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Testing FTP & SFTP locally on your Mac

Testing FTP & SFTP locally on your Mac

Data integration solutions often follow the same pattern:

  1. Connect to a source service.
  2. Extract some data.
  3. Filter and format the data to be consumed by the target service.
  4. Publish the data to the target service.

The 4th step often involves using FTP or SFTP to transfer files as part of then unattended command line data integration. To test this step in the data integration its always a good idea to publish to different target FTP server to avoid inadvertently publishing test data in the live target service.

There are many free public online services that allow you to connect and test your file transfer, but take notice, if you decide to use these services you will be exposing potentially sensitive data to the public and I'm not sure your clients would appreciate this.

A better solution is to setup and use your own FTP server locally on your development computer. 

Using a mac this is almost too easy, here's how :

  1. Open your system preferences.
  2. Open the sharing preferences.
  3. Check Remote Login and ensure Only these users is selected for Allow access for:
  4. Then add your user to the list of users with acess.
  5. Create an FTP folder in your home directory: /Users/your_username/FTP  Note: This is not required but recommended.

Now that the remote login is enabled, you can create a FTP  or SFTP connection. 

You'll need to use the following configuration to connect to your server:

FTP Host: localhost
User: your_username
Password: your_password
Port: 21 for FTP or 22 for SFTP
Remote Root Path: /Users/your_username/FTP


Happy FTP'ing!


If your company could benefit from a custom designed data integration solution contact Cognetif and we'll build you something awesome.

Categories: Web Development Lessons Learned

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