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Import files from FTP servers

The /ftp/import Robot imports whole libraries of files from your FTP servers into Transloadit. This Robot relies on password access. For more security, consider our /sftp/import Robot.

Parameters

  • use

    String / Array of Strings / Object required

    Specifies which Step(s) to use as input.

    • You can pick any names for Steps except ":original" (reserved for user uploads handled by Transloadit)

    • You can provide several Steps as input with arrays:

      "use": [
        ":original",
        "encoded",
        "resized"
      ]
      

    💡 That’s likely all you need to know about use, but you can view advanced use cases:

    › Advanced use cases
    • Step bundling. Some Robots can gather several Step results for a single invocation. For example, the /file/compress Robot would normally create one archive for each file passed to it. If you'd set bundle_steps to true, however, it will create one archive containing all the result files from all Steps you give it. To enable bundling, provide an object like the one below to the use parameter:

      "use": {
        "steps": [
          ":original",
          "encoded",
          "resized"
        ],
        "bundle_steps": true
      }
      

      This is also a crucial parameter for the /video/adaptive Robot, otherwise you'll generate 1 playlist for each viewing quality.
      Keep in mind that all input Steps must be present in your Template. If one of them is missing (for instance it is rejected by a filter), no result is generated because the Robot waits indefinitely for all input Steps to be finished.

      Here’s a demo that showcases Step bundling.

    • Group by original. Sticking with the /file/compress Robot example, you can set group_by_original to true, in order to create a separate archive for each of your uploaded or imported files, instead of creating one archive containing all originals (or one per resulting file). This is important for for the /media/playlist Robot where you'd typically set:

      "use": {
        "steps": [
          "segmented"
        ],
        "bundle_steps": true,
        "group_by_original": true
      }
      
    • Fields. You can be more discriminatory by only using files that match a field name by setting the fields property. When this array is specified, the corresponding Step will only be executed for files submitted through one of the given field names, which correspond with the strings in the name attribute of the HTML file input field tag for instance. When using a back-end SDK, it corresponds with myFieldName1 in e.g.: $transloadit->addFile('myFieldName1', './chameleon.jpg').

      This parameter is set to true by default, meaning all fields are accepted.

      Example:

      "use": {
        "steps": [ ":original" ],
        "fields": [ "myFieldName1" ]
      }
      
    • Use as. Sometimes Robots take several inputs. For instance, the /video/merge Robot can create a slideshow from audio and images. You can map different Steps to the appropriate inputs.

      Example:

      "use": {
        "steps": [
          { "name": "audio_encoded", "as": "audio" },
          { "name": "images_resized", "as": "image" }
        ]
      }
      

      Sometimes the ordering is important, for instance, with our concat Robots. In these cases, you can add an index that starts at 1. You can also optionally filter by the multipart field name. Like in this example, where all files are coming from the same source (end-user uploads), but with different <input> names:

      Example:

      "use": {
        "steps": [
          { "name": ":original", "fields": "myFirstVideo", "as": "video_1" },
          { "name": ":original", "fields": "mySecondVideo", "as": "video_2" },
          { "name": ":original", "fields": "myThirdVideo", "as": "video_3" }
        ]
      }
      

      For times when it is not apparent where we should put the file, you can use Assembly Variables to be specific. For instance, you may want to pass a text file to the /image/resize Robot to burn the text in an image, but you are burning multiple texts, so where do we put the text file? We specify it via ${use.text_1}, to indicate the first text file that was passed.

      Example:

      "watermarked": {
        "robot": "/image/resize",
        "use"  : {
          "steps": [
            { "name": "resized", "as": "base" },
            { "name": "transcribed", "as": "text" },
          ],
        },
        "text": [
          {
            "text"  : "Hi there",
            "valign": "top",
            "align" : "left",
          },
          {
            "text"    : "From the 'transcribed' Step: ${use.text_1}",
            "valign"  : "bottom",
            "align"   : "right",
            "x_offset": 16,
            "y_offset": -10,
          }
        ]
      }
      
  • credentials

    String required

    Please create your associated Template Credentials in your Transloadit account and use the name of your Template Credentials as this parameter's value. They will contain the values for your FTP host, user and password.

    While we recommend to use Template Credentials at all times, some use cases demand dynamic credentials for which using Template Credentials with their static nature is too unwieldy. If you have this requirement, feel free to use the following parameters instead: "host", "user", "password".

  • path

    String required

    The path on your FTP server where to search for files. Files are imported recursively from all sub-directories and sub-sub-directories (and so on) from this path.

  • port

    Integer ⋅ default: 21

    The port to use for the FTP connection.

  • ignore_errors

    Array of Strings / Boolean ⋅ default: []

    Possible array members are "meta" and "import".

    You might see an error when trying to extract metadata from your imported files. This happens, for example, for files with a size of zero bytes. Including "meta" in the array will cause the Robot to not stop the import (and the entire Assembly) when that happens.

    Including "import" in the array will ensure the Robot does not cease to function on any import errors either.

    To keep backwards compatibility, setting this parameter to true will set it to ["meta", "import"] internally.

  • passive_mode

    Boolean ⋅ default: true

    Determines if passive mode should be used for the FTP connection.

Things to keep in mind

  • Your server might be unresponsive from time to time. Since (S)FTP servers are harder to scale, we see this happen a lot. As a result, if this Robot fails to store one of your files, it will retry to store the file 5 times over 15 minutes.
  • This also means that when you provided the wrong credentials (when testing for example) Assemblies can take up to 15 minutes to complete.
  • If an Assembly has an export Step and takes long to execute, it is almost always due to the export Step having wrong credentials or the server being unreachable.

We advise you to use our /sftp/store and /sftp/import Robots when possible, as it is much more secure. The FTP Robots should only serve as a fallback in case cloud storage or SFTP cannot be used.

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