FTP/SFTP XML File Connector for C#

In this article you will learn how to integrate FTP/SFTP XML File data in C# (live / bi-directional connection to FTP/SFTP XML File). FTP/SFTP XML File Connector can be used to read XML Files stored on FTP Sites (Classic FTP, SFTP or FTPS). Using this you can easily read FTP/SFTP XML File data. It's supports latest security standards, and optimized for large data files. It also supports reading compressed files (e.g. GZip /Zip)..

Using FTP/SFTP XML File Connector you will be able to connect, read, and write data from within C#. Follow the steps below to see how we would accomplish that.

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Create ODBC Data Source (DSN) based on ZappySys SFTP XML Driver

To get data from FTP/SFTP XML File using C# we first need to create a DSN (Data Source) which will access data from FTP/SFTP XML File. We will later be able to read data using C#. Perform these steps:

  1. Install ZappySys ODBC PowerPack.

  2. Open ODBC Data Sources (x64):
    Open ODBC Data Source

  3. Create a User Data Source (User DSN) based on ZappySys SFTP XML Driver

    ZappySys SFTP XML Driver
    Create new User DSN for ZappySys SFTP XML Driver
    You should create a System DSN (instead of a User DSN) if the client application is launched under a Windows System Account, e.g. as a Windows Service. If the client application is 32-bit (x86) running with a System DSN, use ODBC Data Sources (32-bit) instead of the 64-bit version.
  4. Create and configure a connection for the FTP/SFTP storage account.

    Create FTP/SFTP Storage Connection
  5. You can use select your desired single file by clicking [...] path button.

    mybucket/dbo.tblNames.xml
    dbo.tblNames.xml
    Read FTP/SFTP XML File data


    ----------OR----------

    You can also read the multiple files stored in FTP/SFTP Storage using wildcard pattern supported e.g. dbo.tblNames*.xml.

    Note: If you want to operation with multiple files then use wild card pattern as below 
    (when you use wild card pattern in source path then system will treat target path as folder regardless you end with slash)
    
    mybucket/dbo.tblNames.xml (will read only single .XML file)
    mybucket/dbo.tbl*.xml (all files starting with file name)
    mybucket/*.xml (all files with .xml Extension and located under folder subfolder)
    

    mybucket/dbo.tblNames*.xml
    Use wildcard pattern .* to read multiple FTP/SFTP Files data


    ----------OR----------

    You can also read the zip and gzip compressed files also without extracting it in using FTP/SFTP XML Source File Task.

    mybucket/dbo.tblNames*.gz
    Reading zip and gzip compressed files (stream mode)
  6. Now select/enter Path expression in Path textbox to extract only specific part of XML string as below ($.value[*] will get content of value attribute from XML document. Value attribute is array of XML documents so we have to use [*] to indicate we want all records of that array)

    NOTE: Here, We are using our desired filter, but you need to select your desired filter based on your requirement.
    Go to Preview Tab.

    FTP/SFTP XML Driver Select Filter
  7. Navigate to the Preview Tab and let's explore the different modes available to access the data.

    1. --- Using Direct Query ---

      Click on Preview Tab, Select Table from Tables Dropdown and select [value] and click Preview.
      ZappySys ODBC Driver - Preview Data
    2. --- Using Stored Procedure ---

      Note : For this you have to Save ODBC Driver configuration and then again reopen to configure same driver. For more information click here.
      Click on the Custom Objects Tab, Click on Add button and select Add Procedure and Enter an appropriate name and Click on OK button to create.
      ZappySys ODBC Driver - Custom Objects
      1. --- Without Parameters ---

        Now Stored Procedure can be created with or without parameters (see example below). If you use parameters then Set default value otherwise it may fail to compilation)
        ZappySys ODBC Driver : Without Parameters
      2. --- With Parameters ---

        Note : Here you can use Placeholder with Paramters in Stored Procedure. Example : SELECT * FROM $ WHERE OrderID = '<@OrderID, FUN_TRIM>' or CustId = '<@CustId>' and Total >= '<@Total>'
        ZappySys ODBC Driver : With Parameters
    3. --- Using Virtual Table ---

      Note : For this you have to Save ODBC Driver configuration and then again reopen to configure same driver. For more information click here.

      ZappySys APi Drivers support flexible Query language so you can override Default Properties you configured on Data Source such as URL, Body. This way you don't have to create multiple Data Sources if you like to read data from multiple EndPoints. However not every application support supplying custom SQL to driver so you can only select Table from list returned from driver.

      Many applications like MS Access, Informatica Designer wont give you option to specify custom SQL when you import Objects. In such case Virtual Table is very useful. You can create many Virtual Tables on the same Data Source (e.g. If you have 50 Buckets with slight variations you can create virtual tables with just URL as Parameter setting).

      vt__Customers
      DataPath=mybucket_1/customers.xml
      
      vt__Orders
      DataPath=mybucket_2/orders.xml
      
      vt__Products
      DataPath=mybucket_3/products.xml
      
      1. Click on the Custom Objects Tab, Click on Add button and select Add Table and Enter an appropriate name and Click on OK button to create.
        ZappySys ODBC Driver - Custom Objects
      2. Once you see Query Builder Window on screen Configure it.
        ZappySys ODBC Driver - Custom Objects : Virtual Table Query Builder
      3. Click on Preview Tab, Select Virtual Table(prefix with vt__) from Tables Dropdown or write SQL query with Virtual Table name and click Preview.
        ZappySys ODBC Driver - Custom Objects : Virtual Table Query Execute

  8. Click OK to finish creating the data source

  9. That's it; we are done. In a few clicks we configured the to Read the FTP/SFTP XML File data using ZappySys FTP/SFTP XML File Connector

Read data in C# from the DSN

  1. Create a new Console project and use this code to read the data:

    "FtP/SftpxmlFileConnectorDSN";
    Make ZappySys Driver call in c#

  2. Press F5 to run the code and read the data:
    ZappySys Driver Output in c#

  3. Here is the code in text format:

    using System;
    using System.Data.Odbc;
    
    namespace ConsoleApp {
        class Program {
            static void Main() {
                var dsn = "FtP/SftpxmlFileConnectorDSN";
                using (var conn = new OdbcConnection(String.Format("DSN={0}", dsn)))
                {
                    conn.Open();
                    var cmd = new OdbcCommand("SELECT * FROM Products", conn);
                    
                    //Increase the timeout duration from the default 30 seconds, which may be insufficient in certain scenarios
                    cmd.CommandTimeout=600; // 600-Seconds
                    
                    var rdr = cmd.ExecuteReader();
                    while (rdr.Read())
                    {
                        for (int i = 0; i < rdr.FieldCount; i++)
                        {
                                Console.Write("{0}\t", rdr[i]);
                        }
                        Console.WriteLine();
                    }
                }
                Console.ReadKey();
            }
        }
    }
    

  4. If you want to avoid being dependent on a DSN and creating multiple DSNs for each platform (x86, x64), then you can use a fully qualified connection string. Simply go to your DSN and copy the Connection String . Then in your C# code, pass the connection string as an argument when calling the OdbcConnection object's constructor, for example:

                
            var connectionString = "DRIVER={ZappySys SFTP XML Driver};ServiceUrl=https://yourservices.provider.com/api/xxxx....;AuthName=Http;";
    
            using (var conn = new OdbcConnection(connectionString))
            {
            // ...
            }
        
    
    How to get ZappySys Driver Connection String?

    Please follow the instructions below to retrieve the connection string for the ZappySys driver.

    1. Click on the Windows Start menu.

    2. In the search bar, type ODBC and press Enter.

    3. From the search results, choose ODBC Data Sources or ODBC Data Sources (32-bit) or a similar option depending on your system architecture and ODBC driver configuration.

    4. Choose your data source from the list, then click on the Configure button.
    5. After opening the Data Source UI, you should copy the connection string to a Notepad or text file for reference.
    6. Click on Copy Connection String button.
      When you click 'Copy Connection String,' you may encounter the following option:
      Choose the third option All Settings to copy everything and click on OK button.
      zappysys-data-source-copy-connectionstring
      zappysys-data-source-copy-connectionstring

    That's it connection string has been successfully copied.

    How to Overcome the Long Connection String Issue

    This issue is typically caused when the connection string includes a long RefreshToken attribute (i.e. RefreshToken=xxxxxxxxxxxx...xxx, especially if it's more than 1,000 characters).

    A good solution is to supply the RefreshToken by a file. Simply copy and paste the RefreshToken into a text file and save it, and then pass that file path in the connection string instead of directly supplying the RefreshToken.

    Here is an example of a connection string that can cause the issue:

    
        var connectionString = "Driver={ZappySys SFTP XML Driver};RefreshToken=xxxxxxxxxxxx...xxxxxxx;ServiceUrl=...;";
    
        using (var conn = new OdbcConnection(connectionString))
        {
        // ...
        }
    
    

    Here is an example of a connection string that has resolved the issue by moving the RefreshToken attribute to the file c:\my_refresh_token.txt:

    
        var connectionString = "Driver={ZappySys SFTP XML Driver};RefreshTokenFile=c:\my_refresh_token.txt;ServiceUrl=...;";
    
        using (connectionString)
        {
        // ...
        }
    
    

Insider Insights

While using ExecuteNonQuery make sure to use output=0.

Sometime Executing `cmd.ExecuteNonQuery` in C# didn't trigger the API call immediately specifically for `INSERT`, `UPDATE`, or `DELETE` statement, as it only initiates the call when the iterator is requested. When using ExecuteNonQuery(), it's primarily intended for SQL statements that don't return data, such as UPDATE, INSERT, or DELETE. If you're not seeing any changes made by the UPDATE statement, there could be several reasons for this.

One potential reason, as you've mentioned, is related to deferred execution. In some cases, the changes made by the UPDATE statement might not be visible immediately, especially if you're not requesting any output from the query. In such cases, explicitly setting Output = 0 can force the iterator to be called, ensuring that the changes are applied.

Here's an example of how you might modify your code to include this:

using System;
using System.Data.Odbc;

namespace ConsoleApp {
    class Program {
        static void Main() {
            var dsn = "FtP/SftpxmlFileConnectorDSN";
            using (var conn = new OdbcConnection(String.Format("DSN={0}", dsn)))
            {
                conn.Open();
                
                //We're currently referring to the example with the Products table. Please substitute it with the table of your choice.
                var cmd =new OdbcCommand("UPDATE Products SET ProductName='Chai' Where ProductID=1 WITH(Output=0)", conn);
                
                //Increase the timeout duration from the default 30 seconds, which may be insufficient in certain scenarios
                cmd.CommandTimeout=600; // 600-Seconds
                
                // Execute the query
                int rowsAffected = cmd.ExecuteNonQuery();

                // Check the number of rows affected
                if (rowsAffected > 0)
                {
                    Console.WriteLine("Update successful.");
                }
                else
                {
                    Console.WriteLine("No rows were updated.");
                } 
            }
            Console.ReadKey();
        }
    }
}

Create Custom Stored Procedure in ZappySys Driver

You can create procedures to encapsulate custom logic and then only pass handful parameters rather than long SQL to execute your API call.

Steps to create Custom Stored Procedure in ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders anywhere inside Procedure Body. Read more about placeholders here

  1. Go to Custom Objects Tab and Click on Add button and Select Add Procedure:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Stored Procedure

  2. Enter the desired Procedure name and click on OK:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Stored Procedure Name

  3. Select the created Stored Procedure and write the your desired stored procedure and Save it and it will create the custom stored procedure in the ZappySys Driver:
    Here is an example stored procedure for ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders anywhere inside Procedure Body. Read more about placeholders here

    CREATE PROCEDURE [usp_get_orders]
        @fromdate = '<<yyyy-MM-dd,FUN_TODAY>>'
     AS
        SELECT * FROM Orders where OrderDate >= '<@fromdate>';
    

    ZappySys Driver - Create Custom Stored Procedure

  4. That's it now go to Preview Tab and Execute your Stored Procedure using Exec Command. In this example it will extract the orders from the date 1996-01-01:

    Exec usp_get_orders '1996-01-01';

    ZappySys Driver - Execute Custom Stored Procedure

  5. Let's generate the SQL Server Query Code to make the API call using stored procedure. Go to Code Generator Tab, select language as SQL Server and click on Generate button the generate the code.
    As we already created the linked server for this Data Source, in that you just need to copy the Select Query and need to use the linked server name which we have apply on the place of [MY_API_SERVICE] placeholder.

    SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY([MY_API_SERVICE], 'EXEC usp_get_orders @fromdate=''1996-07-30''')

    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

  6. Now go to SQL served and execute that query and it will make the API call using stored procedure and provide you the response.
    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

Create Custom Virtual Table in ZappySys Driver

ZappySys API Drivers support flexible Query language so you can override Default Properties you configured on Data Source such as URL, Body. This way you don't have to create multiple Data Sources if you like to read data from multiple EndPoints. However not every application support supplying custom SQL to driver so you can only select Table from list returned from driver.

If you're dealing with Microsoft Access and need to import data from an SQL query, it's important to note that Access doesn't allow direct import of SQL queries. Instead, you can create custom objects (Virtual Tables) to handle the import process.

Many applications like MS Access, Informatica Designer wont give you option to specify custom SQL when you import Objects. In such case Virtual Table is very useful. You can create many Virtual Tables on the same Data Source (e.g. If you have 50 URLs with slight variations you can create virtual tables with just URL as Parameter setting.

  1. Go to Custom Objects Tab and Click on Add button and Select Add Table:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Table

  2. Enter the desired Table name and click on OK:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Table Name

  3. And it will open the New Query Window Click on Cancel to close that window and go to Custom Objects Tab.

  4. Select the created table, Select Text Type AS SQL and write the your desired SQL Query and Save it and it will create the custom table in the ZappySys Driver:
    Here is an example SQL query for ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders also. Read more about placeholders here

    SELECT
      "ShipCountry",
      "OrderID",
      "CustomerID",
      "EmployeeID",
      "OrderDate",
      "RequiredDate",
      "ShippedDate",
      "ShipVia",
      "Freight",
      "ShipName",
      "ShipAddress",
      "ShipCity",
      "ShipRegion",
      "ShipPostalCode"
    FROM "Orders"
    Where "ShipCountry"='USA'

    ZappySys Driver - Create Custom Table

  5. That's it now go to Preview Tab and Execute your custom virtual table query. In this example it will extract the orders for the USA Shipping Country only:

    SELECT * FROM "vt__usa_orders_only"

    ZappySys Driver - Execute Custom Virtual Table Query

  6. Let's generate the SQL Server Query Code to make the API call using stored procedure. Go to Code Generator Tab, select language as SQL Server and click on Generate button the generate the code.
    As we already created the linked server for this Data Source, in that you just need to copy the Select Query and need to use the linked server name which we have apply on the place of [MY_API_SERVICE] placeholder.

    SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY([MY_API_SERVICE], 'EXEC [usp_get_orders] ''1996-01-01''')

    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

  7. Now go to SQL served and execute that query and it will make the API call using stored procedure and provide you the response.
    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

Conclusion

In this article we discussed how to connect to FTP/SFTP XML File in C# and integrate data without any coding. Click here to Download FTP/SFTP XML File Connector for C# and try yourself see how easy it is. If you still have any question(s) then ask here or simply click on live chat icon below and ask our expert (see bottom-right corner of this page).

Download FTP/SFTP XML File Connector for C# Documentation 


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