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File Transfer Protocol
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Last modified on 12/22/2016 10:03 AM by User.

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File Transfer Protocol

FTP for Basic Communication with OASIS

 

Overview

FTP is used by EDI vendors and by many manufacturers to move data between their data systems and software packages like OASIS. The reason is simple: it is an inexpensive method and is supported by most software packages.

 

FTP defined

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is one of the oldest network protocols. Using the protocol, a remote user is able to connect to a server, making the following requests:

  •       List the contents of a directory
  •          Read the contents of a file.
  •          Upload a file
  •          Delete a file

Some extended FTP implementations allow for more file-related commands.

 

FTP Accounts and the base folder (root directory)

Before accessing the remote server, the user must supply a username and password. Once the user is identified, the user will have access only to the information on the server that is granted to that user by the system administrator. We see administrators use one of two different methods:

  •           When the user logs in, they are only able to see the folders they are assigned to.
  •           When the user logs in, they see all folders, but are only able to access the folders they have access to.

Depending upon the server software being used, one of the two methods will be available. The key item to consider is that common information needs to be made available to all users, yet information specific to a give agency (e.g. territory pricing) should only be made available to the corresponding FTP user.

 

Folder Organization – Consistency Matters!

Consistency is the most important item when moving data electronically. Below are suggestions – many other equivalent solutions are available. 

The base folder (root directory) contains any or all of the folders below:

 

The Cut Sheets Folder

Folder Name: CutSheets

Contents: PDF files of the cuts sheets to be communicated with the reps

Notes:

We do recommend adding a file named “OldCutSheets.txt” to the folder. Each line should contain the file name of old cut sheets that should no longer be used. If this method is used, we highly recommend adding a version number to the name of each PDF file.

If version numbers are used on the PDF files, consider the following method of file naming:

 Fixture Name: F33-12V

 Version: V001

 PDF File Name: F33-12V_V001.pdf

In this case, the version number is nothing more than a sequence number that starts with the number 1 and increases.

 

The Rep Folder

Folder Name: (usually the agency number.)

Contents: price files, order status files, invoices, and more

Notes:

The rep folder contains all information that is exclusive to the agency. Below are examples. Data is written to the folder by the manufacturer and read by the agency. (It does make sense to allow the agency to delete from this folder as it helps ensure data are not loaded twice.)

 

Price files

Price files are normally named in a consistent way (do not worry about adding the date of the file to the name of the file). Most price files are saved as Comma Separated Value (CSV) files. Simply include the catalog number and one or more price columns. In addition, we do recommend adding a column after each price column to indicate the commission rate associated with the price (this is optional, but is consistent).

 

Request For Quote

OASIS does define an RFQ file format using the XML standards. However, any format is useful. The content is by far the most important.

File Names: It is common to use the quote number from the manufacturer’s data system.

 

Order Status

OASIS does define an order status file format using the XML standards. However, any format is useful. The content is by far the most important.

File Names: We do not recommend the customer PO number (due to potential duplicates). The manufacturer’s SO number will work in most cases.

 

Invoices

OASIS does define an invoice file format using the XML standards. However, any format is useful. The content is by far the most important.

File Names: Usually the invoice number forms the file name.

 

Commissions Paid

OASIS does not currently define an XML format for commissions. A simple Comma Separated Value (CSV) file containing the invoice number and commission paid will get the job done. Deductions should be identified with a predefined invoice number.

File Names: Consider using the file name “Commissions_####_##.csv” where the ####_## is the year and month of the corresponding commissions check.

 

The Order Entry Folder

Folder Name: OrderEntry

Contents: Orders from the reps to be processed by the manufacturer

Notes:

OASIS is capable of uploading data in a number of formats:

  •          OASIS internal format
  •           EDI 850
  •           Adobe PDF files
  •           Custom format

 

File Names: it is common to use the agency’s rep number or an internal serial number (unique across all OASIS installations).

It is possible to send a data format (e.g. EDI 850) and the Adobe format. This has the advantage of allowing the rep to send a copy of the customer’s order or various forms of documentation (e.g. a ballast specification).

 

 

The RFQ Request Folder

Folder Name: RFQRequest

Contents: Requests from reps for pricing

Notes:

OASIS is capable of uploading data in a number of formats:

  •           OASIS internal format
  •           EDI 840
  •           Adobe PDF files
  •          Custom format

 

File Names: it is common to use the agency’s rep number or an internal serial number (unique across all OASIS installations).

It is possible to send a data format (e.g. EDI 840) and the Adobe format. This has the advantage of allowing the rep to send a copy of the customer’s order or various forms of documentation (e.g. a ballast specification).