Sending files with iDropper

iDropper is a special FTP client for both Windows and Mac users. It enables you to distribute iDropper droplets to your clients who can then drop files onto the droplet and have these uploaded to your server. After the upload. the droplet will carry out some extra tasks that you define, such as filling in a web form, sending an e-mail message, and more. Windows users can use Mac droplets and vice versa. And iDropper 1.4.8 is compatible with Snow Leopard.

First of all, you can use iDropper as an ordinary upload-only FTP or Secure FTP client. You just create a droplet containing the upload directory and leave all the extras blank. When you’ve done this, you can just upload files by dropping them onto the droplet.

The real power of iDropper, however, lies in what happens after the upload has succeeded. For example, suppose you’re distributing these droplets to clients who will provide you with image files that you have to embed in their documents. In that case, a droplet can be created which will e-mail you each time a client has uploaded something to your server. There are three options for post-processing: send an e-mail with a File Manifest, post data to a web form, or open a web page.

The web options are especially powerful: you can use scripting to perform specific tasks that make sense to you. It could be that you set up a script which integrates with your online order system. You can also just display a page where the client sees a thank you message.

iDropper’s droplet is called a digital self-addressed, stamped envelope by the developer. The droplet can indeed collect information about an upload job in both XML and text format and send this together with the job to an e-mail address, simply to the FTP server, or to a form on a web page.

iDropper doesn’t use special network tunings to achieve very high throughput speeds. Instead, it uses standard FTP protocols, so there is no speed improvement over using other clients to upload your files. However, I did find the upload speed fast enough.

iDropper has much going for it, because it allows you to automate part of your daily workflow without any effort at all. The only thing you must know is what you know when you’re dealing with FTP anyway. The other part is deciding what you want to do after the file has been uploaded. For example, I tested the app by uploading images for a review to my batch media folder, then have it open Safari for me with the page open where I process these files on the server.

I also tested iDropper with an e-mail message, and it all worked like a charm, even from behind my router with built-in firewall. iDropper’s droplets are therefore a big step forward from having to start Transmit, connecting, navigating to the right folder, and then dragging the files to the right window. Instead, all I have to do is drag files to the droplet, which then opens and uploads the files. What happens afterwards is entirely up to you.

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