Pull from any SFTP Site

The SSH File Transfer Protocol (also Secure File Transfer Protocol, or SFTP) is a network protocol that provides file access, file transfer, and file management over any reliable data stream.

SFTP is a common way to send data to Amperity. For example: a file is output from a customer data source with a consistent datestamp pattern appended to a static file name, added to their SFTP location, and then updated on a regular basis. Amperity is then configured to connect to that SFTP location, and then pick up those files on a regular basis.


When using SFTP as a data source location, a sample file is often required to set up the initial feed and courier processes.

This topic describes the steps that are required to pull files in any supported format to Amperity from SFTP:

  1. Get details

  2. Add courier

  3. Get sample files

  4. Add feeds

  5. Add load operations

  6. Run courier

  7. Add to courier group

Get details

SFTP sites require the following configuration details:

  1. The username.

  2. The passphrase.

  3. The host public key (if encryption is configured).

  4. The hostname, from which data will be pulled.

  5. A list of objects (by filename and file type, e.g. “accounts.csv”, “customers.ndjson”, “email-list.tsv”, and so on) in the SFTP location to be sent to Amperity.

  6. A sample for each file to simplify feed creation.

Included SFTP site

Every Amperity tenant includes an SFTP site with a hostname of <tenant>.sftp.amperity.com. For example, if your company name is ACME, then your tenant’s SFTP hostname is acme.sftp.amperity.com. (The hostname is always all lowercase.)


The SFTP site is provisioned by an Amperity administrator after the initial tenant creation. As such, the SFTP site is not immediately available, but this is not a long process. When the SFTP site is ready, Amperity will use SnapPass to send you the connection details. If you wish to use RSA key-based authentication, please provide the public key to your Amperity administrator when requesting SFTP access.

Once this site is provisioned, you may configure the SFTP site as an SFTP source or an SFTP destination to support any desired workflow. External customer processes can be configured to connect to the site using SFTP, after which they can add data to or pick up data from the site to support any external workflow.


The SFTP server has a 30-day limit on data and after 30 days, data may be moved automatically to an archive location. This location is still accessible to Amperity in case it becomes necessary to reuse it.


The hostname for the SFTP site is always <tenant-name>.sftp.amperity.com. Some older tenants may still be using the legacy address sftp.amperity.com, if so, please contact your Amperity administrator about migrating.

Filedrop requirements

A SFTP location requires the following:

Add courier

A courier brings data from external system to Amperity. A courier relies on a feed to know which fileset to bring to Amperity for processing.


You can run a courier without load operations. Use this approach to get files to upload during feed creation, as a feed requires knowing the schema of a file before you can apply semantic tagging and other feed configuration settings.

Example entities list

An entites list defines the list of files to be pulled to Amperity, along with any file-specific details (such as file name, file type, if header rows are required, and so on).

For example:

    "object/type": "file",
    "object/file-pattern": "'/path/to/CustomerRecords.csv'",
    "object/land-as": {
      "file/header-rows": 1,
      "file/tag": "customer-records-2019",
      "file/content-type": "text/csv"
    "object/type": "file",
    "object/file-pattern": "'/path/to/TransactionRecords.csv'",
    "object/land-as": {
      "file/header-rows": 1,
      "file/tag": "transaction-records-2019",
      "file/content-type": "text/csv"


You may configure files as required ("object/optional": false) or optional ("object/optional": true.) A courier will fail if a required file is not available or, if all files in the fileset are optional, at least one of those files is not available.

To add a courier

  1. From the Sources tab, click Add Courier. The Add Source page opens.

  2. Find, and then click the icon for SFTP. The Add Courier page opens.

    This automatically selects passphrase as the Credential Type and assigns sftp.<domain-name>.com as the location from which data is pulled.

  3. Enter the name of the courier. For example: “SFTP”.

  4. From the Credential drop-down, select Create a new credential. This opens the Create New Credential page.

  5. From the Credential drop-down, select Create a new credential. This opens the Create New Credential dialog box. Enter a name for the credential (typically “SFTP”), and then enter the username and password required to access this location.

  6. Under Settings configure the list of files to pull to Amperity. Configure the Entities List for each file to be loaded to Amperity.

  7. Under Settings set the load operations to a string that is obviously incorrect, such as df-xxxxxx. (You may also set the load operation to empty: {}.)


    If you use an obviously incorrect string, the load operation settings will be saved in the courier configuration. After the feed is configured and activated you can edit the courier, and then update the feed ID with the correct identifier.


    If load operations are not set to {} the validation test for the courier configuration settings will fail.

  8. Click Save.

Get sample files

Every SFTP file that is pulled to Amperity must be configured as a feed. Before you can configure each feed you need to know the schema of that file. Run the courier without load operations to bring sample files from SFTP to Amperity, and then use each of those files to configure a feed.

To get sample files

  1. From the Sources tab, open the menu for a courier configured for SFTP with empty load operations, and then select Run. The Run Courier dialog box opens.

  2. Select Load data from a specific day, and then select today’s date.

  3. Click Run.


    The courier run will fail, but this process will successfully return a list of files from SFTP.

    These files will be available for selection as an existing source from the Add Feed dialog box.

  4. Wait for the notification for this courier run to return an error similar to:

    Error running load-operations task
    Cannot find required feeds: "df-xxxxxx"

Add feeds

A feed defines how data should be loaded into a domain table, including specifying which columns are required and which columns should be associated with a semantic tag that indicates that column contains customer profile (PII) and transactions data.


A feed must be added for each file that is pulled from SFTP, including all files that contain customer records and interaction records, along with any other files that will be used to support downstream workflows.

To add a feed

  1. From the Sources tab, click Add Feed. This opens the Add Feed dialog box.

  2. Under Data Source, select Create new source, and then enter “SFTP”.

  3. Enter the name of the feed in Feed Name. For example: “CustomerRecords”.


    The name of the domain table will be “<data-source-name>:<feed-name>”. For example: “SFTP:CustomerRecords”.

  4. Under Sample File, select Select existing file, and then choose from the list of files. For example: “filename_YYYY-MM-DD.csv”.


    The list of files that is available from this drop-down menu is sorted from newest to oldest.

  5. Select Load sample file on feed activation.

  6. Click Continue. This opens the Feed Editor page.

  7. Select the primary key.

  8. Apply semantic tags to customer records and interaction records, as appropriate.

  9. Under Last updated field, specify which field best describes when records in the table were last updated.


    Choose Generate an “updated” field to have Amperity generate this field. This is the recommended option unless there is a field already in the table that reliably provides this data.

  10. For feeds with customer records (PII data), select Make available to Stitch.

  11. Click Activate. Wait for the feed to finish loading data to the domain table, and then review the sample data for that domain table from the Data Explorer.

Add load operations

After the feeds are activated and domain tables are available, add the load operations to the courier used for SFTP.

Example load operations

Load operations must specify each file that will be pulled to Amperity from SFTP.

For example:

      "type": "truncate"
      "type": "load",
      "file": "customer-records"
      "type": "load",
      "file": "transaction-records"

To add load operations

  1. From the Sources tab, open the menu for the courier that was configured for SFTP, and then select Edit. The Edit Courier dialog box opens.

  2. Edit the load operations for each of the feeds that were configured for SFTP so they have the correct feed ID.

  3. Click Save.

Run courier manually

Run the courier again. This time, because the load operations are present and the feeds are configured, the courier will pull data from SFTP.

To run the courier manually

  1. From the Sources tab, open the    menu for the courier with updated load operations that is configured for SFTP, and then select Run. The Run Courier dialog box opens.

  2. Select the load option, either for a specific time period or all available data. Actual data will be loaded to a domain table because the feed is configured.

  3. Click Run.

    This time the notification will return a message similar to:

    Completed in 5 minutes 12 seconds

Add to courier group

A courier group is a list of one (or more) couriers that are run as a group, either ad hoc or as part of an automated schedule. A courier group can be configured to act as a constraint on downstream workflows.

To add the courier to a courier group

  1. From the Sources tab, click Add Courier Group. This opens the Create Courier Group dialog box.

  2. Enter the name of the courier. For example: “SFTP”.

  3. Add a cron string to the Schedule field to define a schedule for the orchestration group.

    A schedule defines the frequency at which a courier group runs. All couriers in the same courier group run as a unit and all tasks must complete before a downstream process can be started. The schedule is defined using cron.

    Cron syntax specifies the fixed time, date, or interval at which cron will run. Each line represents a job, and is defined like this:

    ┌───────── minute (0 - 59)
    │ ┌─────────── hour (0 - 23)
    │ │ ┌───────────── day of the month (1 - 31)
    │ │ │ ┌────────────── month (1 - 12)
    │ │ │ │ ┌─────────────── day of the week (0 - 6) (Sunday to Saturday)
    │ │ │ │ │
    │ │ │ │ │
    │ │ │ │ │
    * * * * * command to execute

    For example, 30 8 * * * represents “run at 8:30 AM every day” and 30 8 * * 0 represents “run at 8:30 AM every Sunday”. Amperity validates your cron syntax and shows you the results. You may also use crontab guru to validate cron syntax.

  4. Set Status to Enabled.

  5. Specify a time zone.

    A courier group schedule is associated with a time zone. The time zone determines the point at which an courier group’s scheduled start time begins. A time zone should be aligned with the time zone of system from which the data is being pulled.


    The time zone that is chosen for an courier group schedule should consider every downstream business processes that requires the data and also the time zone(s) in which the consumers of that data will operate.

  6. Set SLA? to False. (You can change this later after you have verified the end-to-end workflows.)

  7. Add at least one courier to the courier group. Select the name of the courier from the Courier drop-down. Click + Add Courier to add more couriers.

  8. Click Add a courier group constraint, and then select a courier group from the drop-down list.

    A wait time is a constraint placed on a courier group that defines an extended time window for data to be made available at the source location. A courier group typically runs on an automated schedule that expects customer data to be available at the source location within a defined time window. However, in some cases, the customer data may be delayed and isn’t made available within that time window.

  9. For each courier group constraint, apply any offsets.

    An offset is a constraint placed on a courier group that defines a range of time that is older than the scheduled time, within which a courier group will accept customer data as valid for the current job.

    A courier group offset is typically set to be 24 hours. For example, it’s possible for customer data to be generated with a correct file name and datestamp appended to it, but for that datestamp to represent the previous day because of the customer’s own workflow. An offset ensures that the data at the source location is recognized by the courier as the correct data source.


    An offset affects couriers in a courier group whether or not they run on a schedule.

  10. Click Save.