As computer users, we constantly upload files, transferring them from one system to another over a network. You can perform uploads on a terminal, such as through the SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) or Secure Copy Protocol (SCP), File Transfer Protocol (FTP) clients, or web browsers. Generally, you upload files to move data to a server or a managed service like cloud storage, but you can also send files between distributed clients.
This article explains the basics of FTP, peer-to-peer (P2P), and web-browser uploads, as well as Cloudinary’s automated upload capabilities that save time and improve workflows.
File uploads are cross-system data transfers. You can upload files in one of three ways:
- Client-to-server upload, which transfers files according to the client-server mode, such as when you upload an image or video through a form on a website.
- Remote upload, which transfers data from one remote system to another under the control of a local system, e.g., from cloud storage to a website, when the connection between the remote systems is faster than that between the local and remote systems. Additionally, you can transfer files between only the remote systems with this technique.
- Peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing, which shares files between users through a decentralized network of devices. Here, each device can serve as client and server, enabling both uploads and downloads.
In this article, you will learn:
- Traditional File Upload Techniques
- Automating File Upload in Popular Programming Languages With Cloudinary
- Learn More About Media Management
This section describes how to upload files in the traditional way.
Typically, you download files from a web server with FTP. For uploads to a server, you need an FTP client, a utility through which to log in to FTP servers so that you can query the server, define transfer modes, and then upload.
Napster and BitTorrent are well-known examples of P2P networks. Although they do not store file data on a central server, those networks can maintain trackers or index servers to help you locate the file you want. Also, multiple users can simultaneously upload or download the same file, speeding up the rate of transfer and easing the burden on a single user.
- A jQuery plugin or JS uploader, which offers the upload capability and interface through JS or jQuery libraries. Two plugin examples are Uppy and FilePond.
- A file-upload service, which offers a widget you can embed in your page for uploads, which are typically connected to a content delivery network (CDN) for delivery to users later. Cloudinary is an example of an excellent upload service.
Cloudinary is a cloud-based service through which you can modify, manage, and distribute media; as well as automate file upload in your web apps. It only takes a few lines of code in the popular programming languages, as described below.
By leveraging the API in the Cloudinary PHP software development kit (SDK), you can upload images, manage and create sprites, embed images, and generate URLs for manipulation or transformation. This SDK supports PHP 5.3 or later.
For details, see the post Uploading PHP Files and Rich Media the Easy Way.
To directly upload files with AJAX, create an HTML form, download Cloudinary’s JS library, and then build a JS file that defines your upload configurations.
In the same way, you can upload directly to a back-end server with AJAX along with a PHP script that handles server communications.
For details, see the post AJAX File Upload: Quick Tutorial and Time-Saving Tips.
Preserving quality as files pass between the sender and receiver is a difficult task. However, apps like WhatsApp transfer media files at huge scale with hardly any quality loss. You can do that in your app, too.
For details, see the post Clone WhatsApp Technology to Build a File Upload Android App.
With jQuery, you can upload files to the Cloudinary cloud without an intermediary server, delivering faster and bypassing web-host limitations on uploads. Also, Cloudinary’s jQuery plugin’s convenient drag-and-drop interface enables audiences to perform uploads on your site.
For details, see the post Direct Image Uploads From the Browser to the Cloud With jQuery.
You can upload files through Angular on Cloudinary by building an Angular component or form control with which to pass files to your app’s back-end. No need to expend the time and effort to develop a back-end API.
For details, see the post File Upload With Angular to Cloudinary.
By integrating with the Cloudinary widget, you can upload files in any Vue project. Just add the
openUploadModal function and an Upload button and then integrate the widget in your
index.html file. No back-end setup is required.
For details, see the post Uploading Vue Files and Rich Media in Two Easy Steps.
You can upload Node.js files to the Cloudinary cloud or to a local server. To do that, download Cloudinary’s Node.js SDK and the
streamifier library. Afterwards, set up a Node project and build an upload process that relies on the
multer package, which enables multipart uploads..
For details, see the post Node.js File Upload.
To upload files to local servers or the cloud through Laravel, use a file-upload controller and upload-form pair and the storeUploads method. To store uploads in the cloud, use Cloudinary’s Laravel SDK and the
cloudinary() helper function.
For details, see the post Laravel File Upload to a Local Server Or to the Cloud.
Cloudinary offers a JS upload widget whose API you can integrate with your HTML forms for uploads to the cloud. The widget supports uploads from various sources, including remote URLs and Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Shutterstock accounts.
Do give Cloudinary a try and build file-upload capabilities with the popular programming languages described above. To start, create a free Cloudinary account.
Together with our content partners, we have authored in-depth guides on several other topics that can also be useful as you explore the world of Cloud Storage
S3 Storage: Authored by NetApp
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- S3 Storage: The Complete Guide
- S3 Pricing Made Simple: The Complete Guide
- AWS Certification Cheat Sheet for Amazon S3
Cloud File Sharing: Authored by NetApp
File shares support some of the most important workloads that enterprise businesses rely on, and the resources of the public cloud have created interesting new possibilities. Every major public cloud provider now offers its own cloud file sharing service, each with its own target workloads and considerations. But not every enterprise will find what they’re looking for in a fully managed, all-cloud service.
See top articles in our cloud file sharing guide:
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- Cloud File Sharing Services: Open-Source Solutions
- Cloud Availability Nightmares and How to Avoid Them in Cloud File Sharing
Google Cloud Storage: Authored by NetApp
Google Cloud offers a variety of storage options for you to choose from. These services form the base of many other services in the cloud and understanding what your options are can help you manage your cloud more efficiently.
This guide explains what Google Cloud Storage options exist and their common uses.
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