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FTP client is a component of the Clear Finance Cloud (CFC), serving as a middleware that connects your FTP server to the CFC. During the onboarding process, you have the ability to create and configure an FTP client, enabling it to establish a connection with your FTP server and become operational.
Once the FTP client is activated, it retrieves the input files from the FTP server and uploads them to the CFC. If there are any output files, it writes them back to the FTP server.
The primary purpose of the FTP client is to establish an FTP connection between the ERP and the CFC products via the FTP server.
An FTP server and an FTP client are two distinct components of the FTP system, each serving different roles:
FTP Server: An FTP server is a computer program or software that hosts files and allows remote clients to access and transfer files to and from the server. It provides storage space and manages file access, permissions, and security. The FTP server software listens for incoming connections from FTP clients and responds to their requests. Examples of FTP server software include FileZilla Server, vsftpd, and Microsoft IIS FTP server.
FTP Client: An FTP client is a computer program or software that enables users to connect to an FTP server and transfer files to and from it. It allows users to browse directories on the server, upload files to the server, download files from the server, delete files, and perform other file operations. FTP clients usually have a user-friendly interface that makes it easier for users to interact with the FTP server. Examples of FTP client software include FileZilla, WinSCP, and Cyberduck.
While the FTP server hosts the files and manages the storage and access, the FTP client connects to the server and facilitates the file transfer operations between the client and the server.
An API client is used to create a client secret and access token which can be stored securely in the ERP, using which the protected resources on CFC products can be accessed via real time APIs. However, an FTP client is used to create an FTP connection between the ERP and CFC for a specific product like GST, E-Invoicing, Max ITC, etc. Once an FTP client is created, the input files will be placed in the corresponding folders for the FTP client to pick it up in frequent intervals and process them.
To create an FTP client, you must have a workspace or product administrator access. If you do not have this privilege, please contact your Clear account workspace administrator or product administrator.
If you are a workspace or product administrator, follow these steps to create an FTP client:
- 1.Log in to your Clear sandbox (https://app-sandbox.clear.in) or production (https://app.clear.in) account.
- 2.In the bottom left corner, click "Settings".
- 3.In the navigation sidebar, go to the "Integrations" tab and click "FTP Clients".
- 4.Click "Create FTP Client" to open a form.
- 5.Choose the workspace for which you want to create the FTP client.
- 6.Provide a Label for this FTP client, this can be the ERP name for which you want to integrate using FTP.
- 7.Choose the product for which you want to create the FTP client from the drop down. Please note that you can select only a single product for an FTP client, for multiple products, you will have to create multiple FTP clients.
- 8.Enter the Protocol for the FTP connection.
- 9.Enter the Host URL or IP of the server.
- 10.Mention the Port number of the connection.
- 11.Select the “Transfer Mode” for the FTP connection.
- 12.Now enter the complete path of the base directory where the FTP client will create the subfolders based on the product selected.
- 13.Provide the Username and Password for the FTP client to connect to the FTP Server. Please note that this would be a dedicated username for the FTP client.
- 14.Now click the “Test FTP Connection” button to test the FTP connection. All the three options “Connections”, “Permissions” and “Directory creation” should be green. If any of the options are not successful, please refer to the troubleshooting guide on the basic steps to resolve the same. In case the issues are still not resolved, please reach out to Clear support.
- 15.The next section is only applicable if you are going to import CSV files through FTP. Select the delimiter character and quotation character from the corresponding dropdowns. It can be skipped if you are not going to import CSV files.
- 16.Finally, enter the list of emails which need to be notified about this FTP client. By Default, the logged in email address would be prefilled in the input. Additional emails can be entered here.
- 17.Click on the “Activate configuration” to enable this FTP client.
When you use Clear, all the related products and users are grouped as a workspace. Based on your use case, you may have one or more workspaces. Each workspace is independent with no data sharing across other workspaces. Hence when creating a client secret, you must choose the workspace that the client secret should have access to. If you have only one workspace, you can use the default workspace.
If you are a workspace administrator, you will be able to see all the workspaces that you are an administrator of.
If you are a product administrator, you will be able to see all the workspaces which have products that you are a product administrator of.
No, once you have created an FTP client, you can not change the workspace. If you do not wish to use the FTP client for the selected workspace, you can delete the FTP client. If you want to access another workspace via FTP, you can create a new FTP client for that workspace.
Clear offers a suite of applications like GST, E-Invoicing, Max ITC, and more. When creating an FTP client, you can choose which product the FTP client should be configured to.
If you are a workspace administrator, you will be able to see all the products under your workspace. Hence you will be able to see all the FTP clients created for any of those products in your workspace.
If you are a product administrator, you will be able to see only those products for which you have administrator access.
Currently, the FTP client supports GST, Max ITC and E-Invoicing. For more information on each of these, refer to the respective link below:
No, there is no relationship between the FTP client creation and license validity.
If you have an active license for the selected product, you will be able to use the same. If you do not have an active license for the selected product, you may get an error in the respective product. Once the expired license is renewed, the same FTP client will work.
No, each FTP client can only be created for a single product, since each product has its own configuration and directories.
However, you can reuse the same FTP server details for more than one product in CFC. To achieve this, you will need to create a separate FTP client for the corresponding product.
Further, if you have multiple ERPs or source systems for the same product, then also you can create multiple FTP clients for each source FTP server.
FTP client supports FTP, FTPS and SFTP protocols. Out of these, FTP is less secure and not recommended as it is unencrypted. FTPS and SFTP are secure with protocol level encryption. Clear recommends using SFTP protocol by default.
When an FTP client is created, updated, or deleted, it can have security implications. When creating an FTP client, you can enter one or more email addresses to receive such notification. The email addresses may belong to another user in the same workspace or maybe a non-user as well (e.g.: your concerned IT team).
If you created an FTP client, and some other administrator removed your email address from the notification list, you will receive an email notification about such an update. However, you will not receive notifications for any subsequent events for that FTP client.
After the FTP client is activated, once the file synchronization starts, if there are any data validation errors or non data validation errors, you will receive such notification on the given email IDs.
Yes, once you have created an FTP client, you can add or remove email addresses for notification at any time in the future. All the email addresses present before updating, and all the email addresses present after updating will receive an email notification about such an update.
You need to give an absolute path in the base directory so that the FTP client can create all the subfolders for the selected product for which you wish to set up the FTP client. It is recommended that the base folder has a name different from “CLEARTAX”, since the FTP client will create a subfolder with the same name.
Test FTP connection is used to check whether the FTP client is able to successfully connect with the provided FTP server connection details, and has all required permissions. In addition it also tries to create the required subdirectories for the selected CFC product. This is a mandatory step before moving forward.
Connection test is used to check if the FTP client is able to successfully connect to the FTP server using the connection details. First it will try to establish a connection with the server URL using the specified protocol and port. Then it will try to authenticate with the provided username and password. Once the authentication is successful, then connection is established.
If the connection test fails, it means that either the provided FTP connection details are incorrect, and/or the username, password are incorrect. In such a case, please contact your IT team that manages the FTP server. Once these connection details are corrected, the connection test will be successful.
Permission test is used to verify if all the required permissions are granted to the FTP client. Ideally, CHMOD 744 is the required level of permissions for the FTP client to function properly.
If the permission test fails, it means that all the required permissions are not granted to the specified user on the specific directory/server. In such a case, please contact your IT team that manages the FTP server. Once the permissions are provided, the permission test will be successful.
Directory test is used to check if the FTP client is able to create directories and sub directories in the base directory for the selected product. This is to ensure that the required folder structure is created.
If the directory test fails, it means that the permission to create directories or subdirectories, read files, write files, delete files, rename files, and move files are not available. In such a case, please contact your IT team that manages the FTP server. Once the permissions are provided, the directory test will be successful.
The incoming requests from Clear to your FTP server will be sent from the below IPs:
Since these IPs are for redundancies, you will have to whitelist all the IPs in respective environments.