I should have saved this for Valentines Day but I couldn’t wait and I missed the Sweetest Day deadline.
FileZilla FTP Power:
We all love for things to be easy right? What could be easier than FileZilla FTP Server also known as FZ for short. I LOVE this product and why you might be thinking? Because it has so many cool features. Sure you could setup an FTP server with IIS or use an open source Linux distribution but I think for Windows that FileZilla is one of the easiest and most useful I’ve found for anyone to use. I’ve used it for years and have never had a problem but then again, I suppose it’s been the right tool for the job I needed to be done.
FTP or FTPS (FTP over SSL / TLS) although the secure feature seems tricky to setup for FZ server
(*If you’re setting up a “secure” FTP server you’re truly better off with ProFTPD with SSH running on a Linux Distro)
A virtual file system so you can direct people to folders anywhere on your server
Adjustable autoban features disabling IP’s from attempting too many logons which is a nice security feature
…just to name my favorites!
I would also like to put emphasis on my * comment, I haven’t had the need to do secure FTP transfers with FileZilla but the brief amount of time I looked at it, did some extra looking online about it, etc; it seems difficult to setup, quirky and you’d be MUCH better off using another solution.
Get it here: —> File Zilla
Backup power of zip:
I also love file compression, it’s great especially if you have to transfer your files somewhere. I have fond memories of trying to get more than 1.4 megabytes of data on a floppy disk by compressing 3 megabytes down to 1.4megaytes so I could maximize every bit of that floppy disk.
Most compression utilities have a command line feature, here are a few I’ve used:
CabPack is special to me because I’ve used it to make 16 bit cab files for use with a 98 DOS boot disk to make a Windows XP Unattended installation disks. With nice Open Source Imaging technologies and the fact that Windows now has nice built in utilities for imaging I don’t see much use for CabPack to make Cab files for DOS boot disks BUT again; it’s special to me and worthy of mention.
Compression utilities are especially helpful with compressing databases. This example will deal with Peach Tree because I know LOTS of SMB’s that use Peach Tree or other similar SMB products like ACT, QuickBooks, etc. Because some accessed files can become locked and won’t let you copy them while in a locked state you’ll have to shut off the service accessing those files. As a result of the afore mentioned products typically being used during business hours (8am – 5pm) you can use Windows to schedule a batch file task doing these things…
- Shut off any services Peach Tree might be using
- Zip and compress applicable directories / companies
- Turn your Peach Tree services back on
- FTP your archive file on or off site for safe keeping
Shut off services: net stop “my service”:
Find your service in Windows Services and create a batch file with these commands
net stop “Peachtree SmartPosting 2009”
net stop “Pervasive PSQL Workgroup Engine”
If you’ve got ACT:
net stop “SQL Server (ACT7)”
…there might be others, experiment and find out!
Zip and compress:
For command options open a command prompt and type rar /?
cd “c:\program files\winrar” or if you’r on 64 bit “c:\program files (x86)\winrar”
rar a -inul -m5 -r “c:\filenameyouwant.rar” “your data”
* Your data can be “c:\somedirectory” or a UNC path “\\yourserver\yourshare”
net start “Peachtree SmartPosting 2009”
net start “Pervasive PSQL Workgroup Engine”
This can be a bit of a challenge to figure out what command to use. You can use in Microsoft’s built in FTP to do the job. Here’s a link to their Knowledge Base (KB) —> Link.
You basically make yourself two batch files, instead of .bat that you might be used to this file has a .scr extension.
Bat file one = FTP Command pointed at your script with actions: ftp -s:c:\yourscriptfile.scr yourservertarget
Bat file two = Your ftp actions
If you’re using sftp (Secure FTP) you can download a nice sftp (psftp.exe) executable from the Putty website here: —> Link.
It’s similar in function but slightly different if you want to automate it.
You basically make yourself two batch files again.
Bat file one = FTP Command pointed at your script but it’s a lot longer for automatically logging in:
psftp yourserver -l username -pw “your password” -b yourscriptfile.scr
Bat file two = Your FTP actions
NOTE: With psftp I think you have to have the spaces, so hit enter twice in your script file between each command, Windows is less discriminatory.
Some final comments:
This is pretty obvious but you’ll have to protect your scripts since your user names and passwords are stored in plain text.
You should use non administrative usernames for doing your processes, only assign authority for that account to do the few actions you need it to do.
There are other backup methods like NTBackup which is built into Windows and since Windows Server 2003 it’ll even do open files like Enterprise Level backup software. You could then FTP that file somewhere.
If you’re on a LAN you can easily just copy the files via a UNC path \\yourserver\yourshare either way works, with File Zilla you can use bandwidth throttling if your network is busy or feels the effect of the bandwidth usage. Most modern networks are OK with large file transfers.