Google Drive SFTP Integration: 2 Easy Methods

By: Published: June 16, 2021

Setting Up Google Drive SFTP Integration

Google Drive is an incredibly robust service for cloud backups. Most people think of it as a barebones cloud system, but that’s arguably a major understatement. It’s a powerful cloud platform that you can access from anywhere in the world, and it also allows you to store and access data in different formats. SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) is a network protocol that offers file transfer, file access, and file management over any reliable data stream.

Google Drive is very similar to conventional FTP/SFTP services, and the best thing is that you can easily integrate Google Drive. In this article, you will get a brief idea of the methods you can use to set up Google Drive SFTP Integration. It begins with an introduction to Google Drive and SFTP before diving into the main topic.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Google Drive

Google Drive logo
Image Source

Google Drive has established itself as a ubiquitous synchronization and file storage service developed by Google. Google Drive integrates seamlessly with Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Docs among other apps that allow your team to effectively collaborate in real-time.

Businesses primarily rely on Google Drive because of the infrastructure. The tech stack is built on top of Google Cloud Storage, one of the most widely used IaaS offerings in the market. Moreover, Google Drive comes with free access to a plethora of web-based applications that make running a business considerably easy, and best of all, they integrate very well with other services offered by Google.

Understanding the SFTP FTP Differences

SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol. Think of it as an encrypted and more secure version of a standard File Transfer Protocol. Businesses and organizations primarily use SFTP because it’s safer and because their data remains encrypted.

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol – it is the most used protocol for downloading or uploading files from a server. FTP can be used for transferring files between different computers. Any remote host that is running an FTP can connect to a localhost machine (the user’s computer) through an Internet connection, allowing for a seamless fil transfer.

FTP vs SFTP | Top 12 Differences You Should Know
Image Source

But, uploading files straight from an FTP or SFTP to Google Drive often leads to complications. You might get an error that says you can’t upload your data feed unless you register it with a Google Merchant Center. Moreover, it’s also important to note that when you upload data feeds using FTP or SFTP, the files should be under 4 GB (compressed or uncompressed). 

Because of the hassle involved, direct SFTP integration with Google Drive is often difficult to achieve. That is why you need to use a third-party tool like Hevo, which comes with default integrations across numerous applications, databases, and cloud storage platforms like Google Drive.

Download the Guide on How to Set Up a Data Analytics Stack
Download the Guide on How to Set Up a Data Analytics Stack
Download the Guide on How to Set Up a Data Analytics Stack
Learn how to build a self-service data analytics stack for your use case.
Simplify your Data Analysis with Hevo’s No-code Data Pipeline

A fully managed No-code Data Pipeline platform like Hevo helps you integrate data from 100+ data sources like SFTP or Google Drive (including 30+ Free Data Sources) to a destination of your choice in real-time in an effortless manner. Hevo with its minimal learning curve can be set up in just a few minutes allowing the users to load data without having to compromise performance. Its strong integration with umpteenth sources allows users to bring in data of different kinds in a smooth fashion without having to code a single line. 

Check out some of the cool features of Hevo:

  • Completely Automated: The Hevo platform can be set up in just a few minutes and requires minimal maintenance.
  • Transformations: Hevo provides preload transformations through Python code. It also allows you to run transformation code for each event in the pipelines you set up. You need to edit the properties of the event object received in the transform method as a parameter to carry out the transformation. Hevo also offers drag and drop transformations like Date and Control Functions, JSON, and Event Manipulation to name a few. These can be configured and tested before putting them to use.
  • Connectors: Hevo supports 100+ integrations to SaaS platforms, files, databases, analytics, and BI tools. It supports various destinations including Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, Snowflake Data Warehouses; Amazon S3 Data Lakes; and MySQL, MongoDB, TokuDB, DynamoDB, PostgreSQL databases to name a few.  
  • Real-Time Data Transfer: Hevo provides real-time data migration, so you can have analysis-ready data always.
  • 100% Complete & Accurate Data Transfer: Hevo’s robust infrastructure ensures reliable data transfer with zero data loss.
  • Scalable Infrastructure: Hevo has in-built integrations for 100+ sources, that can help you scale your data infrastructure as required.
  • 24/7 Live Support: The Hevo team is available round the clock to extend exceptional support to you through chat, email, and support calls.
  • Schema Management: Hevo takes away the tedious task of schema management & automatically detects the schema of incoming data and maps it to the destination schema.
  • Live Monitoring: Hevo allows you to monitor the data flow so you can check where your data is at a particular point in time.

You can try Hevo for free by signing up for a 14-day free trial.

Understanding the Google Drive SFTP Integration Setup

Now that you have a brief idea about the features and benefits of Google Drive and SFTP, you can take a look at the two methods that can be used to set up Google Drive SFTP Integration. The Google Drive SFTP Access methods are as follows:

Method 1: Using Microsoft Flow for Google Drive SFTP Integration

Image Source

What if you want to mirror files on your SFTP server and Google Drive before the data is transferred to a warehouse and processed? This can be done using a third-party tool like Microsoft Flow. 

If you want to transfer files from an FTP server to Google Drive, you can use any Desktop FTP client like Transmit. However, this means having to transfer files manually, which is not feasible for organizations. That’s where Microsoft Flow comes in. 

Flow is an automation service that works similar to Zapier and allows you to create workflows that run every 15 minutes. You can set up a connector to automate file transfer from SFTP to Google Drive. 

  • Step 1: Visit the Connectors page and select the SFTP or FTP service.
  • Step 2: You need to define a trigger that initiates the workflow. For instance, you could trigger the workflow whenever a file is added to the SFTP server.
  • Step 3: Add details for your SFTP server, including the SSH private key, passphrase, username, and password.
  • Step 4: Specify the path that Flow should monitor for any new changes.
  • Step 5: Then, simply select “Add Action” and select Google Drive from the list of Connectors. You can choose to “Create File” whenever a new one is detected on your SFTP server.
  • Step 6: You can also specify any specific folder in Drive where the files can be saved. Content fields and names can also be defined accordingly. Make sure you test the SFTP Google Drive flow before saving it.

Some limitations of this method are,

  • There are limitations in terms of supported servers, encryption protocols, and file transfer capabilities.
  • There is a possibility of encountering performance issues, especially when dealing with large file transfers or a high volume of SFTP operations.
  • There are chances for potential security risks, indicating that Microsoft Flow’s security mechanisms might not be as comprehensive as needed for sensitive data transfers.

Method 2: Using Google Drive FTP Adapter for Google Drive SFTP Integration

What if you want to mirror files on your SFTP server and Google Drive before the data is transferred to a warehouse and processed? This can be done using an open-source tool like Filezilla, which is a commonly used FTP solution.

If you want to transfer files from an FTP server to Google Drive, you can use any Desktop FTP client like Filezilla. However, this means having to transfer files manually, which is not feasible for organizations. Hevo allows you to automate this through its Data Pipeline solution. 

To Connect to Google Drive via SFTP you can follow the steps given below:

  • Step 1: The Google Drive FTP Adapter makes it easy to establish Google Drive SFTP Integration. Once you launch the google-drive-ftp-adapter, add your username and password, host, and port, and authorize the app to access your Google account.
  • Step 2: You must click on “Open connection” in order to establish a connection. A confirmation will appear in the console at the bottom. 
  • Step 3: Then, you just need to get your FTP client up and running. Use the same settings that you added in the google-drive-ftp-adapter including the host, user, password, and port. 
  • Step 4: Then, just select “Quickconnect,” and all the contents of your Google Drive will show on the FTP client. You can also configure your profile on Filezilla in order to save your settings. 

Keep in mind that with the FTP adapter, you can only access the My Drive section of your Google Drive. The Shared with Me section is not available at the time. 


This blog talked about the steps you can use to set up Google Drive SFTP Integration by using two tools: Microsoft Flow and Google Drive FTP Adapter.

Extracting complex data from a diverse set of data sources to carry out an insightful analysis can be a challenging task and this is where Hevo saves the day! Hevo offers a faster way to move data from Databases or SaaS applications like SFTP or Google Drive into your Data Warehouse to be visualized in a BI tool. Hevo is fully automated and hence does not require you to code. You can try Hevo for free by signing up for a 14-day free trial. You can also have a look at the unbeatable pricing that will help you choose the right plan for your business needs.

Najam Ahmed
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Skilled in freelance writing within the data industry, Najam is passionate about simplifying the complexities of data integration and data analysis through informative content for those delving deeper into these subjects.

No-code Data Pipeline For Your Data Warehouse