Server! v6.0 is coming: here’s what you should know about it

The new version is an immense leap forward in secure file transfer and enterprise collaboration. And it opens a whole new chapter in our entire company’s life.

Since its first inception in 2014, Server! has rapidly established itself as one of the world’s leading secure file transfer solutions. It’s trusted by corporations of all sizes as well as government entities and defense agencies all over the world. And it features some rare (if not unique) traits:

  • Unlike the competition, at the time this article is being written, Server! has no known vulnerability filed in the NVE database (operated by NIST, which includes MITRE’s CVE database)
  • No customer has ever reported a successful hacking operation that was able to compromise Server!’s security or the security of the data it was employed to protect

Now, as the time to release Server! v6 gets closer and closer, we decided to break the silence, and share with the world what we’re going to deliver, and why this is so important.

It almost had a different name

At one point, during the early stages of development, we realized that v6.0 was going to be so radically better and feature-rich than any prior version, that we even considered giving it a different name, and calling it the “version 1.0” of an entirely new software product. But it also builds on the legacy of security and invulnerability built over the course of the past 8 years by all the versions that preceded it, so — eventually — we elected to keep calling it Server!, and we attributed to it the next logical version number (that is 6.0).

It’s even more secure (by a lot)

In versions 1.x through 5.x, weaker encryption/HMAC/key-exchange algorithms were still there. They were disabled by default, and confined in the “experts only” page of the configuration UI. But they were still there, and a careless system administrator could have enabled by simply ticking a check-box. We thought that — in very extreme cases — they could be of help dealing with older client software, only to find out that literally not a single one of our customers has ever enabled them.

Version 6.0 removes such weak algorithms from the code itself. They aren’t disabled and hidden somewhere out of reach. They simple aren’t even in the source code of the software. This is a no-compromise approach to security, which always has been, and always will be, our main focus and top priority.

And that’s not all there is to it. Server! v6.0 improves its logical security also by adding more controls to its Virtual File System (VFS) subsystem, expanding on the automatic anti-hacking monitor (Syncplify Protector™), separating privileges in a much more granular way, reorganizing administration APIs, unifying data access APIs, and a plethora of additional automatic security checks and controls that are always at work to protect our customers’ data.

But it’s also much, much faster!

Everyone knows: the price of additional security is a decrease in speed and performance. So, it would be reasonable to expect version 6.0 to be slightly (just a little bit) slower than its predecessors.

Well, it isn’t. And since they say a picture is worth a thousand words: Server! v6.0 performing 6.5x faster than v5.0

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. The test shown in the picture was performed on the same hardware and VM, in the exact same conditions, using the same client software and transferring the same file from the same original location to the same target location. Everything was exactly the same, except for the server engine being tested.

And it unequivocally shows Server! v6.0 SFTP engine being more than six time faster than its fastest predecessor (v5.x).

Finally a unified scripting environment! Server! is a server software (duh!) while AFT! is a client software, so it’s quite obvious that their scripting languages must be totally different. Or so we thought. For years.

And for that reason the two scripting environments have been growing so far apart that by Server! v5 and AFT! v3 they were practically totally different.

Not anymore.

By the time Server! v6 and AFT! v4 are released, both software will have converged on the common use of the aftJS language, a flavor of JavaScript of our own invention, which is at the same time surprisingly easy to use and shockingly powerful.

The only differences left will be the variables and objects that are intrinsic to each execution environment (for example: a server is aware of its client sessions, whereas there is not even such concept in a client). But, aside from that, all syntax, functions, methods, philosophy, and mechanics are absolutely the same.

aftJS script example

No more Windows-only: Now available on Linux

The cross-platform trend here at Syncplify was set when we released AFT! for Windows and Linux.

But, in all fairness, the 800-pound gorilla is Server!, which is undoubtedly our flagship software product. Most customers saw this coming, so we’re happy to officially confirm that version 6.0 will be available for Windows and Linux (and possibly other systems) running natively on both x86 and ARM processor architectures.

No tricks, no gimmicks, no clunky on-the-fly runtime translation layers: just pure performance through natively compiled code for each platform and architecture.

Better and easier management

The previous and current versions (v4.x and v5.x) already provide 3 ways to manage and configure the software, but at least two of them had some “quirks”. Nothing that customers don’t want to deal with, but still something that leaves room for improvement:

  • The main administration tool is the web UI (split into SuperAdmin and Admin interfaces) which has proven to be pretty good and well-liked by most customers
  • There is also a rich set of REST APIs, which covers almost all configuration aspects, but in v4 and v5 these are not based on OpenAPI
  • The third administration tool is a command-line utility, which is totally custom, and therefore hardly ever used by anyone

Version 6.0, on the other hand, will feature the following administration and management tools:

  • Improved web UIs (SuperAdmin and Admin) which will be both easier to use and more granular than its predecessor
  • A 100% OpenAPI-compliant REST API substrate
  • An official PowerShell module (for all platforms) for those who like the command-line, but also want the flexibility and integration of PowerShell
Syncplify Server! v6 Admin UI
Syncplify Server! v6 Admin UI — Real-Time Dashboard Server! v6.0 being configured via PowerShell on Linux

Totally redesigned and more powerful WebClient!

The WebClient! option for Syncplify Server! was probably the component that needed a serious redesign effort the most. In fact, Server! v5.0 first introduced WebClient! v1.0 (see the version difference here?) but since then — thanks to our customers’ feedback — we learned a lot. So, here’s what to expect from the new WebClient! v6.0 that will come as an optional component of Syncplify Server! v6.0 (yes, no longer two distinct products, but to components of the same product version):

  • A much much improved UI and, especially, UX
  • A 100% OpenAPI-compliant REST API substrate
  • No longer implemented as an HTTPS-to-SFTP pseudo-bridge, but as a true and native HTTPS REST service
  • No longer an external process, but a protocol handler 100% integrated within the SFTP server process, capable of leveraging users, VFSs, LDAP, logging, scripting (etc…) without the need for IPC (inter-process communication)
  • No longer based on Windows’ so-called http.sys subsystem, instead it’s a native cross-platform design and implementation
  • Far more secure than the previous version, with off-the-shelf TLS1.3 and only secure cipher-suites enabled

And if you’re curious to see what it looks like, here’s a few screenshots:

WebClient! — File Manager
WebClient! — Shared objects (directories/files) with advanced features
WebClient! — Interactive multi-file upload with progress

We’re also open-sourcing something

Even though we are not in a position to give away our intellectual property, we believe that our customers, and the community at large, could contribute greatly when it comes to management tools.

Therefore, we have decided that:

  • The OpenAPI (aka Swagger) definition for all management APIs will be open-sourced and published when the software is released
  • The full source code to the PowerShell management module for Server! v6 has already been open-sourced

If you’re a customer, or a Server! v6 user, feel free to contribute to its management libraries and tools, make them more suitable to your real-life scenarios, and contribute them back to the community. Thank you!

New “customer center” web portal

When Server! v6 is released, we will also release AFT! v4, and a brand new “customer center” web portal. This web interface will allow all of our customers to perform, by themselves, operations that up till now required the intervention of our staff, namely:

  • SuperAdmin password reset
  • Creation of offline activation codes (to activate your license on machines that are not connected to the Internet)
  • License reallocation (disable a license from one machine, and reactivate it on a different machine)
  • Buy new licenses, and buy or extend existing maintenance/support subscriptions for existing licenses
  • And much more…

And all of this in “the time of COVID”

Let’s be honest: COVID-19 has destabilized the whole world, ruined entire economies, and taken a heart-wrecking human-life toll.

In such unpredictable times, many companies have been reducing costs, letting some of their personnel go, postponing new development plans, just trying to stay alive. And, in spite of this, many have gone out of business.

In the midst of all this, we at Syncplify have made a radically different decision: we hired more people, and we boosted our investments in every way: infrastructure, services, and development. All of this to make sure that when Server! v6 is released, it will be our best version to date.

We believe the future is bright, and we invest in it.

Final notes

To all of you, Syncplify users and customer, goes our most heartfelt Thank You, and our promise to keep improving our software and solutions, so that you can use them ever more effectively in your own environments.



Here at Syncplify we simplify all file transfer and synchronization processes with our suite of skillfully designed software.

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Here at Syncplify we simplify all file transfer and synchronization processes with our suite of skillfully designed software.