Setup an SFTP Export

Learn how to setup automated data exports for CloseAlert results via FTP/SFTP on one or all forms

Yori Högemann avatar
Written by Yori Högemann
Updated over a week ago

Please note that this feature is accessible for users with 'project admin' rights only.

If you want to automate your exports, rather than manually pull your files, set-up an SFTP export through CloseAlert. This functionality will automatically place the chosen file(s) at a time and day specified on your SFTP server.
There are several reasons why you may want to automatically export CloseAlert results and then import this into your proprietary system (e.g. your CRM or DMP). You can, for example:

  • Enrich customer profiles

  • Manage the follow-up process

  • Further analyze the data and combine it with other data

Setting up an SFTP export

Go to Settings > SFTP exports and select 'Create new SFTP export'. The following screen will pop up:

Export name

First enter a name for your export. Make sure this is short but recognizable to you and your colleagues. By default, the export as it will appear on your SFTP server will have the following naming convention: 

[manually entered name]-[timestamp].[file format]

For example:

With the above settings, the export will e.g. be named: 


Note that [timestamp] is fixed and automatically added in this format. It displays the date + time of export.

Different export settings

All forms or single form 

If you want to export data from all of your forms, please choose to export feedback from 'Any form'. If you only want to export data from a specific form, choose the form in the dropdown menu. In case you want to export e.g. three out of ten forms, you will setup three exports. You can setup an unlimited number of exports.

Export format

There are four different export options you can choose from:

Choosing .xlsx, the results from all forms are aggregated in one file. Within this file, you'll find the forms split in separate worksheets (tabs).
The .csv option will generate one (csv) file per form.
Exports cannot be zipped.

In case the chosen delimeter happens to be included in a respondent's answer (e.g. a respondent gives an example using ;) the data within the entire row is placed between " " to escape this particular character (so that it won't be treated as a delimeter).

In case a question doesn't have an answer, in a CSV file, this will be indicated with 'NONE'.

SFTP exports are identical to manual exports. In the first row, you'll find the headers comprised of the form questions and additional meta data. By default, these headers are:

  • Response ID

  • Question 1 to ...

  • Email address

  • Mailing

  • Folder

  • Category

  • Time received

  • Web version

  • Device type

  • Operating system

  • Followed up

The export format is fixed.

Day and time

You can choose to receive the SFTP export on a daily (any day of the week) or weekly basis and select the time. The period which you will receive the data for, will be from the last SFTP export timestamp until the current SFTP export (i.e. the delta between these). If this is your first time setting up the export and you want to analyze all results until now, make sure to manually export the rest of your feedback first

Selecting the protocol type

By default, for security reasons, SFTP is selected. However, may you want to export your files over an FTP server, this is also possible via selection through the dropdown.

Note: FTPS connections are not possible to set up. 


When the SFTP protocol is selected, there are two authentication options:

  1. Password: Username and password authentication

  2. Public/private key authentication

Setting up public/private key authentication

This requires the following steps:

  1. Download the public key

  2. Store this public key on your SFTP server in the -/.ssh/authorized_keys directory, with the correct access permissions.

When FTP is selected, the authentication can only make use of username and password.


In this section, fill out the following server details:

  • Port number

  • Server

  • /directory (optional)

This automated SFTP export makes use of 'passive mode' for data transfer. This means that CloseAlert opens a connection to your SFTP server to send commands and data across. Due to security restrictions, active mode cannot be accepted.

When the export fails, who should we notify?

Leave one or more email addresses (separate with a comma) that will be notified in case the export fails. 

If you select 'Save and test', the connection will be immediately tested with a test file.

Whitelisting FTP/SFTP server & IP addresses

It is necessary for us to whitelist your server and for you to whitelist our IP addresses.
Once you've finished above mentioned steps, contact your Customer Success Manager or to obtain the specific IP addresses to be whitelisted. Please also provide your server name, so that we can whitelist it on our side. The connection should work after this is completed.

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