Technical Details

For the technically minded, this page provides you with all the details about SoftwareBob.

SoftwareBob is on-premise "Managed File Transfer" software that you download and install to a server or desktop computer, or run in the cloud on Azure or Amazon.

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What are the Terms and Conditions (EULA) for using SoftwareBob?

Managed File Transfer

Managed file transfer ("MFT") refers to software that automates the secure and audited transfer of data from one computer to another through a network (e.g., the Internet). MFT software is an alternative to using ad-hoc file transfer solutions, such as FTP, HTTP and others.

According to Gartner Research, "Organizations often use MFT solutions to replace FTP. This is due to increased focus on compliance, privacy regulations and corporate transparency — which demand increased auditing, management, security and process."

Application Information

Supported Desktop Operating SystemsWindows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 & above
Supported Server Operating SystemsWindows Server 2003 & above
Binary64 Bit
SecuritySSL & SSH security on supported Internet protocols ie HTTPS, SFTP
Passwords are encrypted within the configuration database
Memory UsageApprox 50MB - 100MB
Disk Size100MB for application executables
Further space is needed for the configuration database, and the auditing of files (dependent on volume of files processed)
Installed LocationC:\Program Files\Bob\ is the default location but can be changed when installing
Persistent DataConfiguration and audit data is stored in Microsoft LocalDB.
Microsoft SQL Server can be used instead of LocalDB in the premium Enterprise edition.
PerformanceFree edition - up to 100 files a day recommended.
Business edition - up to 1,000 files a day recommended
Enterprise edition - up to 100,000 files a day recommended
Performance will depend on the size of files transferred and the speed of your Internet connection.
These limits can be easily surpassed if you setup a routine to clear audit history older than 12 months.

Supported Internet Protocols

FTPFile Transfer Protocol is extremely common for transmitting files over the Internet.
HTTP / HTTPSHyper Text Transfer Protocol is the base mechanism upon which websites serve websites to your browser. It is commonly used for transmitting files eg downloading a file from a website.
SFTPSecure File Transfer Protocol is common in Unix / Linux environments as a secure method of sending and receiving files. Commonly used by corporations due to its good security.
LANExchange files over your Local Area Network between shared folders on your servers.
RESTRepresentational State Transfer is based on HTTP and commonly used for creating an API for websites and software products. REST API's enable other applications to interact and share data.
SMTPSimple Mail Transfer Protocol is used for sending emails. All emails clients send email using SMTP.
POP3Post Office Protocol v3 is the most basic method of receiving emails into your mail client. Emails that are sent using SMTP are stored at your email providers mailbox until you download them into your client using POP3 (or another mail protocol like IMAP).
IMAPInternet Mail Access Protocol is a more advanced method for receiving emails. It is the method that is most commonly used today by email clients.
MS MQMicrosoft Message Queue is a proprietary message queuing platform for reliable delivery and receipt of messages. MSMQ is typically only used within organisations internal computer networks and not over the Internet.
IBM MQIBM Message Queue is a proprietary message queuing platform for reliable delivery and receipt of messages. IBM MQ is typically only used within organisations internal computer networks and not over the Internet.
FTPSFTPS is an extension of FTP to support TLS and SSL encryption for security of your data.
AS2Applicability Statement 2 is a common method for exchanging EDI files between organisations. AS2 is inherently secure however it is typically only used by corporations due to the complexity to setup. Most EDI communications still happen over standard FTP.

Supported File Types

Any file type can be exchanged using SoftwareBob, however only structured data files (eg XML, EDIFACT, Text files, ANSI X12, EDI Files) can be processed for data properties like invoice or order numbers.

Data properties extracted from files can be searched in the audit screens thereby enhancing the search functionality.

Task Functionality

Tasks are configured by you to achieve a given purpose eg "send file to ftp", and are executed automatically based on schedules or monitors.
The following "Actions" can be configured within a task to achieve different functionality.

Scheduled TimeSpecify details of the scheduled time when the task will execute. eg Daily starting 8:00am every 1 min until 5:00pm
Monitored FolderSpecify that the Outbound File folder it is linked to should be monitored for new or changed files
Inbound FileSpecify the folder location and file naming details for files that are received
Receiving MethodSpecify the configuration of the Internet protocol used for receiving a file
Outbound FileSpecify the folder location and file search pattern for files that are to be sent
Sending MethodSpecify the configuration of the Internet protocol used for sending a file
Send EmailSpecify a custom email to be sent - can be used for custom notification of issues or progress
Text NoteProvide text notes regarding the configuration for reference purposes
Attached InfoAttach a file or document that provides specification details for reference purposes. For example a document containing the FTP details of the partner company you are dealing with.

Scheduling

Schedules can be configured to execute tasks automatically while SoftwareBob is running or in the task tray (this requires a user to be logged on). The premium versions (Business & Enterprise) include a "Windows Service" for automatic execution of tasks even when the user is logged off - this is typically used on server editions of Windows.

Scheduling is very flexible and configured much like Windows Task Scheduler.

Monitoring

Local folders can be monitored for new or updated files to trigger the execution of a task. The details of the changed file are passed into the task which handles processing of the file as per the configuration.

Shared network folders can be monitored however reliability of this is dependent on your network reliability. It is recommended that a second copy of SoftwareBob be deployed and the folder monitored locally.

Monitoring occurs while SoftwareBob is running or in the task tray (this requires a user to be logged on). The premium versions (Business & Enterprise) include a "Windows Service" for automatic execution of tasks even when the user is logged off - this is typically used on server editions of Windows.

Third Party Components

Microsoft SQL LocalDB is used by default for storing the configuration and File tracking information. This will be installed by SoftwareBob if not already present on the computer.

Microsoft SQL Server is supported by the Enterprise edition. This provides increased performance and easier management (backups of database, connecting over network)

Microsoft .Net 4.0 and Microsoft XML Parser are required components. These are usually installed as part of the Windows operating system.