Last updated: Tuesday November 12 2013 S.A. Birl

FTU 2 (File Transfer Utility version 2)

For those unfamiliar with the FTU, this program is used to transfer files and directories from to, as direct editing on is not allowed.

FTU 2 is the official replacement of FTU 1.1. It should be availiable to all websites, and can be copied from your existing MasterFTU2.
You can find FTU2 at the root of your WebTools directory:
If you do not have FTU2, please contact us via TUHelp.

FTU 1.1 can no longer be used to update your website, and is no longer supported by Computer Services.

How it's different
FTU 2 is different than the original FTU 1.1 in following ways:
  1. It has the ability to update individual files
  2. The MasterFTU is built into FTU2
  3.     more
  4. A blacklist for skipping over specific files and directories
  5.     more
  6. Logging is very detailed
  7.     more

Loading FTU 2

Visit FTU2 for your site at ,
where websitename is your site name, e.g.

When prompted to login please use the following format
Login: tu\ accessner username (e.g. tu\sbirl)
Password: Accesnet password

Once logged in, click on File Transfer utilit 2 to load the utility.

The time it takes for FTU 2 to load depends on four things:

  1. How busy the Develop webserver is
  2. How fast your Internet connection is
  3. How big your website (or sub-directory) is
  4. What feature of FTU 2 is requested (MasterFTU, root level files, or nothing at all)
During the loading phase, FTU 2 is comparing the files on Develop to the files on WWW. It then presents the website in a staired-layout similar to how web editors (ie: DreamWeaver, FrontPage) do so. One "Select All" checkbox appears at the top of the staired-layout to giving the website administrator a FTU 1.1-type transfer of the entire website (minus any files/folders skipped by the blacklist).

Checkboxes appear to the left of each sub-directory AND for each file that can be transfered to; therefore it is possible to see "missing" checkboxes next to files that you may want to transfer. This is NOT a bug, but a feature: why transfer a development file that is identical to the live file?

The more files you have in your website, the longer it will take FTU 2 to process and compare those files. If FTU 2 takes too long, you can use the MasterFTU 2 (below) or the blacklist to speed things up.

At least one file MUST be selected in order for a transfer to take place.

NOTE: When selecting a folder for transfer, FTU 2 will take some time to ensure that all transferable files are selected. During this time, the web page may seem "unresponsive" to any further action, although this is not the case. Please be patient. It should not take longer than 3 minutes.

This image represents the upper-left corner of FTU2 while loadeding

MasterFTU 2 (Located near the upper-left corner of the screen, the link starts off with Click here to list all FTUs underneath)
MasterFTU, as known as the Enterprise FTU (or EFTU), has been built directly into FTU 2. The MasterFTU allows website administrators to create sub-sections of their website to be controlled by a separate FTU 2. Features of the MasterFTU:
  1. Lists all known sub-directories (underneath of its current location) that also have a WebTools directory.
  2. Allows the website administrator to copy FTU 2 into a sub-directory, if it does not exist.
  3. Allows the website administrator to execute an existing sub-directory FTU 2.
  4. Easy access to view website stats, work with the RSS toolkit and view other administrators for your website.

Root-level files (Located near the upper-left corner of the screen, the link reads Click here to access ONLY the root-level files.)
This option tells the FTU 2 to list only the files it sees, skipping over any folders it encounters. This is extremely useful when the website administrator needs to update a few top-level files (ie: index.html) inside of large websites without loading the entire website.

FTU Blacklist (Located near the upper-left corner of the screen, the link reads Click here for the FTU Blacklist.)
By no means required, the FTU Blacklist is availaible on a per-WebTools basis. The blacklist is used to skip over those files and directories which:
  1. do not need to be listed, thus speeding up the time it takes for FTU 2 to load.
  2. do not need to be transfered because the files on Develop have not changed in a long period of time.
Upon first use, instructions and a sample blacklist are generated:
# Could not open S:/Develop/sbirl/WebTools/FTU_blacklist.txt:
# The system cannot find the file specified (No such file or directory)
# Using DEFAULT information.
# These first 4 lines can be safely deleted before saving this file.
# Default blacklist file for speeding up the loading of FTU2.  Update as needed.
# Use of this blacklist is NOT a requirement.
# Useful for excluding large directories which may cause long delays in FTU2.
# Case-insensitive.
# Uses PERL's regular expression partial matching, not FULL matching.
# A single . will match ANY character.  To match a literal . use \.
# This blacklist will match against files AND folders.
# The AppDev, WebTools and _vti folders are automatically excluded.
# Lockfiles, backup files are also automatically excluded.
Copy of
In this example, any file or directory that contains square-brackets or parentenhesis are skipped over, as well as anything named "Copy of". For best results, use whole words. Using smaller or partial words is NOT recommended as the blacklist will catch more than you would like. The blacklist can be edited as often as needed. To temporarily block a single blacklist pattern put a # at the beginning of the line.

Once the blacklist has been updated, FTU 2 MUST be reloaded to read the blacklist.

As show in the above image, FTU 2 will either display the default "Could not read blacklist" or the number of patterns it has read in.

Transferring and Logging
Once the "Transfer Files" button is pressed, the requested files are sent to a background program. (If the "Transfer Files" button is missing, please make use of the blacklist above.) This background program does the bulk of the work and cannot be directly accessed. When it begins to process a request, any other requests for the same website will be denied. It also creates the log file of who requested the transfer and at what time the request was made.
Then begins the transferring the files and directories from to Every transfer is logged with an individual success or failure result. If a failure occurs, it documents what the failure was and proceeds with the next file.

Clean-Up Process
Once all of the requested files have been transfered from Develop to WWW, the background proceedes to re-compare all of the files on WWW to the currently existing files on Develop. If a file exists on WWW that does NOT exist on Develop, it is removed from WWW. Other useless files, such as old lock files, are also removed from WWW. The first time a website uses FTU2 the log file will be very long. This is normal. Subsequential transfers will produce shorter log files.

Once the clean up is finished, another file transfer request can be submitted.

Hidden Features
To avoid overpopulating the FTU 2 interface (and thus overwhelming the user), some words contain additional information when the mouse cursor is left on top of that word. (ie: Update, none, directory names)
When the mouse is placed on top of the word Update

When the mouse is placed on top of the directory name

If you have problems with FTU 2, please submit your problem to the online Help Desk.
(Any mention of the word AJAX in FTU 2 is problem that needs to be reported.)

Created: 2009-Feb-17 by Scott Birl