Getting Started

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Table of Contents

Script Basics

In a nutshell, Robo-FTP script files are useful for managing repeated and/or unattended file transfers from your PC to a remote FTP server and vice versa.

Script files are made up of one or more of the 100+ commands within the Robo-FTP script language. In essence, each line in a script consists of a command (e.g, SENDFILE) followed by one or more arguments that tells Robo-FTP what to do.

Basic script files may be produced with the Script File Wizard, or manually created using the Robo-EDIT Script File Editor (or any other text editor). Robo-FTP has toolbar buttons to launch the wizard and Robo-EDIT for this purpose.


Command Opcodes

Each command opcode tells Robo-FTP to perform a specific operation such as logging onto the FTP site, deleting a file, uploading a file to the site, etc. Typically script commands are ALL CAPS (e.g., SENDFILE vs. sendfile or SendFile) but this is only convention -- you may do as you please. Examples of command opcodes are shown below:

   FTPLOGOFF
   STOP


Command Arguments

Arguments to a command refine the operation for a very specific task (e.g. tell Robo-FTP specifically what file to upload). Robo-FTP command arguments will be one of the following types:

Alphanumeric arguments define file names and other character strings (e.g., text messages to be displayed to a user) and are always enclosed by single or double quotation marks. Examples of commands including alphanumeric arguments are shown below:

   SENDFILE "c:\My Data\Update Inventory.dbf"
   COPY "file2" "file1"

Whenever you are using a file name as an argument (such as seen in the previous examples), Robo-FTP always assumes the file is located in the current working folder. If you want to reference a file elsewhere, you should use the file’s full path name.


Command Options

Command option(s) expand on the functionality of a given command. Option designators always begin with the / symbol (i.e., a forward slash) and must not contain any embedded spaces (i.e., in an option such as /timeout=10, you must not put spaces on either side of the equal sign). Many commands support multiple options. Examples of commands including options are shown below:

   FTPLOGON /user="myuser" /pw="mypassword"
   RCVFILE /timeout=0

Note: Variables are NOT allowed in options. For example, the following is invalid:

   SET time = 30
   RCVFILE /timeout=time   ;;INVALID!!

The Robo-FTP script language does permit variables in options indirectly via the PERFORM script command. For more on this, search on the term "script command options" in the online knowledge base.

Script Labels

To facilitate conditional and unconditional branching in Robo-FTP script files, a label is used to define the destination of a branch. Labels always begin with the : symbol (i.e, a colon), must not exceed 32 characters in length, and may appear anywhere on a line. Labels are always used in conjunction with branching commands (e.g., the GOTO command). An example of unconditional branching is shown below:

   :top
   FTPLOGON /user="myuser" /pw="mypassword"
   SENDFILE "c:\My Data\Update Inventory.dbf"
   FTPLOGOFF
   GOTO top

Either a ; symbol (i.e., a semi-colon) or a * symbol (i.e., an asterisk) may be used to denote the beginning of a comment line. A comment may be a separate line unto itself or at the end of any line containing a command. The following show examples of three different comments:

   ;; Log onto a FTP server
   FTPLOGON
   * this is a comment line *
   MESSAGEBOX "hello world"
   DIALNET "My Connection" ;; use Dial-Up Networking

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Launching Scripts

There are several ways to launch your script. The most common way is the following:

  1. Create the script using Robo-EDIT and save it.

  2. Open Start|Programs|Robo-FTP|Configure Robo-FTP.

  3. On the File tab, change the Default Script File to your newly created script.

  4. Select OK, then select the Desktop as the location for a new shortcut.

  5. Select OK, then navigate to your desktop to see the new shortcut.

  6. Double Click the shortcut to open Robo-FTP and launch your script file.

Robo-FTP can also be launched from Windows batch files, from a user-written application program, and from manually created shortcuts.

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Logging Results

Robo-FTP supports up to three different log files. Log files are a way to see the results of a file transfer session and/or troubleshoot problems with a session long after the fact. Log files are controlled under the Logging tab in the Robo-FTP Configurator and/or via specific script commands (e.g., LOG, TRACELOG). Any log file may be viewed in Windows Notepad, for example, to review the outcome of a file transfer session(s).

Script Log

Robo-FTP automatically creates a script log file in the Robo-FTP program folder (e.g., C:\Program Files\Robo-FTP). This log file is enabled by default and shows each script command that was executed and the corresponding results.

There are two other types of log files that are disabled by default.

Trace Log

The trace log file contains low-level logging of the FTP file transfer session. This log is useful for troubleshooting problems that may exist between Robo-FTP and the FTP server.

Session Log

The third type of log file is called the session log file. This log contains details of secure SFTP (FTP + SSH) and FTPS (FTP + SSL) file transfer sessions. This file may contain sensitive information (e.g., passwords in clear text) so its use is restricted to Windows administrator users only.

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