FTP / Website Front End with Link Tracking and Deletion after a time Period


Not sure how to explain what I’m looking for exactly, and that’s probably the reason I can’t find it using Google!! The requirement is something like this:

We need to be able to transfer large files to our clients, they can’t be emailed as they can stretch to 1GB+. I would like to be able to use some old hardware we have lying around to set up an FTP site for the company (FTP setup is the easy bit I think!). I would like our employees to be able to transfer their large files somehow to the FTP server (windows network place copy/paste / upload dialog on an internal web page maybe). I would then like them to be able to obtain (not sure how) a unique URL that will point to that file on the FTP site. The link should be able to be easily copy/pasted into an email to sent to our client. The security of the link is not of paramount importance (as long as its not easily guessed), a random text string would be fine.

Ideally I would like the number of times the link is accessed to be tracked, and the ability to be able to delete the file automatically from the FTP site after so many clicks on the link, or after a specific time period (say 48 hours).

I can set up the FTP site fairly easily, and the employees can be trained to get the files onto the FTP site fairly easily. The bit I’m struggling with is how to generate the unique URL, and how to track and delete files after a certain period of time.

The hardware we have is Windows Server 2003 so Windows Server FTP and some kind of IIS/ASP site would work. We also have access to SQL Server as a DB if required. I’m not adverse to trying a Linux solution provided its fairly easy to set up as I’m not too familiar with Linux having worked in MS shops all my working career.

And did I mention it must be free or very cheap!!

I would prefer not to use products like Dropbox as (aside from the cost) these rely on storage outside our organisation which people are still a bit twitchy about!

Anybody any experience with systems such as this? I have Googled “FTP” (brings up mostly client software) “Content Management Systems” (most seem to be too complex for this requirement), and am not sure what else to search for! Must be something out there as I’m sure we can’t be the only company with this requirement.

Any help or suggestions greatly appreciated!!



Well, you need dropbox functionality but you will have to build it yourself if you want to use your own servers. If you want to use Cloud Services you may want to look about something like Sector/Sphere. It is open source and free to [URL=“http://sourceforge.net/projects/sector/”]download

Edit: Even if you build it yourself, you may want to look at Sector/Sphere project to know how they did it and apply it to your needs :wink:

I hope this helps.

I wouldn’t recommend using anything in the “cloud” that you don’t mind others hacking in to… nothing is safe anymore and if it’s accessible to the net, it’s subject to being hacked.

FTP via VPN should work, if the people you are sending it to are also connecting through a VPN…at least that is less likely to be hacked as it would be harder to get in to.

So I fail to see how your special little FTP setup and maintained by you is going to be more secure than the large installations manned by professionals at the dropbox and yousendits of the world.

Anyhow, we once looked at some el cheapo yousendit clone script for ASP.NET, but it was pretty badly built and we canned the project and just got a yousendit account as that was going to be clearly more secure and more effective than hosting it.