What does it mean when the filedrop activity picks up a file called hello_world.csv.pgp.writing. I set it to pick up files that begin with hello_world.

I only transfer files that end in .csv.pgp, yet sfmc picks up with .csv.pgp.writing. Is this extension added by sfmc while the file is being transferred to it or?

Edit for clarity:

Step 1) File Drop: Folder: import
Filename Pattern as Begins With: hello_world

Step 2) File Transfer - Decrypt %%BASEFILENAME_FROM_TRIGGER%%.csv.pgp

Step 3) Import File Activity %%BASEFILENAME_FROM_TRIGGER%%.csv

Step 4) Data Extract - Delete File From ET FTP or Safehouse %%BASEFILENAME_FROM_TRIGGER%%

1 Answer 1


Yes, usually it happens with big files that are not yet fully transferred, so they appear with a temporary file extension like .writing and once the process gets completed, the file is renamed to the final version with proper extensions.

To always import a fully completed file, you need to update the File Naming Pattern in your File Transfer and Import activities with substitution string %%BASEFILENAME_FROM_TRIGGER%%.csv.pgp, this way you would only import files that are fully uploaded and are ready to be picked up.

Moreover, you can review this brilliant article by Gortonington to understand how it is better to set up your Import and File Transfer activities.

  • heyo, thanks so much for the response. That seems strange, I updated my description above to outline the three steps I have in my automation and the filedrop will pick up .writing extension files but the subsequent two steps will not fail. They will still process even with how i setup the activities for import and data extract. Please see update.
    – user80446
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 17:16
  • Yes, you can use only 3 simple operators in the File Drop, thus the automation would be triggered even when a file has the .writing extension. As for the next 2 activities, it might happen that by the time the automation is initialized the file gets prepared, and thus it goes to Import activity fully. Have you checked if you are actually importing all the records or not?
    – Niko
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 17:33
  • Nothing is being imported into the data extension, 2 records should be. That's why i'm at a loss.
    – user80446
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 17:40
  • Allright, based on your updated description, you are importing %%BASEFILENAME_FROM_TRIGGER%%.csv.pgp, which is still an encrypted file and could not be recognized. Once you decrypt it, the file drops .pgp extension and you need to import %%BASEFILENAME_FROM_TRIGGER%%.csv. Also, you need to make sure that the location of the result of decryption and importing source are in the same places, it could be SF Safehouse or SFTP Import folder.
    – Niko
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 17:51
  • When i upload a file, i explicitly drop it into import\test. This is where i have the File Drop reading from. The import file activity, should it read from ExactTarget Enhanced FTP or from import\test?
    – user80446
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 18:09

You must log in to answer this question.