly and I won't be able to further advise on this but if you choose to share a folder with them, they'll need to accept the invitation and have a Dropbox account (and the needed quota) to accommodate it. 

In this way, any changes they make on their end will be reflected on your end as well within the shared folder whether you use the website, our desktop app or the mobile application.

In case they don't even have a Dropbox account and you choose to share a link with them with view rights only, they'd need to access the shared link in question, download the files on their machine(s) and work on the files locally. Once they're done with their edits, they can upload the files back to your own account via a File request which you'd need to have opened from your end. 

I hope this helps to some extent! 

 


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Can dropbox replace existing FTP process

Level 3

Hi Walter,

Please advise if there are APIs to upload/download a file. If APIs are available, then I can design the future process as below:

1) Write a program/code to upload the file using the Dropbox API (this program can be scheduled to run every day @ 10:00 PM). This file will be uploaded in a shared folder.

2) The external party can write a program to download the file using the Dropbox API (this program can be scheduled to run every day @ 11:00 PM). The file will be downloaded from the shared folder

If this is possible, then I can share the sample program to download the file with external party so that they don't have to write the program for the same.

Regards,

Dipesh Bagadia

 

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Re: Can dropbox replace existing FTP process

Level 14

Hi @dbagadia,

There are number of scenarios You can choose from.

Most simple is, if You and the external party believe to each other so, the both of You can share the same account. In such a case You dont have to use any API. Just any device (desktop, laptop, phone, tablet...), where access to the shared files is need on (on both sides), can be installed Dropbox application and linked to the created Dropbox account. Then Your script could easily be corrected with just replacement the FTP transfer with copy/move to the Dropbox folder. Even more - actual work may be could be redirected to place inside the Dropbox directory, so even the copy/move wouldn't be needed. Depending on the network speed and data size, some time after last change inside Dropbox folder, the files will be available on opposite side, without any additional actions (scripts)!

Almost the same, but in case when You can't share same account, then every party should have own account and, as already @Walter noted, some subfolder have to be shared. The files have to copied/moved/worked on in this shared folder. The rest is the same as above - without any additional actions (scripts)!

The next, little bit more complex case is when one of the external party (for some reason) is not suitable for them to have Dropbox account. In such a situation on Your side You can repeat the same setup as in first case. In addition You have to share the file with Dropbox link (again as @Walter noted already). I am simplifying according that You noted that only one file have to be shared. So created Dropbox https link should be shared with the other party, embedded in script for downloading pointed file. The script could be curl based, for example.

I believe, if my assumption that only one file have to be shared is wrong, then You can easily extend the last scene to shared folder. winking face

Hope this help to some extent.

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Re: Can dropbox replace existing FTP process

Level 3

Hi,

Thanks for the reply. In either scenarios listed above, the file should be uploaded(downloaded) to(from) the shared folder without any manual intervention. While exploring 'Dropbox for HTTP Developers - Dropbox API V2', I found that there are below end-points to upload and download a file from a shared Dropbox folder.

https://content.dropboxapi.com/2/files/upload

https://content.dropboxapi.com/2/files/download

Please advise if there is any standard utility already created that consumes these APIs to Upload/Download a file to shared folder. I will try to create my own app that will Upload/Download a file to shared folder without any manual intervention.

Please let me know for any questions.

Regards,

Dipesh Bagadia

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Re: Can dropbox replace existing FTP process

Dropboxer

Thanks for getting back in touch with us Dipesh!

I've just moved your post to the relevant section of our Community so the right people get to it as soon as possible @dbagadia.

If you have any additional questions in the meantime, don't hesitate to let us know. 

 


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Can dropbox replace existing FTP process

Level 14

Hi @dbagadia,

thinking face Using any endpoint from Dropbox API suppose driving in context of OAuth session. This in turn suppose access to a Dropbox account from both parties (either shared or 2 connected). Dropbox application is example for a utility which use the API and ready for use. In this context I can't see a reason (how to say) to "rediscover the hot water". grinning face with smiling eyes

Using the API (either direct https access or througout SDKs) is meaningfull if You want to embed Dropbox cloud functionality in existing software product or build entierly new service on top of Dropbox. In the main post asked for something much simple which can be achieved with just few lines or even without any lines of code. Anyway, this is a option.

The choice is Yours! Have a great day. winking face

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