Connect to FTP in Power Automate Desktop via ODBC

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FTP ODBC Driver

The FTP ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from remote files and directories, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access remote data like you would a database through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



The CData ODBC Driver for FTP enables you to integrate FTP data into workflows built using Microsoft Power Automate Desktop.

The CData ODBC Driver for FTP enables you to access live FTP data in workflow automation tools like Power Automate. This article shows how to integrate FTP data into a simple workflow, moving FTP data into a CSV file.

Through optimized data processing, CData ODBC Drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live FTP data in Microsoft Power Automate. When you issue complex SQL queries from Power Automate to FTP, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to FTP and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations client-side (e.g. SQL functions and JOIN operations).

Connect to FTP as an ODBC Data Source

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

To connect to FTP or SFTP servers, specify at least RemoteHost and FileProtocol. Specify the port with RemotePort.

Set User and Password to perform Basic authentication. Set SSHAuthMode to use SSH authentication. See the Getting Started section of the data provider help documentation for more information on authenticating via SSH.

Set SSLMode and SSLServerCert to secure connections with SSL.

The data provider lists the tables based on the available folders in your FTP server. Set the following connection properties to control the relational view of the file system:

  • RemotePath: Set this to the current working directory.
  • TableDepth: Set this to control the depth of folders to list as views.
  • FileRetrievalDepth: Set this to retrieve and list files recursively from the root table.

Stored Procedures are available to download files, upload files, and send protocol commands. See the Data Model chapter of the FTP data provider documentation for more information.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing workflows.

Integrate FTP Data into Power Automate Workflows

After configuring the DSN for FTP, you are ready to integrate FTP data into your Power Automate workflows. Open Microsoft Power Automate, add a new flow, and name the flow.

In the flow editor, you can add the actions to connect to FTP, query FTP using SQL, and write the query results to a CSV document.

Add an Open SQL Connection Action

Add an "Open SQL connection" action (Actions -> Database) and configure the properties.

  • Connection string: DSN=CData FTP Source

After configuring the action, click Save.

Add an Execute SQL Statement Action

Add an "Execute SQL statement" action (Actions -> Database) and configure the properties.

  • Get connection by: SQL connection variable
  • SQL connection: %SQLConnection% (the variable from the "Open SQL connection" action above)
  • SQL statement: SELECT * FROM MyDirectory

After configuring the action, click Save.

Add a Write to CSV File Action

Add a "Write to CSV file" action (Actions -> File) and configure the properties.

  • Variable to write to: %QueryResult% (the variable from the "Execute SQL statement" action above)
  • File path: set to a file on disk
  • Configure Advanced settings as needed.

After configuring the action, click Save.

Add a Close SQL Connection Action

Add a "Close SQL connection" action (Actions -> Database) and configure the properties.

  • SQL Connection: %SQLConnection% (the variable from the "Open SQL connection" action above)

After configuring the action, click Save.

Save & Run the Flow

Once you have configured all the actions for the flow, click the disk icon to save the flow. Click the play icon to run the flow.

Now you have a workflow to move FTP data into a CSV file.

With the CData ODBC Driver for FTP, you get live connectivity to FTP data within your Microsoft Power Automate workflows.

Related Power Automate Articles

This article walks through using the CData ODBC Driver for FTP with Power Automate Desktop. Check out our other articles for more ways to work with Power Automate (Desktop & Online):