Efficient Data Exchange: Integrating Anaplan with SFTP Servers

edited September 2023 in Best Practices

In the dynamic landscape of modern business, data integration plays a pivotal role in decision-making processes. Many enterprises rely on Anaplan as a comprehensive planning and performance management platform. When it comes to data exchange, integrating Anaplan with SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) servers offers a powerful solution. This article will explore how Anaplan interfaces with SFTP servers and the strategies employed for smooth data integration.

Developing and Maintaining Interfaces

For those looking to utilize SFTP for data loading or extraction within the Anaplan environment, the development and maintenance of interfaces become essential. The process involves coding the invocation of SFTP data exchanges with a data staging location, typically a file server. Subsequently, Anaplan Connect Command Line Interface (preferred) or the Anaplan REST API can seamlessly push or pull these files into or out of Anaplan.

Automation Wrappers for Streamlined Integration

Many companies adopt an "automation wrapper" approach to streamline the exchange of data with a remote SFTP server by leveraging languages such as Windows Batch, Linux Shell, Python, or PowerShell. This approach orchestrates the various steps to interface Anaplan with the remote SFTP server. Here are the high-level steps:

  1. SFTP Data Exchange: The automation wrapper initiates the SFTP client to pull data from or push data to a remote SFTP server. The files are typically staged on an intermediary local file storage system.
  2. Anaplan Integration: The next step involves leveraging the Anaplan Connect Command Line Interface. This tool facilitates the seamless uploading or downloading of staged data files to or from Anaplan. Note that the data exchange with the Anaplan model is not complete until the corresponding Import or Export Action is executed. Alternatively, organizations can opt for a custom-coded solution leveraging Anaplan's REST API. This approach necessitates the implementation of a coding interface suited for executing REST API requests. However, the recommendation is to utilize Anaplan Connect due to its support and optimization for data exchange and since it is also built entirely on Anaplan's REST API.
  3. Optional Processing Summary: As part of the automation wrapper, an optional step involves sending an email with a processing summary. This notification enhances transparency and communication, providing insights into the data integration process.

The Definitive Approach to SFTP Data Exchange

In conclusion, the integration of Anaplan with SFTP servers opens up avenues for efficient data exchange, enabling businesses to harness the power of seamless information flow. Whether you're opting for a direct REST API approach or utilizing automation wrappers with Anaplan Connect, the key lies in creating a robust, reliable, and well-maintained interface that empowers you to make data-driven decisions with confidence.

Author: Quin Eddy, @QuinE - Director of Data Integration, Operational Excellence Group (OEG)