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Adding your own provider to MFT

Managed File Transfer (MFT) feature of InterSystems IRIS enables easy inclusion of a third-party file transfer service directly into an InterSystems IRIS production. Currently, DropBox, Box, and Kiteworks cloud disks are available.

In this article, I'd like to describe how to add more cloud storage platforms.

Here's what we're going to talk about:

  • What is MFT
  • Reference: Dropbox

    • Connection
    • Interoperability
    • Direct access
  • Interfaces you need to implement

    • Connection
    • Logic
  • Installation<--break->

What is MFT

MFT provides bidirectional file transfer, you can both download files from a cloud storage and upload files there.

Check out this video on for an introduction to MFT.

Reference: Dropbox

Before we start writing our own MFT adapter, let's run an existing one. I chose Dropbox.

Basic access

First of all, we need to configure Dropbox access:

  1. Register new Dropbox account.
  2. Create new Dropbox App.
    • Remember your: App Key and App Secret
    • Set your Redirect URL, probably: http://localhost:57772/csp/sys/oauth2/OAuth2.Response.cls
  3. Create a new SSL Configuration (if you don't have one)
  4. Create a new MFT configuration at: http://localhost:57772/csp/sys/sec/%25CSP.UI.Portal.MFT.Connection.zen?isNew=1
    • Remove "Use SSL" flag (unless your web server is available over https).
    • Email address field should match your Dropbox email address.
  5. Press Get Access Token button (on MFT connections list page) to authorize your application.
  6. If everything went alright, the status of the new MFT connection should be Authorized.


Next, we need to configure Interoperability production to use the new connection

To receive files from Dropbox into a local directory:

  1. Create EnsLib.MFT.Service.Passthrough service.
    • MFT Connection Name: Dropbox
    • MFT Source Folders: the path to Dropbox folder, from which the files would be downloaded (i.e. /inbox/)
    • Target Config Names: BP or BO to send files to, for example, EnsLib.File.PassthroughOperation
  2. Create EnsLib.File.PassthroughOperation operation.
    • File Path: the path to a local directory to which the files from Dropbox would be downloaded (i.e. C:\\temp\in\)
    • Charset: Binary
    • File Name: %f

That's all. After starting the production, files from the specified Dropbox folder would be downloaded into the local directory.

To upload files to Dropbox, the process should be done in reverse:

  1. Create EnsLib.MFT.Operation.Passthrough service.
    • MFT Connection Name: Dropbox
    • Default MFT Folder: the path to Dropbox folder, into which the files would be uploaded (i.e. /sent/)
  2. Create EnsLib.File.PassthroughServiceoperation.
    • File Path: the path to a local directory from which the files would be uploaded to Dropbox (i.e. C:\\temp\out\)
    • Target Config Names: BP or BO to send files to, in our case EnsLib.MFT.Operation.Passthrough
    • Charset: Binary

And with this, files placed into C:\\temp\out\ folder would be uploaded into /sent/ Dropbox folder.

For a more comprehensive guide refer to MFT First look.

"Direct" access

Interoperability BS/BO are wrappers over a direct access. When writing your own adapter it's better to use direct access to check if things work as expected. Here's a sample method to get file information

ClassMethod dropboxInfo(file = "/1.txt")
    // Establishing Dropbox connection
    set mftConnectionName = "Dropbox"
    set mftConnection = ##class(%MFT.API).GetConnection(mftConnectionName, .sc)
    write:$$$ISERR(sc) $System.Status.GetErrorText(sc)

    // Getting information about file
    // Some other methods: GetFileInfo GetFolderInfo CreateFolder DeleteFile GetUser ShareFolder UnshareFolder DownloadStream UploadFile
    set sc = $classmethod($$$EnsCoreMFTAPIClass,"GetFileInfo", mftConnection, file, .itemInfo)
    write:$$$ISERR(sc) $System.Status.GetErrorText(sc)

    // Displaying information about file
    #dim itemInfo As %MFT.ItemInfo
    zw itemInfo
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MFT interface

MFT provider consists of two parts. To create your own provider you need to implement them.

Technical API (connection)

Connection is responsible for sending requests and parsing results. It should extend %SYS.MFT.Connection.Base and implement the following methods:

  • DefaultURL that returns the root of service API
  • CreateClient that creates OAuth client
  • RevokeToken to log out of the application

Other methods could be overloaded as required bit these three are a must. Additionally, for Yandex I created these three methods:

  • MakeRequest - to execute normal API requests
  • MakeDownloadRequest - to download files
  • MakeUploadRequest - to upload files

These methods structure are completely dependent on target API architecture. In my case, a majority of requests were similar, with different requests required for downloading and uploading files so I ended up with three methods.

Logical API

Is responsible for consuming the API, it uses the connection to execute requests and it should extend %MFT.API and reside in the %MFT package (we'll talk about working around that requirement later). The methods it must overload could be separated into four categories:

Info Create/Delete Sharing Load
GetFileInfo GetFolderInfo GetFolderContents CreateFolder DeleteFolder DeleteFile ShareFolder UnshareFolder UnshareFolderAll UploadStream DownloadStream

These methods seem self-explanatory. But please ask in comments if the purpose of these methods seems unclear. There's also documentation in %MFT.API class. I recommend implementing these methods left to right, you can also skip Sharing methods. That brings us to 8 methods that must be implemented.

Additionally, if your cloud disk provider has user management (i.e. teams and so on), you can manage that too via:

  • GetUser
  • GetUserById
  • GetUserList
  • CreateUser
  • DeleteUser
  • DeleteUserById

As Yandex.Disk does not have user management I skipped these methods (they should still be implemented, but left effectively empty).

Finally GetRequestId method should be implemented to convert paths into ids (that could be faster), otherwise, it should return path.

Along with some other methods that are about the same for all providers here's a code snippet you can start writing your adapter with:

/// Get the form of id for a file or folder that is most efficient for subsequent calls.
/// GetRequestId will return either an id of the form "id:<id>" or a full path depending on which is more efficient.
/// This method is included to allow the id for future requests to be saved in the most efficient form.
ClassMethod GetRequestId(connection As %SYS.MFT.Connection.Base, itemInfo As %MFT.ItemInfo) As %String
    Quit itemInfo.GetPath()

/// Retrieve the %MFT.UserInfo for current user
ClassMethod GetUser(connection As %SYS.MFT.Connection.Base, username As %String, Output userInfo As %MFT.UserInfo) As %Status
    Set userInfo = ##class(%MFT.UserInfo).%New()
    Set userInfo.Username = connection.Username
    Quit sc

/// Retrieve the %MFT.UserInfo specified by the service defined Userid.
/// If the user does not exist, then $$$OK is returned as status and userInfo is returned as "".
ClassMethod GetUserById(connection As %SYS.MFT.Connection.Base, userid As %String, Output userInfo As %MFT.UserInfo) As %Status
    Quit ..GetUser(connection, userid, .userInfo)

/// Return the list of all currently defined users for this team or enterprise.
ClassMethod GetUserList(connection As %SYS.MFT.Connection.Base, Output userList As %MFT.UserList) As %Status
    Set sc = $$$OK
    Set userList = ##class(%MFT.UserList).%New()
    Set sc = ..GetUser(connection, "", .userInfo)
    Quit:$$$ISERR(sc) sc

    Do userList.Users.Insert(userInfo)

    Quit sc

/// Create a new user.
/// Unable to do it in Yandex
ClassMethod CreateUser(connection As %SYS.MFT.Connection.Base, userInfo As %MFT.UserInfo) As %Status
    Quit $$$ERROR($$$MFTBadConnection)

/// Delete new user.
/// Unable to do it in Yandex
ClassMethod DeleteUser(connection As %SYS.MFT.Connection.Base, username As %String) As %Status
    Quit $$$ERROR($$$MFTBadConnection)

/// Delete the user that is specified by the id.
ClassMethod DeleteUserById(connection As %SYS.MFT.Connection.Base, userid As %String) As %Status
    Quit $$$ERROR($$$MFTBadConnection)

/// Unshare a folder from everyone, user is ignored
ClassMethod UnshareFolder(connection As %SYS.MFT.Connection.Base, path As %String, user As %String) As %Status
    Quit ..UnshareFolderAll(connection, path)

/// MountFolder is a Dropbox specific method to mount a shared folder that was shared by a different user.
/// MountFolder is treated as a NOP for all other services.
ClassMethod MountFolder(connection As %SYS.MFT.Connection.Box, folderName As %String) As %Status
    // A NOP if not Dropbox
    Quit $$$OK

/// UnmountFolder is a Dropbox specific method to unmount a shared folder that was shared by a different user.
/// UnmountFolder is treated as a NOP for all other services.
ClassMethod UnmountFolder(connection As %SYS.MFT.Connection.Box, folderName As %String) As %Status
    // A NOP if not Dropbox
    Quit $$$OK

/// Update the specified remote file with the contents of the specified local file.
/// filePath must be a file path.  An id may not be specified.
/// If replace is true, then an existing file of the same name will be replaced.
/// The default is to return an error if a replacement is attempted.
ClassMethod UploadFile(connection As %SYS.MFT.Connection.Base, localFilePath As %String, filePath As %String, replace As %Boolean = 0, Output itemInfo As %MFT.ItemInfo) As %Status
    Set stream=##class(%FileBinaryStream).%New()
    Set stream.Filename=localFilePath
    Quit ..UploadStream(.connection,stream,filePath,replace,.itemInfo)

/// Download the specified remote file and store at the location given by localFilePath.
/// filePath may be a file path.
ClassMethod DownloadFile(connection As %SYS.MFT.Connection.Base, filePath As %String, localFilePath As %String) As %Status
    Set stream=##class(%FileBinaryStream).%New()
    Set stream.Filename=localFilePath
    Quit ..DownloadStream(.connection,filePath,stream)
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Additional data

Some other classes are used to transmit information, they are:

  • %MFT.ItemInfo is a detailed description of a file or folder - you'll need it.
  • Other classes are %MFT.UserInfo for user information and %MFT.FolderContents/%MFT.UserList to list several items or users respectively.

Note, that these classes, despite being % classes, store the data in the namespace they are called from. They are storing data in ^MFT.* globals.


As our API should be in a %MFT package we would use mapping to map code from the specialized database into our target namespace (or %SYS). That way InterSystems IRIS can be safely updated and our work wouldn't be overwritten. An Interesting thing about it is that we need to load classes only into target namespace - %SYS in our case.

First of all, we need to download our code, to do that:

  1. Download and import Installer into any Interoperability-enabled namespace.
  2. Execute: write $System.Status.GetErrorText(##class(MFT.Installer).Install())

It would:

  • Create MFTLIB database
  • Add mapping of %MFT.Addons and %SYS.MFT.Connection.Addons packages into %SYS namespace from MFTLIB database
  • Download the rest of the code from GitHub, correctly importing % and non % classes

Next, we need to configure Yandex application:

  1. Register on Yandex.
  2. Create Yandex App
    • Check Веб-сервисы
    • Set Redirect URI: http://Host:Port/csp/sys/oauth2/OAuth2.Response.cls (https, if UseSSL = 1, for development you can set it to http://localhost:57772/csp/sys/oauth2/OAuth2.Response.cls)
    • Give disk access Яндекс.Диск REST API
    • Get ID, Pass
  3. Execute: write $System.Status.GetErrorText(##class(MFT.Yandex).Install(Login, ID, Pass, Host, Port, UseSSL))
    • Login - your Yandex email
    • Host, Port - same as the callback
    • UseSSL - use SSL for callback? Your server needs to support https
  4. Open http://Host:Port/csp/sys/sec/%25CSP.UI.Portal.MFT.ConnectionList.zen
  5. Press Get Access Token and complete authorization.
  6. If everything went fine the Status would be Authorized.
  7. Execute: write $System.Status.GetErrorText(##class(MFT.Yandex).ConfigureProduction(yandexSource, fileDestination, fileSource, yandexDestination))
    • yandexSource and fileDestination - Yandex.Disk folder to download files from, they are stored in a local destination folder.
    • fileSource and yandexDestination - local folder from which files are uploaded to Yandex.Disk.
    • Important: Yandex.Disk folder names should end with / (i.e. out in a disk root would be /out/)
  8. Open production MFT.Production and start it.
  9. Add file(s) to yandexSource and fileSource to see how it works.

Note, that unlike Dropbox, I'm creating service automatically, like this:

ClassMethod Install(username As %String, clientId As %String, clientSecret As %String, host As %String = "localhost", port As %Integer = {$get(^%SYS("WebServer","Port"), 57772)}, useSSL As %Boolean = {$$$NO})
    New $Namespace
    Set $Namespace = "%SYS"

     Do:'##class(Security.SSLConfigs).Exists(..#SSLConfig) ##class(Security.SSLConfigs).Create(..#SSLConfig)

    Set sys = ##class(%SYS.MFT.Connection.Addons.Yandex).%New()
    Set sys.Name = "Yandex"
    Set sys.Service = "Addons.Yandex"
    Set sys.ApplicationName = "Yandex"
    Set sys.SSLConfiguration = ..#SSLConfig
    Set sys.Username = username
    Set sys.URL = ..#URL

    $$$QuitOnError(##class(%SYS.MFT.Connection.Addons.Yandex).CreateClient(sys.Name, ..#SSLConfig, clientId, clientSecret, ,host, port,,useSSL))

    Quit sys.%Save()
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Note the Service value: Addons.Yandex. Service name, when appended to %MFT. should yield the name of the logical API class. Since we can't modify %MFT package directly we can add a subpackage to it.


MFT is a useful technology and can be easily extended to support cloud providers you need.


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