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Using UNC and Mapped Drives

Does Diplomat Managed File Transfer support the use of UNC paths and mapped drives?

How can UNC paths and mapped drives be used in Diplomat?
When Diplomat MFT executes a file transfer job that uses UNC paths or mapped drives to locate files or directories, success at run-time requires that the logon ID associated with the Diplomat MFT Service have read/write privileges for the specific files or directory and, perhaps, have additional permissions to negotiate various network domains to access the directory.

The Diplomat MFT Service is initially set up to run as a service with "LocalSystem" as the logon. With the default logon, a Diplomat MFT job would only be allowed to access files identified by UNC paths or mapped drives if the UNC paths or mapped drives were open to all accounts within the network domain where the Diplomat MFT Service resides.

The Diplomat MFT Service can be reconfigured to run under a specific account logon with privileges such that it could access all UNC paths and mapped drives associated with the transactions in the Diplomat MFT transaction database.

If a job with UNC paths or mapped drives fails in a file access attempt, only limited information is returned by the system to diagnose what changes to the account permissions would be required for the job to succeed.  And, a change in network domain configurations could cause Diplomat MFT jobs that had been running successfully to fail, if account permissions needed to be updated to negotiate the new network configuration.

How can I troubleshoot a problem with UNC paths or mapped drives?
Most file and directory location fields in Diplomat MFT have a TEST button associated with them.   After entering a complete pathname in a field, select the TEST button.  Diplomat MFT will display a message indicating whether a particular directory was found and, if so, whether the logon ID has read and write permission.

If you have trouble accessing files via UNC paths or mapped drives, you can determine whether the logon account used by the Diplomat MFT Service has the required privileges with the following steps:

1. Open a command window on the system where the Diplomat MFT Service is installed:

  • Type the command:  runas “/user:servername\username” cmd.exe, where servername is the name of the server where the Diplomat MFT Service is installed and username is the username for the logon account used by the Diplomat MFT Service. 
  • When prompted, enter the password for the account.

2. In the new command window, type the command: cd targetdirectory, where targetdirectory is the exact UNC path or mapped drive used by Diplomat.
If the path is valid, the target directory becomes the default directory in the window.  If the path is NOT valid, the default directory remains unchanged.  If the path is NOT valid, Diplomat MFT will NOT be able to access the target directory. You must update the permissions on the target directory and/or the logon account to enable the Diplomat MFT Service logon account to access the directory.
3. If the target directory is now the default, you can check access to an individual file.  At the command prompt, type the command: dir. Check the list of files to determine if your target file is available.  

How can I access files that are not available using local or mapped drives?
Diplomat MFT offers the option of accessing all transaction files using FTP.   If the system on which the files reside does not have an FTP server running, one can usually be installed. 

How do I install and configure an FTP server for a Windows system?
Any Windows system can be accessed as an FTP server using IIS (Internet Information Services), which is a standard Windows component.  It can be installed by going to Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and selecting Add/Remove Windows Components.  Then, check Internet Information Services (IIS) for installation.

Then, select the Details… button and select File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Server, Common Files, and the IIS Snap-in for installation.

Once the FTP subcomponents of IIS are installed, you can configure the Default FTP Site Properties screen via Settings > Control Panel > Administrative Tools >  Internet Services Manager and right-clicking on "Default FTP Site" and selecting Properties. 

For each Diplomat MFT transaction using the FTP server, you will need:

Address and Port
Select the FTP Site tab to set the IP Address and TCP Port.  IP Address should be the permanent IP address of the local system and TCP Port will most likely be "21" the default.

Select the Security Accounts tab.  Check Allow Anonymous Logins.  Browse to the username for the account with the privileges required by the Diplomat MFT transactions.   Then, enter the password for the account.  When you set up the transaction in Diplomat, use this Username and Password in the FTP Settings.

Under the Home Directory tab, indicate that content should come from "a directory located on this computer". Then, set the default local path used when an account logs in to the ftp server. This directory should be the directory where Diplomat MFT will pick-up or drop-off files.  Directory Listing Style must also be set to UNIX.

Updated on February 19, 2020

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