Cross File Transfer

Cross File Transfer

CFT (Cross File Transfer) (product name: Synchrony Transfer) is a secure computer file transfer program and protocol from Axway Inc, used extensively in French and banking industries in Europe.

CFT was for mainframe computers using the French X.25-based Transpac network, but was later ported to use Internet protocols as well. Client software must be purchased from Axway, and includes a license manager that enforce machine and transfer limits: it is available for Windows NT, Unix, MVS, VMS, GCOS, Netware, and AS400/iseries.


CFT is used to send files to a machine and remotely resume interrupted transfers. CFT can also trigger remote processes, rename files according to a specific protocol, apply security constraints and implement the character conversion (ASCII to EBCDIC for example). It is a tool to send and receive files reliably.


Each site wishing to exchange a file is called a partner, regardless of the platform (Windows NT, Unix, VMS, MVS, GCOS, NetWare, AS400/iSeries). Any partner wishing to send or receive data from another partner must be declared in “the partners file” or “CFT directory”.

Each CFT partner has an ADL (Address Logic) number. The ADL can identify applications, the users, or even printers.

To share files, CFT must be installed on each platform. A platform that wants to send a file to a remote partner sends a request over the network by specifying the remote platform through its partner name. When the remote partner receives the request, it verifies that it is the correct destination and creates a record in its local catalogue that lists all requests (treated FIFO). When it’s the request’s turn, the partner establishes a remote connection protocol with the push partner and announces it is ready to receive. The sending partner sends the file content that the receiving partner mirrors to a local directory. The sending partner doesn’t decide where the file is written on the receiving partner. He can not force the receiving partner to receive data (when it is congested, for example). At any time, CFT indicates the status of each transfer: pending, in progress, aborted or completed successfully.

CFT is a licensed product. It is used with a software key that limits the use of CFT to a type of machine and a maximum number of simultaneous transfers.

In case of a UNIX Sun Solaris box, one should have the CFT aka XFB(aXway File Broker) on both the sender and the receiver machines. There are two main config files for XFB namely locpart.smp and chkusr.txt. locpart.smp stores the destination server's IP address, protocol intended, port to be used and other such information. TCP and FTP are the basic protocols used here. The chkusr.txt file contains information specific to authorization and proxy. If a user is sending files to a receiver, the later should have an A entry in its chkusr.txt file in order to authorize the user to send files. It should also contain the landing directory to which the files should be stored in the receiving system. The sending machine also has an agent file named <filename>.perm; which is the one where the file name to be sent is configured and which contains the node name.

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