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The advantages of using ZFTP are best explained via examples. Suppose one creates an HBOOK file (which is stored in ZEBRA RZ format) on the IBM and that is required on a VAX. Without ZFTP, the file must first be converted to sequential format using the RTOX utility. The output file can then be transferred to the VAX via Interlink or standard FTP but must then be reconverted to RZ format using the RFRX utility. This requires extra disk space on both sides for the sequential file and a three-step process. On some UNIX systems the situation is even worse as the file transferred by FTP cannot be read by RFRX but must be converted for a second time.
The same operation using ZFTP is much simpler:
Using this single stage operation the file is transferred with automatic conversion from IBM to VAX format. As the user interface of ZFTP is based on KUIP, the power of ZFTP may be extended using macros.
Data transfer rates are currently about 2/3 of those obtainable with standard FTP, but the effective transfer rate achieved by the elimination of the conversion to sequential format and back is much higher.