Wednesday, February 29, 2012

XLight FTP server

As a web developer, I sometimes get the task to communicate with an FTP server. Usually, that server is remote, and not under your own control. Therefore, it is often difficult to troubleshoot and pinpoint possible problems. For instance, last I wrote some code to transfer a file to an FTP-folder, where it was supposed to be picked up and printed. My code was executed without errors, but the document was never (or partially) printed.

The FTP server was actually a printer, and there was no way to view the actual folder. And even if that would have been possible, we could never be sure the file had been transferred, because the printer was constantly polling for new files.

So, to be sure our file transfer worked, we had to transfer the file to a 'regular' FTP-printer. While some people have an FTP-server running somewhere, I do not, so I had to download, install and configure one. That seemed like a tedious job, to just run a simple test. So I started looking for a simpler solution, and found one.

The answer was XLight FTP Server. This is a very lightweight FTP server, that does not require installation. You download the standalone FTP Server, unzip it, and run the .exe file included. You create a new virtual server, adjust some configurations, start said server and your own FTP server is up and running.