What is AFD?

The Automatic File Distributor provides a framework for very flexible, non-stop, log and debug-able delivery of an arbitrary amount of files to multiple recipients as expressed in URLs (mailto://user@domain, ftp://user:password@host, etc). AFD stands for Automatic File Distributor.

The most common technique used to distribute data is for each individual to fetch the data from one common place. This place can be a database, FTP-server or even the WWW (World Wide Web). However, this is not always the most user or customer friendly way for a company or organization to distribute its products. For this reason AFD (Automatic File Distributor) was developed, to provide a better service to users or customers in transporting the required data directly to the location where it is required.

When distributing files to a remote host it does so via the FTP, FTPS, SFTP or SMTP protocol. Local distribution is done by simply copying files from one directory to another. To distribute files, the AFD has one (or more) central configuration file (DIR_CONFIG), where the system administrator can specify which files are to be distributed and where they are to be sent.

Here follows a list of features of the AFD:

The AFD requires X11R5 and Motif 1.2.x (or higher) for the GUI. Currently it has been ported to the following systems:

I expected it to run on any kind of unix system, but due to the fact that I do not have access to all kinds of unixes, unable to test this other than the above mentioned systems.

The AFD is now for more than ten years in operational use at the DWD at over 180 installations distributing 11 million files (11 Tbytes) daily and is administrated by a single person.

Copyright © 1997 - 2007 by H.Kiehl
Last updated: 27.02.2007
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