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Managed File Transfer

Your next B2B integration tool

Managed File Transfer (MFT) is more than an upgrade to FTP or SFTP solutions. It’s come of age in its own right, as a robust enterprise, B2B integration tool.

Issue 3, 2018 Download PDF

The challenge to successfully manage file exchanges between companies, customers and trading partners continues to grow exponentially in medium to large digital enterprises.

And yet, it wasn’t so long ago that MFT was mainly viewed as an alternative upgrade to FTP or SFTP solutions. In that context, a feature-rich MFT solution easily provided a winning value-prop in comparison:

Fig 1: MFT vs. FTP/SFTP

Nonetheless, over time companies have also come to view MFT as an essential, come-of-age solution for B2B communication. Creating new transfers, managing existing ones and troubleshooting failed transmissions across dozens of file transfer servers is not only a time-consuming process, but also one that exposes organizations to security risks and compliance nightmares.

webMethods ActiveTransfer: Taking file exchange to the next level

webMethods ActiveTransfer supports the centralized management and monitoring of standardized, flat-file exchange and file integration, eliminating transmissions across dozens of file transfer servers.

Software AG’s MFT solution is a secure and reliable alternative to FTP and other dated protocols, enabling companies to exchange files of any size—even big data files—up to 25 times faster. This means your MFT can handle the ever-increasing volume and complexity of enterprise file transfer and its expanding enterprise requirements.

Additionally, trading partners need only standard tools such as a web browser to exchange files. That’s because webMethods ActiveTransfer comes ready to support web browsers and FTP clients. Transfer files using HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SFTP, SCP and WebDAV.

MFT as a B2B integration tool

But ActiveTransfer’s scope and use cases go well beyond typical file-exchange solutions. Built on top of webMethods Integration Server, ActiveTransfer has the power and flexibility to interconnect with a myriad of internal and external business systems.

By deploying this integration capability, one F500 company was able support both internal and external file transfers between:

  • HR applications managing worker demographic data, time tracking, benefits, payroll, sales commissions and staffing
  • Third-Party Logistics (3PL) and carrier companies, exchanging shipping instructions, material master data, shipment & receipt notices, and inventory
  • Banking applications, including payments, reconciliation, electronic statements, positive pay, employee stock and funds transfer
  • Plus, data warehouse reports and manufacturing systems

Enterprise security

Comprehensive, business-driven file integration (as cited above) requires a reliable and strategic approach to enterprise security.

The ActiveTransfer Server employs reverse invoke or inside-out service invocations. This protective technique reduces the need to open holes in your firewall, preventing your business from malicious attacks.

Recently, Software AG introduced webMethods API Gateway as part of company’s B2B integration architecture, which provides the security and policy enforcement for not only ActiveTransfer, but other webMethods B2B solutions including webMethods Trading Networks and EDI. The API gateway provides a robust, API runtime security that only welcomes authorized consumers.

Fig 2: B2B Integration through API Gateway

Introducing MFT agents

Companies with scores, hundreds or even thousands of locations have a unique requirement to disseminate a single file or document in an exact or standardized way. This requirement can be readily satisfied by MFT file bots or agents.

ActiveTransfer Agents are lightweight applications that allow administrators to remotely exchange automated file transfers between centralized servers or desktops and any number of remote locations.

What’s new about this is that agents will automatically (and very productively) work around the clock to deliver file transfers on- demand or scheduled as batch jobs. Additionally, the central MFT server can configure event-driven triggers, sending files both individually and by groups as defined by similar characteristics.

For retail, this could mean synchronistically disseminating pricing and promotional information across store locations. For a major bank and its individual branches, agents will automatically send end-of-day reconciliation reports; or distributors can use agents to synchronize file transfers to share product catalog changes across any number of warehouses.

Fig 3: MFT Agents in Action


Companies evaluating today’s B2B automation market want a simplified, cost-effective and scalable, single B2B gateway to support their growing partner ecosystem.

As shown in the API gateway illustration, ActiveTransfer’s MFT capabilities can be seamlessly integrated into your B2B ecosystem.

Want to test MFT and other B2B tools through a free trial? Download webMethods free trial today!

To learn more, visit our website.

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