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Ask the Wizard Questions

Transferring data files by FTP

The Question is:

I am having problems transfering binary data file, of varying size (in binary mode) to an FTP sight. I can transfer Binary executable files with no problem but the data file keep getting corrupted. I need to know how to transfer them to and from the FTP sight. Can you help me?

The Answer is:

The problem is that the data files contain variable-length records and all the record attribute information is lost when the file is copied by FTP. In addition, the record lengths themselves may be lost as they are not carried over by default.

The simplest way around this is to use the freeware tool ZIP (from the OpenVMS Freeware CD - http://h71000.www7.hp.com/openvms/freeware/cd.html) to package the data file(s) into a ZIP file. This file can then be safely copied by FTP to any kind of system (just be sure to use BINARY transfer mode) and copied back. Use the corresponding UNZIP tool to unpack. You can even create a self-expanding file by prepending the UNZIPSFX.EXE file to the ZIP file. See the INFO-ZIP documentation for more details.

It also depends upon who's IP is running on what machine. There are a couple of schemes in use where the file attributes can be preserved. I know that I can push files using UCX to Wollongong and the file attributes will be preserved. But I cannot use UCX to get files from TGV and have the attributes preserved. UCX uses one scheme and Multinet uses another.

This is a long winded way of saying that it may be possible but it depends upon on what IP stack is on each end and how he does the transfer.

UCX has put/fdl and get/fdl which help with this. What I often do in this situation is to note the file attributes of the original file and then set them to fixed size 512 byte records. Move the file, then reset the file attributes.