Download recipe

The “download” recipe allows you to download files from files-based connections, and store them in a DSS managed folder. The managed folder itself can be stored in any files-based connection that accepts managed folders.

Files-based connections mean the following:

  • Filesystem

  • HDFS

  • S3

  • GCS

  • Azure Blob Storage

  • FTP

  • SFTP

  • SSH

  • HTTP (read-only, cannot write)

The download recipe only deals with files: it does not interpret the files, and does not create a directly usable dataset. It only creates a managed folder. Once you have created the download recipe and its associated output managed folder, you can create a “Files in folder” dataset based on the output managed folder. This “Files in folder” dataset deals with parsing the files in the managed folder, handling format, settings and schema.

Creating a download recipe

From the Flow, click the “+Recipe” button, and select Visual > Download

Give a name to the output managed folder, and choose in which connection to store it.

Create the recipe. You can now add sources, and then “Run” the recipe to perform the initial download.

Selecting files from the sources

The download recipe gets files from a number of “sources” and mirrors them to the output folder.

You can use as source of download:

  • A HTTP(s) URL (which can contain authentication)

  • A FTP URL (which can contain authentication)

  • A path within a Filesystem, HDFS, S3, GCS, Azure Blob, FTP, SFTP or SSH connection

The “Path in connection” text input defines the set of files to download from the source. Standard globbing expansion patterns are supported, where a question mark character ? matches any character in a remote file or directory name, and a star character * matches any sequence of characters in a remote file or directory name. To match all files and subfolders in the connection’s startup directory, specify * as path.

Patterns can be absolute (with a leading / character) or relative, in which case they are interpreted according to the default remote directory for this connection.

Remote file names matching the given pattern are directly downloaded at the top-level of the output folder. Remote directory names matching the given pattern are downloaded as sub-directories of the output folder. along with all their contents.

Only regular files and directory are considered when enumerating sources. In particular, symbolic links are ignored.

Note that in order to avoid name collisions between downloaded files, renaming rules may be applied during the mirroring process:

  • When multiple data sources are defined for a single download recipe, individual file names are prefixed with the data source index and an underscore _ character.

  • When wildcard expansion patterns appear in source directory specifications, downloaded file or directory names are prefixed with enclosing directory names and an underscore _ character.

Mirroring rules

Source files mirroring is performed according to file size and last modification time. If a remote file is created or updated on the remote host, it will be downloaded by the next output folder build operation. If a remote file disappears from the remote host, its local mirror will be deleted by the next output folder build operation.

This synchronization behavior can be customized with the two options:

  • Delete extra files (true by default)

  • Download up-to-date files (false by default)


Path in connection

Matched remote files

Downloaded files (single source)

Downloaded files (multi sources)



/stats/20140102.log /stats/20140103.log

20140102.log 20140103.log

1_20140102.log 1_20140103.log

Pattern matches files in single directory


/stats.2013/0101.log /stats.2013/0102.log /stats.2014/0101.log

stats.2013_0101.log stats.2013_0102.log stats.2014_0101.log

1_stats.2013_0101.log 1_stats.2013_0102.log 1_stats.2014_0101.log

Pattern matches files in multiple directories


/stats.2013/0101.log /stats.2013/0102.log /stats.2014/0101.log

stats.2013/0101.log stats.2013/0102.log stats.2014/0101.log

stats.2013/1_0101.log stats.2013/1_0102.log stats.2014/1_0101.log

Pattern matches directories

Partitioned download recipes

The output folder of a download recipe can be partitioned like any other DSS managed folder. See Working with partitions for more information about partitioning.

When partitioning is activated for the output folder of a download recipe:

  • Remote files are downloaded from origin servers one partition at a time, for each “build” of each partition of the output folder

  • A set of expansion variables are available to include in the URL and remote path definitions, to choose remote file names from partition values.

  • The source definition screen contains an additional input field “Partition to download for preview” - this value is used when individual data sources are checked through the “Check source” buttons.

The variable expansion patterns that can be used in URLs and remote paths to define the set of files to download for a given dataset partition can be found at Partitioning variables substitutions.


The following defines a download recipe from a directory of web server log files accessible through a FTP server (similar instructions apply for any downloaded data):

  • Create a download recipe. At that point, the output folder is not partitioned.

  • Go to the output folder, then in Settings > Partitioning

  • Add a time dimension named “date”, period “DAY”, pattern %Y/%M/%D/.*. This defines the naming pattern for downloaded files (ie, in the managed folder storage).

  • Save and go back to the download recipe definition

  • Add a source to download from, and enter ftp://MYWEBSERVER/var/log/apache2/$DKU_DST_YEAR/$DKU_DST_MONTH/$DKU_DST_DAY/*.log. This defines the naming pattern for remote source files.

  • If you want to check that the details are correct, you need to provide a partition identifier. DSS will replace the DKU_DST_ variables by the ones from the partition identifier

Given the above definitions, whenever you try to build partition “2017-02-05”, the download recipe will mirror all files named \*.log in subdirectory /var/log/apache2/2017/02/05 of the FTP server, and store them in subdirectory 2017/02/05 of the managed folder