The Event Manager

About Event Rules

Available in Cerberus FTP Server Enterprise edition, the Event Manager allows an administrator to configure email notification, perform file operation or batch file actions, and carry out certain server operations based off of server events.

Event rules are based on the simple premise that an event occurs that triggers an action. There are several different rule types, and for each rule type there is a corresponding event that can trigger that rule.

You can further restrict a rule by specifying additional conditions on the event that must exist before the rule’s actions are taken.

For example, suppose you have a folder into which customers can upload files. You can set up an event rule that monitors that folder, and when someone uploads a file into that folder, the rule moves the file to another folder, and then sends an e-mail to an administrator informing them that a file has been moved.

You can also set up a rule that only moves particular files. For example, you can configure the rule to move only the files that end in .zip, or you can route particular files to different folders.

An event rule consists of a triggering event (e.g. a File Transfer), any optional conditions affecting that event (e.g. uploaded by a specific user), and the resulting actions that are carried out (e.g. moving the file, or sending an email to an administrator). You can modify your rules any time in the event manager.

The Event Targets page

The Event Targets page allows an administrator to add email servers, executable files, and HTTP endpoints as event targets. Many of the actions you can invoke as part of an event rule, or scheduled task, require an event target. For example, the “Email someone” action requires an email server, and the “Launch an executable” action requires the file path to the executable file. Those event targets can be defined here.

There are also certain server actions that can require an SMTP server, like public file sharing, or password expiration notification. You will first need to add at least one SMTP server here before the server can carry out those operations.


The Event Target page of the Event Manager

When you update the settings for an SMTP server, executable, or HTTP target on the Event Targets page, all of the rules that use those targets will get the updates settings.

Available Target Types

There are three different type of event targets you can add for use in event rules and scheduled tasks.

SMTP Server Targets

You can add SMTP servers using the SMTP Server Target box. Cerberus currently supports the SMTP protocol, including SMTP with SSL encryption and STARTTLS. If your server requires it, SMTP server credentials can be configured by selecting the SMTP Authentication checkbox.

Executable Targets

Cerberus can be configured to launch an .exe, .bat, or .com file as an action for any event. Just select a file path and press the “Add” button to make an executable target available for selection when adding and editing rules. Command line options for the executable are specified on a per action basis from the rule editing page.


This options allows you to specify a URL that will receive an HTTP or HTTPS POST containing all of the rule’s variables. Variables are included in a POST request using application/x-www-form-urlencoded encoding.

Adding a New Event Target

Press the New button at the top of the Event Targets page. A dialog will prompt you for the type of target you wish to add.

Modifying an existing event target.

Select the event target in the Targets list. An edit section for that target will appear below the event targets list. Press the Update button after making your changes to save those settings to the server.

The Rules page

The Rules page provides an overview of all of the rules you have added. From this page you can Add, Delete, Clone, or Enable and Disable a rule.

You can enable or disable a rule from this page. Whenever a rule is disabled, that rule is no longer checked whenever the system generates an event that would normally trigger the rule.


Rules List page of the Event Manager

Selecting a rule from the Event Rules table will open up a summary of the rule for editing.

The Edit Rule page

Select a rule from the rules list to open it for editing.


Rule Editing in the Event Manager

Available Event Rule Types

A rule is defined by the type of event that triggers it. Each rule has a single event type associated with it. When that event occurs, any rules associated with that event type are triggered. The following rule event types are available:

  • File Transfer Event

    This event is triggered whenever a user uploads a file to the server, or downloads a file from the server through an authenticated Cerberus account. This event is not generated for public share file downloads. There is a separate event for public file downloads.

  • IP Blocked Event

    This event is triggered whenever the server adds an IP address to the block list.

  • User Account Blocked Event

    This event is triggered whenever a user account is locked out because of a policy violation (too many failed login attempts).

  • User Disable Date Elapsed

    This event is triggered whenever a user account is disabled because the disable date for the account has elapsed, or because the account has exceeded the last login time threshold.

  • Account Password Expiring Event

    This event is triggered when an account password is set to expire. The number of days before expiration that this event is sent is based upon the password expiration policy settings.

  • New Account Request Event

    This event is triggered when a new account request is submitted through the HTTP/S web client.

  • Login Event

    This event is triggered whenever a user attempts to login to the server.

  • Logoff Event

    This event is triggered whenever a user logs off the server.

  • Directory Created Event

    This event is triggered whenever a user creates a directory on the server.

  • File Deleted Event

    This event is triggered whenever a user deletes a file or folder on the server.

  • File Move/Copy Event

    This event is triggered when a file or directory is moved or copied by a user.

  • Upgrade Available Event

    This event is triggered whenever the server detects that a new version of Cerberus FTP Server is available.

  • Public File Share Event

    This event is triggered whenever a public file share link is generated for a file by a user. A public file share link is generated whenever a user uses the Share or Email button in the HTTPS web client to generate a new public link.

  • Public File Download Event

    This event is triggered whenever a publicly shared file is downloaded from the server. This event will not be generated for a file download by an authenticated (logged in) Cerberus user.

  • Backup Server Synchronized

    This event is triggered after the server attempts to synchronize settings to a backup server.

Adding New Rule or Editting an Existing Rule

To add a new rule:

  1. Go to the Event Rules page of the Event Manager
  2. Click the New button at the top of the page. The Add a New Rule dialog will appear.
  3. Select the Rule Type for your new rule option. The rule type will determine what server event triggers this rule.
  4. Enter a name for your rule in the Rule Name edit box.
  5. Press the Add New Rule button on the Add A New Rule dialog to save and add the new Event Rule. The event rule will be selected and ready for editing on the Event Rules page.

To edit an existing rule:

  1. Go to the Event Rules page of the Event Manager
  2. Select the name of the existing rule you wish to edit from the event rules table. The event rule should appear and be ready for editing.

Changing the Name of a Rule

You can change the name of an existing rule by selecting it in the rules table. You can then modify the Rule Name under the Rule Summary section. After entering the new Rule Name, press the Update button attached to the Rule Name text field.

Adding Rule Conditions

You can add a new condition to an event rule by pressing the Create button in the Event Conditions header. The new condition section will appear below the header.

A rule’s actions are carried out whenever that rule’s event trigger happens. For example, a Login Event rule will be triggered whenever a user logs into the server. Conditions (also called filters) can be placed on rules to further modify if an event matches a rule. For example, a Login Event rule can have a filter placed on it that requires the username of the user logging in to match a specific name or be in a list of names before the rule’s actions are invoked. There are three modes that influence how conditions or filters are applied.

Rule Matching Modes

The three rule matching modes are:

Match All Events This rule will always be triggered whenever the rule’s event occurs.
Match If Any Filters Match This rule will be triggered whenever the rule’s event occurs and if any of the conditions listed are fulfilled
Match If All Filters Match This rule will only be triggered whenever the rule’s event occurs and if all of the conditions listed are fulfilled

Rule Variables

Each event type has specific variables that can be used as part of a condition or action. A rule condition consists of a variable, a comparison operation to perform on that variable, and a set of values to compare the variable to. For example, an IP Blocked event has an {{IP}} variable associated with it that contains the IP address that was blocked. You can use the variable in a condition to help decide if the event should trigger the rule.

You can determine what rule variables are available for each event type by looking in the Rule Variables combo box, or by pressing Variables button in the Rule Summary header.

Condition Operations

A condition is basically a comparison operation of an event variable to a set of values. The comparison operations you can perform are detailed below:

  • > (Greater than or Equal To)
  • ≥ (Greater than)
  • < (Less than)
  • ≤ (Less than or Equal To)
  • = (Equal To)
  • != (Not Equal To)
  • Contains
  • Starts with
  • Ends with
  • Regular Express match

Once a comparison operation is selected, you can enter the values to compare to. There is a text field labeled “Values” below the comparisons select control that you use to enter values to compare the rule variable to. Multiple values can be entered by separating the values with a comma. Each value is checked, and if any are a match then the condition is considered fulfilled (or true).

Press the plus( ) button next to the Values text box to add the new rule condition to the event rule.

The new event condition will appear at the bottom of the Event Conditions section.

Deleting an Event Condition

You can delete an existing event condition by pressing the red ( ) button next to the event condition.

Rule Actions

Rule actions are the operations the administrator wishes the server to carry out in response to server events that match their rule conditions. Event actions can be of two types:

  1. Normal top-level actions that get executed sequentially, or
  2. Failure actions that get executed whenever the event action they are associated with fails

Actions are normally executed one after the other, in a sequential order. Failure actions are always associated with a top-level action, and only get executed if the action they are associated with fails. The failure action is executed right after the action it is associated with.

Each top-level action has a “Stop on Failure” option. If the “Stop on Failure” option is checked, no further actions will be executed for the event rule if the action fails (other than any failure action associated with the top-level action).

Adding Rule Actions

When an event matches all of the conditions of a rule then the rule actions are carried out. The current rule actions allow an administrator to:

  • Send an email message detailing the event that occurred
  • Send an email session report of all user activity when a user logs off
  • Launch an external process
  • Perform a file copy, move, delete or directory create or delete operation
  • Perform a user or group delete or disable

Each action can have optional parameters such as the email name and address to send a message to, or the path from and path to for a file move or copy operation. In addition, rule variables can be specified as parameters for the external processes command line or file operation parameters. You can use a rule variable as a parameter and when the rule is actually triggered, the variable’s value will be substituted for the variable. You specify variables by enclosing the variable in double brackets, i.e. {{U}}.

To add a new Action to a Rule:

These instructions assume you have selected a rule for editing from the rules tables.

  1. Go to the ACTIONS section of the event rule.
  2. Press the Create button in the ACTIONS header. The new action section will appear below the ACTIONs header.
  3. Select an action from the Action drop-down list (i.e., Email someone)
  4. Select any secondary actions associated with that action (i.e, an email server for emailing someone)
  5. New fields will appear below the Actions drop-down lists based on the action and secondary action selected
  6. Fill in the details for that action (i.e., an email address)
  7. If you for the rule action list to stop executing if this action fails then select the “Stop on Failure” option for the action.
  8. Press the plus ( ) button to add the new action to the rule

The new event action will be added to the bottom of the Actions section. New actions will be added to the bottom of the list, and will be executed in the order they appear in the list.

Editing an Existing Rule Action

You can edit an existing rule action by selecting the Action button to the left of the event action. Selecting the Action button will bring up a menu of available operations you can perform on the event action.

Select the Edit Action button from the menu that appears to have the action selected in the Actions section.


The Action editing menu on the Event Rules page

Deleting an Existing Rule Action

You can delete an existing rule action by selecting the Action button to the left of the event action.

Select the Delete button from the menu that appears to have the action deleted from the event rule.

Changing the order an action is executed

You change the existing execution order of event actions by selecting the Action button of the event action you wish to change.

Select the Move Action Up or Move Action Down to swap positions with the action above or below the selected action.

Creating a Failure Action

Each action can have a failure action associated with it. Failure actions are additional actions that only get executed whenever the action they are associated with fails. For example, you can add an “Email Someone” failure action to an action to email the administrator whenever the top-level action the failure actions is associated with fails. Or, you can try the action a second time as your failure action.

The same action options are available as failure actions as are available for top-level actions.

To create a failure action, create a new action as you normally would for a top-level action. Use the Move Up or Move Down action options to place the new failure action below the top-level action you wish it to be associated with.

Once the action you wish to associate as failure action is below the top-level action, select the “Assign as Failure Action” option from the Actions button next to the failure action. You will now see the action become indented under the top-level action, and the text “if fail then” appear in front of the failure action.

Removing a failure action

Removing a failure action just requires pressing the Action button associated with the failure action’s top-level action, and then selecting the “Detach Failure Action” option from the menu that appears.

Detaching a failure option from a top-level action will make the failure action a normal top-level action again. You can then move it around, re-assign it as a failure action of another top-level action, or delete it.

Event Tasks

Event tasks are similar to event rules. However, rather than being triggered whenever an event like a file upload or directory creation occurs, event tasks are time-based, and occur on an admin-defined schedule.
Administrators can configure event tasks to occur once, or to repeat every minute, hour, day, week, weekday, month, or year.
You can create and edit event tasks on the Event Tasks page of the Event Manager.

Adding a schedule to an Event Task

Schedules can be added to event tasks in a similar way that event conditions are added to event rules.

  1. Specify a Start Date for the scheduled task. If you do not specify a Start Date then the task will be executed immediately.
  2. Select how often you want the task to repeat. You can select a period and frequency. For example, every 5 hours.
  3. Press the plus (+) button to add the schedule to the task.

Adding and editing Event Task Actions

Please see the section on adding and editing actions in the Event Rules help section. The process is identical for scheduled tasks.

The Folder Monitor

The Folder Monitor page allows you to configure the server to monitor a top level folder and subfolders for setting up a file retention policy.

You can configure a directory and subdirectories to be monitored for files older than a specified time period. The directory will be checked at an administrator-defined interval, and files older than the specified age will be deleted.


Folder Monitor for configuring file retention policies

Check out our video tutorial on the Folder Manager

Other Event Settings

The event settings page allows the administrator to configure settings like the email template logo, whether to include server information in event emails, and other global event settings.


General Settings page of the Event Manager
Default Email Event Title The email heading title at the top of each event notification email.
Custom Email Icon Path Allows the administrator to include their own icon logo with event notification emails, instead of the default logo icon.
Include Icon in Emails Determines whether or not the default or customer email icon path is included with each event notification email.
Include Server Origin in Emails Determines whether or not the server version and machine name are included with each event notification email.
Include Event Description in Emails Determines whether or not the basic event description is included with each event notification email.