FAQ - ipOFTP

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Frequently asked questions
What does "OFTP" stand for?
OFTP is the protocol specified by VDA and Odette to be used for the exchange of files between partners configured in advance. In the beginning ISDN was used, currently the transmission medium in use is the internet.
What is "ipOFTP"?
ipOFTP is our implementation of the OFTP protocol. You get ipOFTP in a preconfigured device with a browser interface. You just need to plug it in and connect it to your network.
Where is ipOFTP suitable?
The typical area of application is sending and receiving orders, delivery schedules, shipping notices and invoices in VDA or EDIFACT format, as well as transmitting of engineering data.
Can I send and receive any file type?
Yes, communication is not restricted to VDA and EDIFCT format but can transmit any format.
Which VDA and EDIFACT formats can be transmitted via ipOFTP?
Any. Communication is independent from file format. Additionally the VDA and EDIFACT formats commonly used in the supply chain are prepared by ipOFTP for display in the browser.
Which networks are used for ipOFTP communication?
ipOFTP transmits files via the internet and require connection to a local network. This network needs to be connected to the internet.
How high is OFTP's network load?
Delivery schedul and delivery notifications are small: Typical sizes es are 1kB - 10kB. In the IP connection therefore there will be 1-8 data packets. (Yes, that's right!) Consequently, the transmission time for an incoming call-off order is significantly less than 1 second. Transmitting large engineering data files can be quite a strain. If needed the used bandwidth can be reduced to prevent other processes using the internet connection from being interrupted.
Can I integrate ipOFTP with my ERP/PPS system?
Yes. ipOFTP will take care of OFTP communication. You send a file by copying it in your communication partner's output folder. Incoming files arrive in your inbox. You may use scripts for automatic processing and access the files via a network share.
Can I configure ipOFTP myself?
Yes. When you access the ipOFTP communication box with a browser you get an administration interface similar to a router. The ipOFTP communication box is a Linux device with a graphical interface. If you connect a monitor, keyboard and mouse, you can also conveniently configure settings that are not directly related to ipOFTP.
What information is needed to set up an OFTP connection?
You need your communication partners DNS name or IP address and port number. Your communication partners will need your details in return.
What does an OFTP DNS name look like?
The names of OFTP servers are usually of the form "oftp.example.com"
What DNS name should i use for OFTP?
When the name of your internet pages is "www.example.com" you should register a subdomain "oftp.example.com" with your provider and forward it to your local internet connection.
We use a fixed IP address can we use this for OFTP?
Yes. But we recommend to create a subdomain and use the DNS name.
What is a port number?
To establish an internet connection a DNS name is needed, like "oftp.example.com", and port number, like "6619". If you compare this to writing a letter imagine the DNS name being the "street name/number, post code and town", the port number is the name of the person you're writing to.
What port numbers are used by OFTP?
The standard ports are 3305 for unencrypted and 6619 for encrypted communication.
What port forwarding settings are needed in the router?
You need to forward the OFTP ports 6619 and 3305 to the ipOFTP communication box.
How do communication partners identify each other?
Both sides are using an identification and a password. You can buy an Odette complying identification from Odette. Search the internet for "Odette" and "OSCAR". The password is defined by you.
What does an Odette identification look like?
It starts with the letter "O", the rest follows one of two patterns, either "O0013012345SAMPLE" or "O0177XXXX000000".
Do I need an Odette identification?
You and your communication partner need to agree on what to use as "identification" and "password". Technically they are entirely random but your communication partner might insist on an identification issued by Odette.
Do I need a certificate?
Yes, if you wish to encrypt files during transmission. ipOFTP is delivered with an installed self signed certificate, so you are able to establish encrypted connections at once.
Do I need to buy a certificate from a certification body?
No. If you buy a certificate you need to renew this certificate regularly for a fee. The VDA specification can be used with self-signed certificates.
What is a self-signed certificate?
This is a certificate by yourself. You then send this certificate to your communication partner. They save it and henceforth you can use encrypted transmission.
How do I get a self-signed certificate?
ipOFTP contains a feature you can use to generate a self-signed certificate easily.
What does "EERP" mean?
The "End to End Response" is sent from the recipient of a message to the sender when the file has been received and processed correctly. ipOFTP automatically generates this message for you as soon as the file has been received correctly.
What are "SSID" and "SFID" standing for?
Two Odette identifications can be used in the communication. The SSID identifies the system that transmits the data. The SFID identifies the system that processes the data. In most cases these will be identical. When two different identifications are used the SSID is entered as the identification of the gateway.
ipOFTP
The low-cost solution for receiving and sending VDA and EDIFACT messages via Internet and OFTP.
ipOFTP
is adapted to the needs of suppliers and service providers who exchange VDA or EDIFACT messages with their customers.
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