Working with Files on Remote Servers

Working with directories and files on remote servers is virtually identical to working with them on local or network drives. For example, when you save files, changes are saved to the remote server. The primary difference is that you must establish a connection to a remote server before you can work with its files.

You can work on remote servers from the Files tabs and from Windows Explorer via Explorer shell integration. If you do not need server access, you can clear the Options > Settings > File Settings > FTP&RDS >Enable Explorer shell integration.

Using the SNE node

The Macromedia FTP & RDS node, called the Shell Namespace Extension (SNE) node, lets you work with files on configured remote servers in the application and in Windows Explorer. You can add FTP servers from the SNE node. (RDS access to servers is only available in ColdFusion Studio and JRun Studio.)

If you set the Drive list to My Computer, you can easily access all of your drives and SNE node servers on the File resource tab, as shown in the following graphic.

In previous versions, the SNE node was called "Allaire FTP & RDS." In this version, the node is called "Macromedia FTP & RDS." If you install this version on a machine with a previous version of HomeSite, the previous version no longer recognizes the node. To fix this, you must modify the SNE node.

To use the SNE with earlier versions:

  1. After completing the installation, run the SNECompatibility.exe program in the program directory; for example in C:\Program Files\Macromedia\HomeSite 5\SNECompatibility.exe.

    The Macromedia SNE Compatibility dialog box appears.

  2. Select the appropriate compatibility option:
  3. Click Switch to apply the change, and click Close.

Connecting to servers

HomeSite provides FTP server access. You can perform file transfers and other file management tasks using Macromedia FTP & RDS.

Required server information

You must have specific information about a remote server to connect to it, such as host name and user access requirements. If you do not have this information, you must get it from the owner of that server, whether it is your IT group, an ISP, or another provider.

Connecting to an FTP server

You can remotely access FTP servers for file transfers and other site management tasks using the Macromedia FTP & RDS feature. Once the connection has been established, you can access files on remote servers and maintain Web sites located anywhere on the Internet.

FTP server connection requirements vary greatly. These instructions work in the majority of cases, but you might have to try variations on the settings.

To connect to an FTP server:

  1. Open the drive list at the top of the Files tab and select Macromedia FTP & RDS.

    You can also access this feature from Windows Explorer.

  2. Right-click Macromedia FTP & RDS and select Add FTP Server to open the Configure FTP Server dialog box.
  3. Enter the following information for the server that you want to connect to:
    Descriptive name to display in the Files tab and in Windows Explorer.
    Host Name
    Server's IP address or domain name, such as
    Servers with ftp as part of the domain name require you to enter the complete name, for example
    Initial Directory
    Top-level directory for the account.
    This is optional for accounts that default to the root directory of the FTP server, but it is required if the account specifies an initial directory.
    Relative from server-assigned directory
    Option to specify if the Initial Directory should be set from the server-assigned user directory or from the server root.
    Clear this checkbox if the Initial Directory should be set from the server root.
    Login name for the account used to access the remote server, or "anonymous" for anonymous FTP servers.
    If this field is left blank, you are asked for a username when you log in.
    Password for the account used to access the remote server.
    If this field is left blank, you are asked for a password when you log in.
    Root URL
    The http:// address of the site.
    This setting allows you to browse files that were opened from the remote server, edited, and saved.
    Remote Port
    Port used by the FTP server.
    Use the default 21 unless the server administrator or ISP specifies another port.
    Request Timeout
    Maximum number of seconds to wait for a server connection to complete.
    Disable passive mode
    Option to select if the server does not use passive connections.
    File time offset
    The number of hours ahead or behind the current local time to use in the date/time information for files on the FTP server.
    If you set this value, you cannot select the Assume UTC file times option.
    Assume UTC file times
    Option to adjust date/time information on the FTP server for servers using the Universal Coordinated Time format.
    Select this if you see incorrect date/time information for files on the FTP server.
  4. Click OK to complete the configuration.

You can now work with files on the server.

To view and edit the configuration for a remote server:

  1. Right-click the server in the Macromedia FTP & RDS list and select Properties from the popup menu.
  2. Make the necessary changes, and then click OK to save the new server properties.

To do a file size check after transferring a file:

  1. Save, copy, or move the local file to the remote server using either of the following commands:
  2. If nothing happens, the file transfer was successful.

    An error message appears if there is a discrepancy between the byte counts of the local copy and the copy saved to the remote server.

Enabling Secure FTP

Ipswitch FTP technology, installed with HomeSite, offers data security via Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to servers that support 40-bit encryption and decryption. A default certificate and key are installed. The Ipswitch Help files are available for this dialog box.


Unicode files cannot be transferred successfully using SSL, so disable the Secure (SSL) feature in the Configure FTP Server dialog box before transferring these types of files.

To enable SSL for an FTP connection:

  1. Open the Properties dialog box and select the Secure (SSL) option.
  2. Click the Configure SSL button and make the appropriate certificate entries.

    Click the Help button for information on these settings.

  3. Click OK.

This table summarizes the error messages you could receive:
Error message
Unable to connect to the FTP server.Success
Remote Server Operation Failure: Winsock Error: Connection aborted.
SSL has not been enabled in the Configure FTP Server dialog box, and you attempt to connect to a server requiring SSL.
Secure Connection Error - you have requested a secure connection to the server but either the server does not support SSL or WS_FTP could not negotiate a secure connection. This connection is NOT secure. Do you wish to continue?
An SSL-enabled connection is selected at startup but SSL is disabled on the server.

To revert to the installed certificate and key:

  1. Select Options > Settings > File Settings > FTP & RDS > Reset FTP SSL Certificate to Default.
  2. Click Apply.


For this release, Unicode and Unicode Big Endian files that are saved on SSL-enabled FTP servers do not get created and saved correctly.

Managing servers

You can easily change server configurations as needed.

To view and edit the configuration for a server:

  1. Right-click the server name in the Macromedia FTP & RDS list and select Properties from the menu.
  2. Make any changes as necessary in the Configure Server dialog box.
  3. Click OK to save your changes.

To delete a server:

  1. Right-click the server name in the Macromedia FTP & RDS list and select Delete Server from the menu.
  2. Click Yes when you are asked to confirm that you want to delete the server.

The remote server is removed from the Macromedia FTP & RDS list.

Adding server mappings

By default, when you browse a document in the internal or external browser, it is opened from the local file system or returned via FTP from a remote server. That is adequate for checking page content and formatting, but for developing a Web site you must see dynamic pages as the visitors to your site will actually experience them.

To do this, you can route the documents through a Web server. The server software can be on the local machine, a network server, or a remote system. So, instead of just opening the files, an HTTP request for the page is sent to the server. If any server-side processing is required, such as for server-side includes, forms, ColdFusion applications, or Active Server Pages, the Web server will hand off the page to the appropriate server for further processing, then return it to the browser. This is valuable for previewing applications and site elements in a test environment before deploying the site.

You establish this routing by associating the physical directories where your files are stored with the server that processes the files. This association is called a mapping. A wide range of Web servers is supported, so you can create multiple mappings and select which server to use for processing as needed. Consult your server documentation or provider for the specifics of accessing server directories.


To use server mappings, either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Mozilla NGLayout must be configured as the internal browser.

Anwer these questions in the RDS dialog box:

Defining server mappings

This section provides instructions for adding a server mapping in HomeSite and in Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), and how to set a default mapping.

For more information on setting up server mappings, see Knowledge Base Articles 8347 and 8500 on the Macromedia Web site.

To add a mapping:

  1. Open the Options > Settings > Browse pane.
  2. If necessary, select either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape.
  3. Select the Enable server mappings option.
  4. Click Add.
  5. Enter the document root path to map from.

    In this example, the IIS document root is used.

  6. Enter the server URL to map to.
  7. Click OK. The mapping appears in the Settings pane.

If you want to process documents from a location other than below the Web server root, you must identify the file path in the Web server. The following procedure is based on a typical IIS installation; the procedure for your installation might differ. If you are using a different Web server, consult your server documentation.

To add a mapping in IIS:

  1. Open the IIS Management Console and expand the IIS node.
  2. Right-click on Default Web Server and select New > Virtual Directory.
  3. Follow the steps in the New Virtual Directory Wizard to add the directory.
  4. Follow the steps in the procedure for adding a mapping, being sure to include the full virtual directory path in the URL.


If you set up multiple mappings, you must switch to the appropriate mapping for the document you want to process.

To edit a mapping:

  1. Select the mapping in the list and click Edit.
  2. Make changes as necessary and click OK.

To change to a different mapping:

To set a mapping as the default:

  1. Select Options > Settings and click Browse.
  2. Select the entry that you want to move in mappings list.
  3. Click the up arrow button to move the entry to the top of the list.
  4. Click OK.