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Thread: Question on downloading and uploading files

  1. #1
    Member davtech's Avatar
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    Greg Davis
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    Default Question on downloading and uploading files

    I'm going to be designing a web based application which will allow for my client's remote contractors to access through the Internet. I'm new to Alpha and have only recently gotten the desktop designing under my belt and I'm far from being seasoned. As to web based designing I'm completely new to it.

    One of the main functions I will need from this app is the ability for the users to upload and download files or folders with sub folders and files. In doing some research I see that it looks like the Web application server can upload or download a file.

    1. Can I upload multiple files at one time?
    2. Can I specify a folder and upload that and all of it's contents?
    3. Reversing these questions can the users download multiple files or a folder?
    4. Is this file transfer secure?
    5. Am I on the right track or should I be looking at using a FTP server? If so any recommendations?


    Ultimately I need to be able to provide a secure and Hippa compliant method for getting files back and forth to users via the Internet. This web app is going to be hosted on the client's own server and the data to be moved is going to be moved by the app to different folders for storage as it is processed. Well, you can see I have a lot of questions, any help at all will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member EricN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on downloading and uploading files

    1. Can I upload multiple files at one time?
    2. Can I specify a folder and upload that and all of it's contents?
    3. Reversing these questions can the users download multiple files or a folder?
    4. Is this file transfer secure?
    5. Am I on the right track or should I be looking at using a FTP server? If so any recommendations?
    1) Think so. Believe there is a post by Pat B. describing his method.
    2) Yes. I do it with my app.
    3) Yes. I do it with my app.
    4) Think so. More "seasoned Alphaholics" will have to elaborate to this one. My directories are secure because they reside under the webroot.
    5) Looks like you are on the right track. There are different ways of achieving this.

    I have an upload/download procedure for pictures, logos, documents (PDF, DOC TXT) and more. Depending on what level of user they are will decide what directory the uploaded data will be stored. Again, my directories are secure because they reside under the webroot.
    Eric

    Alpha Five Websites
    longlivepuppies.com
    socialservicenetwork.com
    -------------------------------------------------
    socialservicenetwork.org

  3. #3
    Member davtech's Avatar
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    Greg Davis
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    Default Re: Question on downloading and uploading files

    I know that items in the webroot folder should be secure but how about during the file transfer? Is the data secure or subject to being intercepted during the transfer?

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    Volunteer Moderator drgarytraub's Avatar
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    Dr. Gary Traub
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    Default Re: Question on downloading and uploading files

    Quote Originally Posted by EricN View Post
    My directories are secure because they reside under the webroot.
    Eric,

    If I understand correctly, I think you have it in reverse. Under the webroot is NOT secure; outside the webroot is. The idea is that only the webroot is accessible from the outside; any other area of the hard drive is not accessible, unless you specifically, via xbasic, give access (at least theoretically).
    Gary S. Traub, Ph.D.


  5. #5
    Member davtech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on downloading and uploading files

    So in order for a user to download a file from my web app via the Internet do the files have to reside in the webroot? In my case I need the files to be secure both where they reside and during the upload or download procedure. This app is a workflow management so there will be lots of files that need to move from server to remote user via the Internet and back again to be renamed, processed and stored for later use by the next person in the workflow. So I'm looking for the best way to do this and securely.

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator drgarytraub's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on downloading and uploading files

    I believe that one accepted method is to store the files outside the webroot for security reasons. Then when a user need to download the file, you use xbasic to copy the file TO the webroot and then the user can download from there. As an added measure of security, you would copy the file to the user's session folder (within the webroot) so that the file is gone once the session expires because the session folder and all its contents are automatically deleted when the session expires.
    Gary S. Traub, Ph.D.


  7. #7
    Member davtech's Avatar
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    Greg Davis
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    Default Re: Question on downloading and uploading files

    Thanks drgarytraub, that sounds like a good idea. Do you know if the ftp protocols that alpha uses are secure (sftp or https) and Hippa compliant? This will be the first time I have done anything with ftp so I'm not sure about terminology or where to begin.

    I'm envisioning a page where the user can select a browse button to select files or folder for uploading, I think there was a script on the forums I came across for this, and then press an upload button that runs the script. The same would go for a downloading except they would have a list of specific files that pertain to their assigned work. If anyone has any code examples or could point to me to some I would greatly appreciate it.

  8. #8
    Member EricN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on downloading and uploading files

    Hello Gary,
    I stand corrected regarding webroot. I don't know why I said it was secure when I set up these directories knowing search engines would find them and index their contents such are resumes. This was/is my goal.

    If you want security, the files should be stored outside of the webroot similar to your data directory.
    Eric

    Alpha Five Websites
    longlivepuppies.com
    socialservicenetwork.com
    -------------------------------------------------
    socialservicenetwork.org

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