Using An SFTP Server

Why Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)?

By scheduling a job that exports user data from your HRIS and saves it to our SFTP server, you can automate your user management. 


SFTP Server:

Port: 22

Username: [provided upon request]

Password: [provided upon request]

Establish a connection to our server: 

1. Download an FTP client (i.e. FileZilla).

2. Enter the address of the server in the "Host" field. In FileZilla, this is located in the top toolbar.

3. Enter your username and password.

4. Enter the Port.

5. Click "Quickconnect" or press "Enter" (on your keyboard) to connect to the server.

6. Click "OK" if you receive a warning regarding an unknown host key.

Leverage Our SFTP Server 


See this article


If automation proves too costly or complex, you can always leverage the SFTP server manually. Using whichever provider you have, you can export your user data, add it to one of the templates below, and upload the file to our SFTP server using FileZilla or a similar client. This would be ad-hoc and you'd need to build the file yourself, but it can save you both money and developer resources. 

Note: If you leverage our SFTP server manually, be sure to contact and designate a Technical Contact. The Technical Contact will receive an automated email if there's a file error



How often should data be exported?

We recommend sending data daily. Once the file is made available it will be processed as soon as possible. Processing time may vary based on the number and size of files in our application's queue. As such, if your file is available at 12am EST each morning, it may be processed at different times throughout the week (i.e. minutes apart).

What should I name the file?

Each file should be uniquely identifiable. We recommend naming each file sent with the current date.

Where should I put the file?

The file should be placed in the "incoming" folder of the target destination.

Should I send data for all users or just the new hires and users that need to be updated?

We recommend sending all users in every file.

What if some of the data doesn't process due to an error?

You can usually resolve the error by implementing one of the solutions from this article.

If a user is omitted from a file, what will happen?

If a user is omitted from a file, this will not cause any change or removal of that user’s account in Betterworks.

Can I use field names that are different from what is listed in the templates? 

No. Using field names that are not listed in our templates will result in the field not being processed.  

If I'm using the SFTP server, can I still do a manual CSV upload or individual update through the Admin module? 

Yes. You can still do a manual CSV upload or an individual update. However, any files received that include contradictory data for the same user(s) will override these changes. For example, if Jane Doe's manager is changed via manual CSV upload or individual update, then a file is received that includes an entry for Jane where she's assigned to her previous manager, the manual change will be overridden.

Are there character limits for any of the text fields?


  • email: 254 characters
  • first_name: 254 characters
  • last_name: 150 characters

Can I encrypt my files further?

Yes. Although not required, we do support additional PGP encryption. PGP keys facilitate "encryption at rest", meaning that even if someone were to obtain your organization's SFTP credentials, they would not be unable to view the contents of the encrypted file without the PGP key to decrypt it. If you'd like to use PGP encryption, please contact We will generate the PGP key pair and issue the public PGP key to you. The private key will be saved on our end.
Note: We do not currently support additional Secure Shell (SSH) or Secure Copy Protect (SCP) encryption.