Using FTP Voyager Scheduler to Automate Routine Tasks
The intent of this newsletter is to give you some pointers on our products. This newsletter explains the features and options available in FTP Voyager Scheduler.
FTP Voyager Scheduler Task Configuration
FTP Voyager Scheduler is a very useful tool included in both Standard and Secure editions of FTP Voyager. FTP Voyager Scheduler can be accessed either from the Start menu program group for FTP Voyager or from the "Schedule" or "Queue" dropdown menus in the main FTP Voyager application. You can also use the Alt+S shortcut from within FTP Voyager to launch the Scheduler.
To schedule activity in FTP Voyager, a task must first be created. The task contains the site profile information and defines when and how frequently the actions associated with it will be run. A new task can be configured for any site profile configured in FTP Voyager and will use any options already defined for that site profile - including username, password, filters and all other settings unique to that site profile.
The frequency with which a scheduled job will be executed is controlled by the Schedule tab. Tasks can be scheduled once, weekly, monthly, or daily and for a specific time. Frequently, a task will need to be scheduled more often than daily. The advanced settings allow a user to configure the task to repeat, and the task's intended duration (as well as allowing an end date to be configured for a given task) should it only need to run for a specific amount of time. For example, if a task should be configured to run every 5 minutes from 8:00AM to 5:00PM, configure a "daily" task starting at 8:00AM. In "Advanced," select "Repeat," set the repeat rate to every 5 minutes, and check the "Until" radio button, and place 5:00PM in the "Time" field.
File Transfer Actions
For a task to do anything, it must have actions associated with it. Download, Upload, Move Down, Move Up, Synchronize Remote, Synchronize Local, Delete, and Run External Program or Batch File are the options available in FTP Voyager Scheduler. Actions are run in numerical order. This order can be adjusted by editing the "Order of execution" value in the action's properties. Each action waits for the previous action to complete before executing the next one.
The Upload and Download actions do exactly what one might expect. When executed, FTP Voyager Scheduler connects to the server and transfers the file(s) or the contents of the specified folder. If a file name is specified in the destination location that is different from the source file name, FTP Voyager will transfer the file and rename it after the transfer has been completed. If the box is checked for "Remote/Local is a folder," FTP Voyager will transfer the entire contents of the folder, including subdirectories. Upload and Download are the most commonly scheduled tasks in FTP Voyager Scheduler, as they can be used to create an offsite backup.
The Move Up and Move down functions have the same options available as the Upload and Download actions. However, once the transfer has successfully completed for a Move action, FTP Voyager will delete the source file(s). This is useful if the source files are not going to be used further. One of the most common uses of this type of action is as a "hot folder," where users can deposit a file or files they want to transfer to a remote server. Once files are placed in the location defined under "Local folder" for a Move Up action, FTP Voyager Scheduler will transfer the files up to the server and clear the local folder during the next time this scheduled action runs.
Use the Delete action with caution. Delete will connect to the server and delete the specified file(s) or folder, whether they are local or remote. Files deleted in this way will be permanently removed. Delete is frequently used as part of a Synchronization cycle. Prior to a full sync, a delete action can be run on the destination directory in order to assure a full synchronization will be performed. In most cases, this would be used as part of a larger synchronization policy to run a weekly or monthly full synchronization during a time of day where little bandwidth is being used.
FTP Voyager Scheduler supports date and time variables for file and folder names. A list of these variables and how to use them can be found in our Knowledge Base:
Date/Time Variables in FTP Voyager Scheduler
The Synchronize actions are very useful for conserving bandwidth and saving time when updating a website or transferring a small number of modified files in a larger directory structure. The Synchronize Remote Folders action synchronizes files from the local machine to the remote server, and the Synchronize Local Folders action synchronizes files from the remote location to the local machine.
Synchronize has a number of parameters that do not appear in any of the other Scheduler actions. These are mostly related to how the files are compared during this action.
Ignore Case: If selected, letter case will be ignored in the file comparison.
Compare Size: If checked, the file size is compared.
Compare Time: Enables comparison of file dates and times.
Include Subfolders: FTP Voyager compares subfolders, and their contents, of the specified local and remote directories.
Don't Delete: This option prevents FTP Voyager Scheduler from deleting files and folders on the destination that do not appear on the source directory. FTP Voyager Scheduler will otherwise delete any files on the destination that do not match the source.
Ignore Symbolic Links: If checked, UNIX symbolic links will not be included in the folder synchronization process. In some cases UNIX symbolic links can cause FTP Voyager to synchronize a particular file or folder multiple times, reducing the efficiency of the process. In these cases you can avoid this problem by selecting this option.
Ignore Newer: If this option is selected, "newer" files will not be overwritten by this action. This option is normally selected, because usually the intent of Synchronize is to leave newer files untouched and to replace older files.
Ignore Older: If this option is checked "older" files will be ignored by Synchronize. This is unchecked by default because if it is selected, older files will not be overwritten.
Run External Program or Batch File Action
When this action is run, the specified program or batch file is executed by FTP Voyager Scheduler. The actions following the external program will be run once it has finished executing its instructions. Please be aware that the date/time variables available for filenames in other FTP Voyager Scheduler actions cannot be used with this particular action.
E-Mail Notification of Success/Failure
A frequently requested feature in FTP Voyager Scheduler has been e-mail notification of the success or failure of scheduled tasks. The FTP Voyager Notify Add-On for FTP Voyager allows email confirmation of success or failure of FTP Voyager Scheduler tasks. The Notify Add-on can be found at the URL below:
FTP Voyager Add-Ons
The FTP Voyager Notify Add-On includes the full source of the add- on to assist you in creating additional add-ons for FTP Voyager.
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Thanks for reading!
Louis C. Branch - Technical Support Engineer
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