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What is FTP-based processing and how do I get started?

When you want to automate file processing without doing the work of programming against an API, you can use TowerData’s secure-FTP(SFTP) processing system.

TowerData can provide you with a SFTP account that is linked to one of your API keys. Any files that are uploaded into that FTP account will be processed using the services the API key is configured for.

  1. Get FTP credentials by contacting us.
  2. Prepare a file for processing that uses the correct file format. Be sure to include a header row if your file contains name or postal address fields.
  3. Connect to your TowerData SFTP account using a FTP client. We recommend FileZilla for Windows and ForkLift for Mac OS.
  4. Change directory to the “uploads” subdirectory
  5. Set your FTP client to use binary transfer mode
  6. Upload your file. It should be picked up within a couple of minutes.
  7. Change directories back to the previous, or root directory, and then navigate to the “downloads” subdirectory. Monitor this directory for your results. Result files will be contained in a zip archive that starts with the same name as the file you uploaded and will have a TowerData List ID appended to the end. For example, if you upload a file named "Emails For Processing.csv", and we assign a file ID of 300001 to the file, the results will be named "Emails For Processing-300001-TowerData.zip".
  8. If there is a problem processing the file, it will be found in the “failures” directory. If it’s there, check to make sure it has the proper format.

All files uploaded via FTP this way will be visible to you in your InstantData dashboard. You can check the progress from InstantData or even download results for files submitted via FTP from the website.