Table of Contents

Automated import using FTP

Issue

There are two methods for importing data into Crash Magic. The first is the standard manual process using the Crash Magic Online web pages. The second method utilizes FTP for automatic processing.

Explanation
Crash Magic provides the ability to convert and import crash record data from a variety of formats. When the source data is able to be provided in XML format, Pd’ Programming can configure your Crash Magic system to automatically import data received via  FTP.  At this time, automated import is not available for non-XML data sources such as CSV, MDB, DBF, etc.
 
Since there are FTP clients that can also be automated, this makes it possible to have a hands-off approach to keeping your data up-to-date.  This article describes the full requirements.
 
In order to set up your system to send crash data directly to Crash Magic unattended, you will need the following:
  1. XML source data in the structure that has been prepared for in your configuration.
  2. A working “import definition” (XMLtoDB) that understands how to read that XML data. This is standard for most configurations.
  3. An FTP client for sending the data to the Pd’ Programming server or an FTP server that Pd’ Programming may connect to and download any new data.
Solution
Here are the steps to preparing for automated FTP imports:
Note: We support FTP and SFTP protocols.  We do not, and do not have plans to support the FTPS protocol.
 
If you will be providing the FTP server:
  1. Provide Pd’ Programming the necessary information to connect to and download the XML files.  Our account should also be able to delete or move these files to another folder upon successful transfer.
  2. Post the XML files on the server and let us know that they are there.  We will arrange for a test download and import to be sure everything is as it needs to be. The XML file names do not matter but should be unique.  A typical value is the case number for the crash record.
  3. Once the transfer and import test has been completed, we will schedule nightly transfers from your server.
  4. Continue posting XML files as they become available and we will continue to transfer and import them nightly.
If you will be sending files to our FTP server:
  1. Pd’ Programming’s FTP server only accepts connections from known client IP addresses.  Please visit this site for more information on obtaining and providing us with a static IP address for validation. What Is My IP.
  2. When we receive this information, we will send you a login, password and ftp site address.  The address starts with “sftp”, however it will accept standard FTP connections as well.
  3. Please prepare a test upload of XML files.  These files must be in the format that has been prepared for in your configuration. Upload those files and alert us to the successful transfer.
  4. We will execute an import and verify that the formats match and it all works as expected.
  5. Once we have confirmed that it is working, we will inform you that your upload site is active.  From that point forward, any files sent will be imported into your Crash Magic database.
  6. Upon import, the XML files will be permanently deleted from the FTP folder.
  7. Continue transferring these XML files and they will be imported into Crash Magic nightly.
Important: It is critical that the XML file format does not change from the format your configuration expects. There is minimal validation in the automated process so it may not be caught for some time.
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