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Author Topic: BatchFTP  (Read 8864 times)

allen

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BatchFTP
« on: February 11, 2006, 03:48:52 PM »
Once upon a time, I used BulletProof ftp religiously -- it's small, straight forward, no frills, gets the job done . . . and a solid 30 bucks.  Too bad I lost my registration and they can't retrieve it for me.  I also spent a few years toying with various versions of CuteFTP/CuteFTP Pro -- a solid FTP client, but with a bit of a shocker price tag if all you need to do is upload a few files now and again.

A couple years ago, I stumbled into a new FTP client, largely unheard of and still in very early beta.  I was skeptical, when I could find no ties to a public version prior to 6 or 7 -- but decided to give it a whirl -- after all, I was in the market for an FTP client and "free beta" was just the right price.  I loved it, then I was away from my computer . . . but this last week, when I was unable to chmod via ftp.exe, I re-discovered BatchFTP when I remembered they'd sent me a 50% discount code for my beta input.  I was too late to claim the code, but quickly send them my money-- BatchFTP more polished than ever with a few new features, to boot.  Listen: If you maintain a website, I think you should download it.  Really.

I'll warn anyone trying it for the first time -- your first few sessions will most likely feel a bit awkward and you'll wonder if I know what I"m talking about, lending my approval to BatchFTP.  You're going to need to let her be your primary client for at least a few days, preferably a week or two, to really appreciate how valuable she is.

That warning aside, I'll say this -- I've tried pretty much every client that has a free trial over the years -- and think I know what to expect.  Each client will have its own unique features, but there are quite a few things that are generally identical from one client to another -- namely the connection manager.  You open a folder/tree panel or popup and save ftp connections, maybe making duplicates with different default folders, to account for separate projects.  This is where BatchFTP threw me at first.  There isn't an immediate connection manager.

Instead, you go to create a new connection and it brings you to a "Batch Properties" editor.  This is not only the name of BatchFTP, but the heart and soul of it -- the aspect of it that sets it apart.  So pay attention, here, this simple connection setup is important.

batchftp1.png

It's simple enough, you input your server settings like any other ftp connection.  You move on to the file transfer tab and setup the default local and remote folder, toggle on a log file if you want one and set the "Overwrite Policy" -- this single option is very important if you want to be left with a good impression of BatchFTP. 

batchftp2.png

See, BFTP doesn't use one rule for overwrites across the program -- it's based on the batch itself.  If you're going to want to overwrite these files in the future, select always overwrite, prompt or date smart.  Before I noticed this option, I uploaded a file many times wondering why nothing was changing . . . Silly me!  Move on to the next tab, you can set up some file filters if you don't want to see .txt files or images or . . . well, whatever you don't want to see. 

Then finally the Advanced tab -- this is important.  Not so much now, but keep it in mind.  First, let me explain something --> BatchFTP immediately assumes you're going to be uploading and downloading the same files over and over again, as if you're going to update your script or website in the future.  If there's a lot of stuff to upload, you might want BFTP to close after its done.  Or you might want it to launch a program, maybe your browser, when its done.  Or you might want your computer to shut off, since you yourself are already fast asleep.  You can do this here.

I'd mentioned that BatchFTP assumes you might not want to watch it while it uploads . . . It also assumes that you may not want to coddle this along.  It assumes you may want to be out drinking that night when the update needs to be made.  Here's the sweet spot -- see, when you select a file for upload, it doesn't upload (unless you turn off Batch Mode, but who'd want to do that?) -- it queues it.  When you're satisfied with you queue, you can hit F5 and send the files to the server -- but, hey -- you have BatchFTP, you have windows -- let BatchFTP insert an item in windows scheduler.  When the time is right, BatchFTP will wake herself up, send the files on their merry way, and then shut herself and if you want your computer down.  It couldn't be easier.

batchftp3.png

Need to update the website again next week? Items aren't deleted from queue! That batch is saved, buddy.  You can add to it, remove from it, reuse it as is -- Batch to your heart's content.

Other than weekly sending my fSekrit files and a few other things to the server for backup, I don't use the automated stuff, I don't have deadlines.  But I do have batches for all my web projects.  When I load the batch, all the files I routinely update are already in queue, I don't have to scroll around looking for them.  I just check a box in front of the ones I want and send them on.  It saves a lot of time.  It works slick.

batchftp4.png

Most FTP clients do support some or all of these features, some more than others -- but in every other case I've encountered, batch operations and automata are afterthoughts.  BatchFTP is built around the idea that you're going to upload the same files more than once and it is streamlined to support this ideology.

Both times I've picked up BatchFTP, after the initial "Getting used to" time, I find myself preferring it over the slim BPFtp; over the powerful but convoluted CuteFTP; and over the somewhat clunky, albeit free, FileZilla -- I won't continue trying to apply names to all the rest, you get the idea.

Bottom line, BatchFTP is an elegant, effective, time saving FTP client for both the power user and low-maintenance hobbyist.  The only thing left to discuss is the price -- which, despite all the love I feel it deserves, is -not- 49.95.  It's not even 29.95.  Ladies and gentlemen, it's not 19.95.  All this automata, this convenience, this FTP wonder . . . is a mere 14.95 -- and that license means you can use it on not one, but two computers.  You can't beat that with stick, no sir.

For further information (or just to distance yourself from my gushing), wander on this way...
BatchFTP Home
BatchFTP Screenshots -- Lots of them, with annotation
BatchFTP FAQs
BatchFTP Tutorials
« Last Edit: February 11, 2006, 04:02:30 PM by allen »

nudone

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2006, 04:29:26 PM »
excellent review, allen.

mouser

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2006, 04:34:27 PM »
brilliant.

as you say:
Quote
BatchFTP is built around the idea that you're going to upload the same files more than once and it is streamlined to support this ideology.
it seems if one has this kind of scenario this might be the perfect tool.
(i might have to buy this myself).


allen

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2006, 07:48:30 PM »
Thanks, nudone.

--Mouser, yeah -- any webmaster is going to have some repeat uploads -- this eliminates the need to use the file list more than once.  And the automated stuff I imagine could be invaluable if you have deadlines and don't necessarily want to have to push the buttons yourself.  The latter doesn't apply to me, but the batches have been good to me.

I haven't even tried the "auto" mode, which just transfers and clears the queue like a normal ftp client.  What's the point? :D
« Last Edit: February 12, 2006, 09:39:49 PM by allen »

superboyac

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2006, 03:57:09 PM »
Ahh!  Very interesting, allen.  I was just about to start a thread on what people recommend for ftp clients, so i'm glad I did a search first.  Like you, I used to use bulletproof for the longest time (since the 90's I think).  I haven't done ftp for years, but now I'm thinking of maintaining a simple website occasionally.

Let me ask you this, if you don't consider the repeat uploads feature, is this still the best ftp client in your opinion?  I liked bpftp because it was simple and pretty easy.

allen

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2006, 06:11:06 AM »
It doesn't get much simpler than BulletProof -- but here's how I finally looked at it when I decided what client to stick with -- The one with more features is cheaper.  And even if you don't use scheduling, the repeating can be really handy -- I didn't think I'd use it either, but do all the time now.  If you're adjusting your webpage and stylesheet, for example, instead of having to navigate to your css folder, upload it, move back to the data folder, upload it, etc. -- you just add them to your queue, upload them -- and when you need to upload them again, they're still there in the queue. Activate them and upload them again.

As a BulletProof user, you're used to queuing up files and hitting start -- imagine if you only had to queue them once, then it's just a matter of toggling a check box to upload it again.  (Unless you hit go when nothing is checked, in which case it automatically resets their status and uploads them all)

It is also possible to use BatchFTP in what he calls "Auto" mode, if you want to use more conventional non-queue based operation.

There's a free trial available, give her a spin ;)

superboyac

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2006, 09:49:49 AM »
yeah, i tried it for a few minutes, it looked good.  If I start doing ftp again, I'll probably get a license, unless there's something better.  Bulletproof has kind of stagnated lately anyway and become a little old-fashioned.  Like the browse window when picking directories could be a little more modern, etc.

I have Dopus, and it comes with ftp features, but I've never tried it, I wonder if it's any good...

allen

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2006, 10:22:11 AM »
Never tried (or heard of...) Dopus -- played Dofus though :)

I adored BPFtp, used it for years -- but lost my license and their new company can't return old ones.  It's just a bit too dated to pay -that- much for. There are a lot of freeware/shareware ftp clients that do more -- and you're right about the file browsing dialog!  Actually, no significant updates have been made to BPFTP in the better part of 5 years -- the biggest changes have been rebranding as some "Digital Candle" or something like that acquired them, then they went back to sans Digital Candle.  Not sure what the deal was -- software wise, it's been largely untouched.  Had I not lost my license, I'd probably still be happily using it, but in the long run Batch is a better application at a better price.  Aside from my web design, I use it to automate uploading backups of important files and schedule downloads for when I'm not going to be on/needing bandwidth.

In my experience, the absolute most powerful FTP suite is CuteFTP -- but it's pricey and, frankly, you need to be in an enterprise situation to really take advantage of a lot of its features/make it worth the money.  It's a little bit too much, in most cases -- it is well designed and works great, though.  I've owned licenses for a few versions of it.  Skipped over the upgrade a major version or two ago, as BatchFTP is a good balance of price and software -- no complaints here, except that I worry about its development.  The author has said it's not abandonware, he's just busy/between jobs -- but that's been the case for some time now!

superboyac

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2006, 10:29:25 AM »
i remember when I was in college, the very first ftp program i used was ws_ftp, it was free for people who worked at college.  Some office also had cuteftp, and I liked it at the time, but this was years ago.  I remember I felt so special when I found out about bulletproof ftp, no one was using it, and it's interface was really cool at the time.  This batchftp might be the perfect balance, like you said, especially since I don't even ftp anymore.

patteo

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Re: BatchFTP - Why not Webdrive ?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2006, 12:03:05 PM »
I'm not sure if this would be of any help.

I could never fully understand why a lot of people swear by FTP when there's another alternative like webdrive
http://www.webdrive.com/ . Maybe I'm missing something !

Basically what it does is map your FTP site to a drive name, any name eg K:

Then it appears like any drive, ie K: in this case to any of your windows programs like Explorer, xplorer2, Dopus (Directory Opus I mean), Norton Commander, Beyond Compare etc so you can copy, move, delete, synchronize.

In fact you can map multiple FTP sites and see all the various sites like additional drives.

Of course it's not $14.95. It's $54.95.

I trialed it a quite a while back when I was playing around with setting up a simple website and it worked pretty well. I simply had my website as another "Drive"

And if you update your site regularly, you could use any Windows based folder comparison utility to compare the files on K: with that on C: just by the date and only "FTP" (copy in this case) the newer files which would make updating the site a breeze.

I did not buy it because I could accomplish what I wanted with a freeware like Coreftp which also gave me command line commands. And besides, what I was doing was nothing intensive.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2006, 07:37:16 PM by patteo »

superboyac

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2006, 12:59:10 PM »
Good one, patteo!  That certainly is worth thinking about.  I guess the only benefit of a dedicated ftp client is the power to do a lot ftp specific stuff.  I don't do a lot of ftping, so maybe someone else can answer, but I imagine that there's a good reason to use ftp specific software that allows you to do much more than just the typical file operations.  But, for simple users like myself, I can see webdrive as very useful.

allen

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2006, 01:32:24 PM »
Cool idea, but man is that pricey!

I know in winXP you can just open a folder/IE to an ftp site and do your FTP'ing from there -- but you can't chmod.  How about in webdrive?  You might have to write a mini-review for it.

-- If you really want to go simple, superboy, you could always use good old fashioned start -> run -> ftp; no chmod there, either though.

superboyac

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2006, 01:53:35 PM »
-- If you really want to go simple, superboy, you could always use good old fashioned start -> run -> ftp; no chmod there, either though.

haha!  I'm simple, but not that simple!  That's funny...i do that, and I'm left with a screen that says nothing more than "ftp>".  minimalism at it's best.

allen

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2006, 02:29:35 PM »
type o <servername>
It'll prompt for user/pasword
ls
> files are shown
cd <directory>
> go to <directory>
lcd <directory>
> go to <directory> on local machine
put <filename>
> uploads <filename> to current <directory>
get <filename>
> downloads <filename>

Etc :)

Mark007

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2006, 03:20:01 PM »
I gave it a shot, and it seemed very promising. I needed something that would download only php files. However, I felt my air vent and the air coming out was HOT. I checked, and it was using 93% of my CPU time while indexing directories. I stopped the process right away...Have you ever experienced a problem like that?

Mark

zridling

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Re: BatchFTP
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2006, 11:42:37 PM »
Why am I just reading this most excellent review in August? Thanks Allen, once again, you've managed to slice through a phonebook of information and give us the straight dope. Great review, indeed.