Dialafile was first launched in 1983. It was designed to allow various models of computer to send and receive computer files over the Public Telephone System (PSTN) using modems.
As well as communicating using modems and a telephone system, Dialafile can also communicate over the Internet or over a private network.
Typically a central "master" site may wish to poll a number of remote "slave" sites to exchange files. However a Dialafile installation is neither a master nor a slave and hence any number of configurations are possible. A central site can poll a number of other sites. The remote sites could all dial into the centre or any site can communicate with any other.
Dialafile is now available on a range of UNIX / Linux platforms and also on Microsoft Windows.
Dialafile was designed to allow applications on one system to send and receive files to other applications on other systems with little user intervention.
- File transfer requests and connection requests are added to a job queue from where they are executed.
- Commands can be added to the job queue in a number of ways directly from other programs.
- Once completed the jobs are removed from the queue. If there is an error the jobs remain in the queue with the error shown. So a quick glance at the queue at any time shows if there are any problems.
- Dialafile has a 'post processing' capability. When a file arrives Dialafile can schedule a program on the receiving computer to process the information.
- Dialafile keeps a full log with details of every connection and every file transfer.
- Dialafile has a receive and wait feature where it can wait for a file to appear before transferring it. This is used so that one computer can send a file to another and then wait briefly for the information to be processed before receiving the resulting file.
- When Dialafile makes a connection it firstly processes all file transfers jobs in the local or originating job queue. Afterwards it processes jobs in the remote queue. In this way an application on the remote system can produce files to be sent to the local system and put them in the remote job queue. There is no necessity for the local system to have any knowledge of the file names or number of files.
- Dialafile can delete the files once they have been successfully transmitted
- Dialafile jobs can be added to the queue to be executed either immediately or at any defined time and date.
- Dialafile performs its own error detection an correction.
- Dialafile transmits files to a temporary file and only writes the target file once the transfer has been successfull. With other protocols such as ftp it is possible to have a incomplete transmission leave an invalid partial file but Dialafile does not allow this.