How to automate FTP uploads

Forum member DeathRobot (who is probably nicer than his or her name implies) is interested in FTP and Automator. It writes:

I’ve created a folder action in Automator, where any files I drop onto it upload to a favorites folder on my FTP server via Panic’s Transmit. I would like to change the workflow so that when I drop a file on the folder a dialog box comes up that asks me to input a folder name. It would then create a new folder on the server with that name, and drop the files in it. Is this possible?

Sure. Transmit installs a few Automator actions. Among them is Mount, which you can use to mount a directory on your FTP server. But you can save yourself some trouble by instead using Transmit’s Transmit Disk feature that lets you mount an FTP directory as if it were a local disk. Then configure Automator this way:

Create an Automator folder action. Then create a folder on your Desktop and give it an intuitive name such as “FTP Upload.” Drag this folder to the pop-up menu at the top of the workflow (where it says Folder Action Receives Files And Folders Added To). You now have your source folder.

Next select Automator's Files & Folders library and drag Get Selected Finder Items to the workflow. While you’re there, drag New Folder in right after it.

Click Options in the New Folder action and enable the Show This Action When The Workflow Runs option. Drag your mounted FTP directory to the Where pop-up menu in this action. Don’t bother filling in the Name field for the folder. Save your workflow.

And that’s it. When you place items in this folder, a small New Folder window will appear. Enter the name of the folder that you’d like to appear on your server and click Continue. That new folder (which contains the items you dragged into your source folder) will be uploaded to the server.

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