Kermit Case Study #29

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Newsgroups: comp.protocols.kermit.misc
From: Frank da Cruz <>
Organization: The Kermit Project - Columbia University
Date: 21 Jul 2004 19:29:06 GMT
Subject: Case Study #29: Transaction processing revisited

It is an increasingly common question: how to upload a file in such a way that another process won't try to process it before the upload is complete? This sort of operation -- in which a variety of clients upload transactions (files) to a central service for processing -- is commonly used in EDI applications, insurance claims, etc. You want to be sure that each transaction is processed exactly once; not zero, or two or more times, and that processing takes place only when the upload is complete and successful.

Discussions of transaction processing have been available on the Kermit website for some time:

The second one concerns FTP but the principles are the same -- the transaction processing example is about halfway down the document, after the introductory tutorial material.

In these documents we talk about uploading files to a temporary working directory and the moving each file to its final destination only after the upload is complete and successful.

In some situations, however, it is possible that multiple clients might try to upload different files having the same name to the same working directory at the same time, and although Kermit's file collision features can be used to prevent one file from destroying the other, it complicates the moving or renaming process.

Another approach is for the server to ensure that each incoming file has a unique name. This way, no collisions will ever take place and no renaming within the temporary working directory will be necessary. This can be done with the following command:

set receive rename-to xxx

where xxx is a template, as explained here:

Let's say the incoming filename is ABCD1234.FIL, and you want the new name to incorporate the original name and still have the ".FIL" extension. Here are some variables you can use:

\v(filename)  =  the name the file was sent was (e.g. ABCD1234.FIL).
\v(ntime)  =  current local time, seconds since midnight (e.g. 45369).
\v(ndate)  =  current date, numeric (e.g. 20040716).
\v(pid)  =  Kermit's numeric process ID.

The date, time, and PID combined would produce