Product Reviews

Duplicate Your Data

SureSync 3.0i is a file-based replication utility, which offers a clear user interface atop a powerful and flexible replication engine. SureSync can perform several basic operations, including:

  • Copy files from one folder to another, when they change or on a regular schedule.

  • Exchange copies between two folders without deleting anything.

  • Mirror folders, including additions, changes, and deletions.

  • Move files from one folder to another.

You can perform any of these operations on a set of folders, making this a useful tool for pushing, say, a customer database out to 50 different sales representative computers each night. File operations can be performed immediately, on a timed-basis, or (using the optional SureSync Real-Time addition) whenever folder contents change. The program can run either as a standalone application or as part of a client/server system, with individual instances of the synchronization engine linked to a master database via DCOM.

Note: SureSync doesn’t have any internal knowledge of particular file types, such as databases or mailboxes. This makes, on the one hand, for a completely flexible solution that you can use for any data whatsoever. On the other hand, it’s probably not the right utility, for example, for performing fine-grained replication of order data contained within a larger database.

Figure 3 shows the SureSync interface. Using a series of wizards, you define the SureSync objects. These include Relations (sets of folders containing files to be synchronized), Rules (which specify which operations to perform), Schedules, and Monitors (which control real-time operations).

Figure 3. Software Pursuits SureSync can prioritize synchronization operations, so that process-intensive but less time-sensitive updates can be made during the network's off-peak times.

One nice touch about SureSync is its use of Microsoft Access security to protect its own internal database. This database is stored in an Access file, but rather than forcing you to use a login name provided by Software Pursuits, you’re free to integrate this file with your own site’s security (or to use no security at all, for that matter). Also, the preview mode is uncommonly helpful, letting you check the sometimes-complex logic of Relations and Rules by viewing operations that would be performed—without actually performing them.

SureSync Real-Time works by installing an agent that continuously monitors the files you’re interested in. As soon as any changes are made to these files, the agent copies them off to their target locations. You can specify to delay before copying and the priority of the replication task to avoid having a large impact on a busy network. You can also have the software adjust this priority over the course of the day. So, for example, you can have the copying tasks run at a higher priority when there are fewer users on your network.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.


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