Copy data from SFTP server using Azure Data Factory

This article outlines how to copy data from SFTP server. To learn about Azure Data Factory, read the introductory article.

Supported capabilities

This SFTP connector is supported for the following activities:

Specifically, this SFTP connector supports:

Get started

You can use one of the following tools or SDKs to use the copy activity with a pipeline. Select a link for step-by-step instructions:

The following sections provide details about properties that are used to define Data Factory entities specific to SFTP.

Linked service properties

The following properties are supported for SFTP linked service:

Property Description Required
type The type property must be set to: Sftp. Yes
host Name or IP address of the SFTP server. Yes
port Port on which the SFTP server is listening.
Allowed values are: integer, default value is 22.
No
skipHostKeyValidation Specify whether to skip host key validation.
Allowed values are: true, false (default).
No
hostKeyFingerprint Specify the finger print of the host key. Yes if the "skipHostKeyValidation" is set to false.
authenticationType Specify authentication type.
Allowed values are: Basic, SshPublicKey. Refer to Using basic authentication and Using SSH public key authentication sections on more properties and JSON samples respectively.
Yes
connectVia The Integration Runtime to be used to connect to the data store. You can use Azure Integration Runtime or Self-hosted Integration Runtime (if your data store is located in private network). If not specified, it uses the default Azure Integration Runtime. No

Using basic authentication

To use basic authentication, set "authenticationType" property to Basic, and specify the following properties besides the SFTP connector generic ones introduced in the last section:

Property Description Required
userName User who has access to the SFTP server. Yes
password Password for the user (userName). Mark this field as a SecureString to store it securely in Data Factory, or reference a secret stored in Azure Key Vault. Yes

Example:

{
    "name": "SftpLinkedService",
    "type": "linkedservices",
    "properties": {
        "type": "Sftp",
        "typeProperties": {
            "host": "<sftp server>",
            "port": 22,
            "skipHostKeyValidation": false,
            "hostKeyFingerPrint": "ssh-rsa 2048 xx:00:00:00:xx:00:x0:0x:0x:0x:0x:00:00:x0:x0:00",
            "authenticationType": "Basic",
            "userName": "<username>",
            "password": {
                "type": "SecureString",
                "value": "<password>"
            }
        },
        "connectVia": {
            "referenceName": "<name of Integration Runtime>",
            "type": "IntegrationRuntimeReference"
        }
    }
}

Using SSH public key authentication

To use SSH public key authentication, set "authenticationType" property as SshPublicKey, and specify the following properties besides the SFTP connector generic ones introduced in the last section:

Property Description Required
userName User who has access to the SFTP server Yes
privateKeyPath Specify absolute path to the private key file that Integration Runtime can access. Applies only when Self-hosted type of Integration Runtime is specified in "connectVia". Specify either the privateKeyPath or privateKeyContent.
privateKeyContent Base64 encoded SSH private key content. SSH private key should be OpenSSH format. Mark this field as a SecureString to store it securely in Data Factory, or reference a secret stored in Azure Key Vault. Specify either the privateKeyPath or privateKeyContent.
passPhrase Specify the pass phrase/password to decrypt the private key if the key file is protected by a pass phrase. Mark this field as a SecureString to store it securely in Data Factory, or reference a secret stored in Azure Key Vault. Yes if the private key file is protected by a pass phrase.

Note

SFTP connector supports RSA/DSA OpenSSH key. Make sure your key file content starts with "-----BEGIN [RSA/DSA] PRIVATE KEY-----". If the private key file is a ppk-format file, please use Putty tool to convert from .ppk to OpenSSH format.

Example 1: SshPublicKey authentication using private key filePath

{
    "name": "SftpLinkedService",
    "type": "Linkedservices",
    "properties": {
        "type": "Sftp",
        "typeProperties": {
            "host": "<sftp server>",
            "port": 22,
            "skipHostKeyValidation": true,
            "authenticationType": "SshPublicKey",
            "userName": "xxx",
            "privateKeyPath": "D:\\privatekey_openssh",
            "passPhrase": {
                "type": "SecureString",
                "value": "<pass phrase>"
            }
        },
        "connectVia": {
            "referenceName": "<name of Integration Runtime>",
            "type": "IntegrationRuntimeReference"
        }
    }
}

Example 2: SshPublicKey authentication using private key content

{
    "name": "SftpLinkedService",
    "type": "Linkedservices",
    "properties": {
        "type": "Sftp",
        "typeProperties": {
            "host": "<sftp server>",
            "port": 22,
            "skipHostKeyValidation": true,
            "authenticationType": "SshPublicKey",
            "userName": "<username>",
            "privateKeyContent": {
                "type": "SecureString",
                "value": "<base64 string of the private key content>"
            },
            "passPhrase": {
                "type": "SecureString",
                "value": "<pass phrase>"
            }
        },
        "connectVia": {
            "referenceName": "<name of Integration Runtime>",
            "type": "IntegrationRuntimeReference"
        }
    }
}

Dataset properties

For a full list of sections and properties available for defining datasets, see the Datasets article.

Parquet and delimited text format dataset

To copy data from SFTP in Parquet or delimited text format, refer to Parquet format and Delimited text format article on format-based dataset and supported settings. The following properties are supported for SFTP under location settings in format-based dataset:

Property Description Required
type The type property under location in dataset must be set to SftpLocation. Yes
folderPath The path to folder. If you want to use wildcard to filter folder, skip this setting and specify in activity source settings. No
fileName The file name under the given folderPath. If you want to use wildcard to filter files, skip this setting and specify in activity source settings. No

Note

FileShare type dataset with Parquet/Text format mentioned in next section is still supported as-is for Copy/Lookup/GetMetadata activity for backward compatibility. You are suggested to use this new model going forward, and the ADF authoring UI has switched to generating these new types.

Example:

{
    "name": "DelimitedTextDataset",
    "properties": {
        "type": "DelimitedText",
        "linkedServiceName": {
            "referenceName": "<SFTP linked service name>",
            "type": "LinkedServiceReference"
        },
        "schema": [ < physical schema, optional, auto retrieved during authoring > ],
        "typeProperties": {
            "location": {
                "type": "SftpLocation",
                "folderPath": "root/folder/subfolder"
            },
            "columnDelimiter": ",",
            "quoteChar": "\"",
            "firstRowAsHeader": true,
            "compressionCodec": "gzip"
        }
    }
}

Other format dataset

To copy data from SFTP in ORC/Avro/JSON/Binary format, the following properties are supported:

Property Description Required
type The type property of the dataset must be set to: FileShare Yes
folderPath Path to the folder. Wildcard filter is supported, allowed wildcards are: * (matches zero or more characters) and ? (matches zero or single character); use ^ to escape if your actual file name has wildcard or this escape char inside.

Examples: rootfolder/subfolder/, see more examples in Folder and file filter examples.
Yes
fileName Name or wildcard filter for the file(s) under the specified "folderPath". If you don't specify a value for this property, the dataset points to all files in the folder.

For filter, allowed wildcards are: * (matches zero or more characters) and ? (matches zero or single character).
- Example 1: "fileName": "*.csv"
- Example 2: "fileName": "???20180427.txt"
Use ^ to escape if your actual folder name has wildcard or this escape char inside.
No
modifiedDatetimeStart Files filter based on the attribute: Last Modified. The files will be selected if their last modified time are within the time range between modifiedDatetimeStart and modifiedDatetimeEnd. The time is applied to UTC time zone in the format of "2018-12-01T05:00:00Z".

Be aware the overall performance of data movement will be impacted by enabling this setting when you want to do file filter from huge amounts of files.

The properties can be NULL that mean no file attribute filter will be applied to the dataset. When modifiedDatetimeStart has datetime value but modifiedDatetimeEnd is NULL, it means the files whose last modified attribute is greater than or equal with the datetime value will be selected. When modifiedDatetimeEnd has datetime value but modifiedDatetimeStart is NULL, it means the files whose last modified attribute is less than the datetime value will be selected.
No
modifiedDatetimeEnd Files filter based on the attribute: Last Modified. The files will be selected if their last modified time are within the time range between modifiedDatetimeStart and modifiedDatetimeEnd. The time is applied to UTC time zone in the format of "2018-12-01T05:00:00Z".

Be aware the overall performance of data movement will be impacted by enabling this setting when you want to do file filter from huge amounts of files.

The properties can be NULL that mean no file attribute filter will be applied to the dataset. When modifiedDatetimeStart has datetime value but modifiedDatetimeEnd is NULL, it means the files whose last modified attribute is greater than or equal with the datetime value will be selected. When modifiedDatetimeEnd has datetime value but modifiedDatetimeStart is NULL, it means the files whose last modified attribute is less than the datetime value will be selected.
No
format If you want to copy files as-is between file-based stores (binary copy), skip the format section in both input and output dataset definitions.

If you want to parse files with a specific format, the following file format types are supported: TextFormat, JsonFormat, AvroFormat, OrcFormat, ParquetFormat. Set the type property under format to one of these values. For more information, see Text Format, Json Format, Avro Format, Orc Format, and Parquet Format sections.
No (only for binary copy scenario)
compression Specify the type and level of compression for the data. For more information, see Supported file formats and compression codecs.
Supported types are: GZip, Deflate, BZip2, and ZipDeflate.
Supported levels are: Optimal and Fastest.
No

Tip

To copy all files under a folder, specify folderPath only.
To copy a single file with a given name, specify folderPath with folder part and fileName with file name.
To copy a subset of files under a folder, specify folderPath with folder part and fileName with wildcard filter.

Note

If you were using "fileFilter" property for file filter, it is still supported as-is, while you are suggested to use the new filter capability added to "fileName" going forward.

Example:

{
    "name": "SFTPDataset",
    "type": "Datasets",
    "properties": {
        "type": "FileShare",
        "linkedServiceName":{
            "referenceName": "<SFTP linked service name>",
            "type": "LinkedServiceReference"
        },
        "typeProperties": {
            "folderPath": "folder/subfolder/",
            "fileName": "*",
            "modifiedDatetimeStart": "2018-12-01T05:00:00Z",
            "modifiedDatetimeEnd": "2018-12-01T06:00:00Z",
            "format": {
                "type": "TextFormat",
                "columnDelimiter": ",",
                "rowDelimiter": "\n"
            },
            "compression": {
                "type": "GZip",
                "level": "Optimal"
            }
        }
    }
}

Copy activity properties

For a full list of sections and properties available for defining activities, see the Pipelines article. This section provides a list of properties supported by SFTP source.

SFTP as source

Parquet and delimited text format source

To copy data from SFTP in Parquet or delimited text format, refer to Parquet format and Delimited text format article on format-based copy activity source and supported settings. The following properties are supported for SFTP under storeSettings settings in format-based copy source:

Property Description Required
type The type property under storeSettings must be set to SftpReadSetting. Yes
recursive Indicates whether the data is read recursively from the subfolders or only from the specified folder. Note that when recursive is set to true and the sink is a file-based store, an empty folder or subfolder isn't copied or created at the sink. Allowed values are true (default) and false. No
wildcardFolderPath The folder path with wildcard characters to filter source folders.
Allowed wildcards are: * (matches zero or more characters) and ? (matches zero or single character); use ^ to escape if your actual folder name has wildcard or this escape char inside.
See more examples in Folder and file filter examples.
No
wildcardFileName The file name with wildcard characters under the given folderPath/wildcardFolderPath to filter source files.
Allowed wildcards are: * (matches zero or more characters) and ? (matches zero or single character); use ^ to escape if your actual folder name has wildcard or this escape char inside. See more examples in Folder and file filter examples.
Yes if fileName is not specified in dataset
modifiedDatetimeStart Files filter based on the attribute: Last Modified. The files will be selected if their last modified time are within the time range between modifiedDatetimeStart and modifiedDatetimeEnd. The time is applied to UTC time zone in the format of "2018-12-01T05:00:00Z".
The properties can be NULL which mean no file attribute filter will be applied to the dataset. When modifiedDatetimeStart has datetime value but modifiedDatetimeEnd is NULL, it means the files whose last modified attribute is greater than or equal with the datetime value will be selected. When modifiedDatetimeEnd has datetime value but modifiedDatetimeStart is NULL, it means the files whose last modified attribute is less than the datetime value will be selected.
No
modifiedDatetimeEnd Same as above. No
maxConcurrentConnections The number of the connections to connect to storage store concurrently. Specify only when you want to limit the concurrent connection to the data store. No

Note

For Parquet/delimited text format, FileSystemSource type copy activity source mentioned in next section is still supported as-is for backward compatibility. You are suggested to use this new model going forward, and the ADF authoring UI has switched to generating these new types.

Example:

"activities":[
    {
        "name": "CopyFromSFTP",
        "type": "Copy",
        "inputs": [
            {
                "referenceName": "<Delimited text input dataset name>",
                "type": "DatasetReference"
            }
        ],
        "outputs": [
            {
                "referenceName": "<output dataset name>",
                "type": "DatasetReference"
            }
        ],
        "typeProperties": {
            "source": {
                "type": "DelimitedTextSource",
                "formatSettings":{
                    "type": "DelimitedTextReadSetting",
                    "skipLineCount": 10
                },
                "storeSettings":{
                    "type": "SftpReadSetting",
                    "recursive": true,
                    "wildcardFolderPath": "myfolder*A",
                    "wildcardFileName": "*.csv"
                }
            },
            "sink": {
                "type": "<sink type>"
            }
        }
    }
]

Other format source

To copy data from SFTP in ORC/Avro/JSON/Binary format, the following properties are supported in the copy activity source section:

Property Description Required
type The type property of the copy activity source must be set to: FileSystemSource Yes
recursive Indicates whether the data is read recursively from the sub folders or only from the specified folder. Note when recursive is set to true and sink is file-based store, empty folder/sub-folder will not be copied/created at sink.
Allowed values are: true (default), false
No
maxConcurrentConnections The number of the connections to connect to storage store concurrently. Specify only when you want to limit the concurrent connection to the data store. No

Example:

"activities":[
    {
        "name": "CopyFromSFTP",
        "type": "Copy",
        "inputs": [
            {
                "referenceName": "<SFTP input dataset name>",
                "type": "DatasetReference"
            }
        ],
        "outputs": [
            {
                "referenceName": "<output dataset name>",
                "type": "DatasetReference"
            }
        ],
        "typeProperties": {
            "source": {
                "type": "FileSystemSource",
                "recursive": true
            },
            "sink": {
                "type": "<sink type>"
            }
        }
    }
]

Folder and file filter examples

This section describes the resulting behavior of the folder path and file name with wildcard filters.

folderPath fileName recursive Source folder structure and filter result (files in bold are retrieved)
Folder* (empty, use default) false FolderA
    File1.csv
    File2.json
    Subfolder1
        File3.csv
        File4.json
        File5.csv
AnotherFolderB
    File6.csv
Folder* (empty, use default) true FolderA
    File1.csv
    File2.json
    Subfolder1
        File3.csv
        File4.json
        File5.csv
AnotherFolderB
    File6.csv
Folder* *.csv false FolderA
    File1.csv
    File2.json
    Subfolder1
        File3.csv
        File4.json
        File5.csv
AnotherFolderB
    File6.csv
Folder* *.csv true FolderA
    File1.csv
    File2.json
    Subfolder1
        File3.csv
        File4.json
        File5.csv
AnotherFolderB
    File6.csv

Next steps

For a list of data stores supported as sources and sinks by the copy activity in Azure Data Factory, see supported data stores.