0 votes
by (120 points)

We have a project where we need to transmit files using SFTP in a dotnet 4.0 environment.

We are seriously considering your rebex product http://www.rebex.net/sftp.net/features/standards.aspx but are trying to compare it to secureblackbox's sftp product which appears to provide similar SFTP functionality. But we are a little confused as to if that will handle all our needs if we simply need to connect to, upload files, and disconnect from an SFTP server since you have several products listed at http://www.rebex.net/sftp.net/purchase.aspx including sftp and ssh pack - not sure which one we really need or what is the difference between them.

We are concerned that it appears that rebex does not support some protocols and authentication schemes that secureblackbox sftp appears to support as seen on https://www.eldos.com/sbb/compare-sftp-net.php

Also what are other benefits that rebex product has compared to the secure blackbox sftp product?

Applies to: Rebex SFTP

3 Answers

+1 vote
by (145k points)
edited by

Sorry for the confusion – the product you need is Rebex SFTP – you can download a trial here. (Rebex SSH Pack includes Rebex SSH Shell component in addition to Rebex SFTP).

Both Rebex STP and Eldos SFTPBlackBox are mature products that will undoubtedly cover 99% of usage scenarios. If any features are missing in either one, it's most likely those that are rarely needed.

If unsure which product to choose, then my advice is – instead of comparing the feature lists, give both components a try and choose the one that works and whose API you actually like more! :-)

And if there are any missing features you actually need, both Rebex and Eldos are friendly vendors that will happily add them for you unless it's something tricky (but beware, not all vendors are like this).

This said, let me point out few inaccuracies in the Eldos's comparison chart. I'm sure this is unintentional – naturally, their component is the one they are most familiar with, and although we have an extensive feature list, some of these features were hard to find in the previous version of our website. So here goes:

  1. Price – The starting price of Rebex SFTP is $349, not $449. Although you won't get the source code, you can distribute the DLLs to your clients without any additional royalty fees, which you can't do with Eldos's cheapest licensing schemes.
    Also, I'm unsure about Eldos' claimed starting price of $294. Using their calculator, the lowest quote I managed to get (.NET edition / SFTPBlackBox client / In-House / 1 Developer / USD) was $339, and you can't distribute the DLLs to your clients with that license – you would need to get 'Vendor' license, which costs $465.

  2. Evaluation – I bet one can easily convince the other vendors to extend their evaluation periods as well. It's just usually not advertised as a feature... But still, if you do need to extend Rebex SFTP's trial period, just ask! :-)

  3. Platforms – Rebex SFTP works with ASP.NET as well (with necessary permissions – it uses TCP sockets). We support Mono, Xamarin.iOS, Xamarin.Android, Xamarin.Mac, Windows Store 8.0 Apps, Windows Store 8.1 PCL (Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1), Universal Windows Platform (Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 IoT) and have experimental support for .NET Core.

  4. SSH server component – We now have SFTP Server component as well.

  5. Transport layer (sockets/custom) – We do support any custom transport as well.

  6. Proxy support – In addition to what's in the chart, we support using an SSH server as a proxy. We also support NTLM authentication for HTTP CONNECT proxies (optionally with single sign-on).

  7. SFTP versions supported – This is a tricky one! The SFTP protocol is no longer evolving and is currently described by "IETF draft documents" that have been "expired" for years. One of the reasons for this unfortunate state is that it was getting somewhat out of hand and the IETF working group responsible for SSH decided to cease working on it. In words of OpenSSH (which includes the most commonly used SFTP server) developers, "more recent versions of the [...] drafts [... are hopelessly bloated and broken" and OpenSSH won't even be supporting those more recent versions (v4 to v6). We mostly agree with them, but we still implemented v4 which actually still includes useful features such as mandatory UTF-8 charset support, text-file support and string-based owner/group attributes support, and v4 is actually supported by a lot of servers. On the other hand, we agree that v5 and v6 are not even worth supporting. As for v2 support - this version is not even defined by the expired IETF drafts (the first one already defined v3) and we believe it to be extinct. No one ever asked for it since the first release of Rebex SFTP in 2006. In fact, no one even mentioned it... But it's almost identical to v3, which means we can add support it within hours if you need it and if any server actually supports it (and doesn't support v3).

  8. SSH authentication schemes – Yes, it's true that we don't support some of those authentication schemes at the moment. There seems to be no demand for them, so we concentrated instead on more useful features. However, adding support for custom GSS-API modules or host-based schemes would be trivial, it's just that no one ever asked. If you need any of the missing schemes, just let us know and you might be pleasantly surprised soon. Also, as far as I know, Pageant or ssh-agent are not really "authentication schemes", but rather means of storing and accessing the actual private keys.

  9. SSH key management – we do support DSS and RSA keys as well (you can use .NET's RSACryptoServiceProvider and DSACryptoServiceProvider with Rebex SFTP).

  10. Low-level SFTP methods – we do support low-level read and write through Sftp object's GetStream method. We don't support lock because it was introduced in SFTP v5 (see point 7).

But frankly, what's most interesting is not what is in the chart, but rather what is not there. Some highlights from our feature list:

  • High-level API featuring powerful yet simple-to-use methods such as Upload/Download.
  • Common API for SFTP and FTP (includes FTP/SSL). If you plan to ever support the FTP protocol as well, you will find our IFtp interface very useful.
  • Rebex SFTP includes support for the SCP "protocol" (through a separate object). This is very useful when working with SSH servers that don't support SFTP.
  • Rebex SFTP integrates nicely with Rebex SSH Shell which adds terminal emulation capabilities – it's even possible to share a single SSH session for both SFTP and SSH terminal emulation.
  • We have .NET 4.0-style asynchronous API that greatly simplifies asynchronous programming when use
+1 vote
by (330 points)

As a customer of Eldos SecureBlackbox, I want to note that their APIs are awfull to say the least. They don't follow common .NET API design guidlines. Naming is in parts really bad. Constants are not grouped within enumerations, so searching fitting constants for a particular method parameter can become quite challenging. And so on...

I understand that Eldos comes from the Delphi/Prism sphere. They don't seem to do vanilla .NET development, instead they compile their Delphi/Prism sources to .NET IL. Maybe that's why they don't take advantage of modern language features like enums und async. But as .NET developer I'm just used to work with much cleaner and nicer APIs.

+1 vote
by (160 points)

I think Rebex SFTP for .NET is suite for you. I use it to transmit files in my project successfully.

by (630 points)
Lukas, I see this thread is dated. Is it possible to provide the comparison data now for the parameters you listed. I am inclined towards Rebex but wanted to prove to my management that you are the best in market.
by (145k points)
After a quick glance at the current version of the Eldos comparison chart, I would say that it looks like it has not been updated at all in those 3 years.
This means that what I wrote back then still applies. They still list wrong price, they still claim we don't support keyboard-interactive authentication method, RSA/DSS keys or any low-level SFTP methods. We also offer an SFTP server component now. They still don't even mention that in addition to .NET and .NET CF, we also support Mono, Xamarin.Android, Xamarin.iOS, Xamarin.Mac and have experimental support for Windows Store 8.0 Apps, Windows Store 8.1 Apps, Windows Phone 8.1, Universal Windows Platform and .NET Core...
I understand that the purpose of the chart is not to provide any useful comparison, but to convince readers to choose Eldos. But the fact that they have to skew even their arbitrarily-selected criteria in their favor is actually quite telling.
by (58.9k points)
I would like to give you a big +1 like here Lukas, but this forum does not seem to support it! :-D
by (630 points)
I see 'No royalty' as a big change in stance from Eldos compared to earlier release. Eldos comparison chart may be skewed. But I am looking for the edge Rebex gives me compared to Eldos. Can you give the parameters on which Rebex stands taller than Eldos. I will have to pitch it to my management.
by (145k points)
Sorry, we are not familiar with Eldos products enough to be able to quickly come up with a thorough list of what we do better. There are certainly features that Eldos supports and we don't (if you need any of the additional ciphers, let us know). However, if I had to name just 4 things at which we are better, it would be:

1. Rebex SFTP seems to feature much more powerful high-level API (compare https://www.rebex.net/doc/api/Rebex.Net.Sftp.html and https://www.eldos.com/documentation/sbb/documentation/ref_cl_sftpclient.html). Eldos doesn't seem to have this: http://www.rebex.net/sftp.net/features/multiple-files-operations.aspx#upload-download

2. Rebex SFTP has very simple pricing & licensing terms (compare https://www.eldos.com/sbb/price-list.php?fon=SFTPCli&filter=Show+my+options and https://www.rebex.net/sftp.net/purchase.aspx).

3. Rebex SFTP is written in 100% C# with no external dependencies or third-party code (compare http://www.rebex.net/sftp.net/features/standards.aspx#pure-net and https://www.eldos.com/security/articles/1988.php & https://www.eldos.com/documentation/sbb/documentation/ref_gen_patents.html).

4. Rebex SFTP already works on the new .NET Core platform and full support for it is coming soon (see http://forum.rebex.net/6028/net-core-runtime-support).