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Can/should messaging middleware be used to replace file transfer utilities?

Can/should messaging middleware be used to replace file transfer utilities such as ftp within an organisation?

Our organisation is looking at messaging middleware for message based interfaces but there has been a suggestion that the middleware should be used for the batch interfaces as well by replacing ftp as the file transfer utility. Note that this suggestion is based on transferring the file as a whole in its custom format rather than breaking it into individual transactions.

I heard also of other companies that are introducing MOM (message oriented middleware) as a replacement of file transfer. As a general statement I would say that its a viable option to do such a move. Whether its a good choice in your particular situation depends on how much you want to extend on the current system, how important "guaranteed delivery" is, whether you are planning to distribute information which is not available in file format, etc.

It's certainly easier to interface applications to a MOM system, rather than to FTP. Especially if these applications are written in Java, and especially if the MOM system offers a JMS (Java Message Service) compatible interface. Also, MOM will offer you higher delivery guarantees and security than FTP.

On the other hand, FTP is widely available on most operating systems, is very efficient at transferring large files, and is free of charge.

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