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Background File Transfer Program (BFTP) (RFC1068)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000001876D
Original Publication Date: 1988-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Document File: 20 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

A.L. DeSchon: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

For a variety of reasons, file transfer in the Internet has generally been implemented as an interactive or "foreground" service. That is, a user runs the appropriate local FTP user interface program as an interactive command and requests a file transfer to occur in real time. If the transfer should fail to complete for any reason, the user must reissue the transfer request. Foreground file transfer is relatively simple to implement -- no subtleties of queuing or stable storage -- and in the early days of networking it provided excellent service, because the Internet/ARPANET was lightly loaded and reasonably reliable.

This text was extracted from a ASCII Text document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 7% of the total text.

Network Working Group A. DeSchon

Request for Comments: 1068 R. Braden

ISI

August 1988

Background File Transfer Program (BFTP)

Status of This Memo

This memo describes an Internet background file transfer service that

is built upon the third-party transfer model of FTP. No new

protocols are involved. The purpose of this memo is to stimulate

discussion on new Internet service modes. Distribution of this memo

is unlimited.

1. Introduction

For a variety of reasons, file transfer in the Internet has generally

been implemented as an interactive or "foreground" service. That is,

a user runs the appropriate local FTP user interface program as an

interactive command and requests a file transfer to occur in real

time. If the transfer should fail to complete for any reason, the

user must reissue the transfer request. Foreground file transfer is

relatively simple to implement -- no subtleties of queuing or stable

storage -- and in the early days of networking it provided excellent

service, because the Internet/ARPANET was lightly loaded and

reasonably reliable.

More recently, the Internet has become increasingly subject to

congestion and long delays, particularly during times of peak usage.

In addition, as more of the world becomes interconnected, planned and

unplanned outages of hosts, gateways, and networks sometimes make it

difficult for users to successfully transfer files in foreground.

Performing file transfer asynchronously (i.e., in "background"),

provides a solution to some of these problems, by eliminating the

requirement for a human user to be directly involved at the time that

a file transfer takes place. A background file transfer service

requires two components: a user interface program to collect the

parameters describing the required transfer(s), and a file transfer

control (FTC) daemon to carry them out.

Background file transfer has a number of potential advantages for a

user:

o No Waiting

The user can request a large transfer and ignore it until a

notification message arrives through some common channel (e.g.,

electronic mail).

o End-to-end Reliability

The FTC daemon can try a transfer repeatedly until it either

succeeds or fails permanently. This provides reliable end-to-

end delivery of a file, in spite of the source or destination

host being down or poor Internet connectivity during some time

period.

o Multiple File Delivery

In order for background file transfer to be accepted in the

Internet, it may have to include some "value-added" services.

One such service would be an implementation of a multiple file

transfer capability for all hosts. Such a facility is sugg...