develop a synch solution in Microsoft environment

Hi all,
a customer asks to me for a complex solution, based on this feature:
10 remote notebooks have to synchronize in background, without action by user, with a central file system on a server exposed in internet (or in vpn).
Synch should be intelligent (to preserve bandwith) trasparent (in real time or scheduled) powerful (can i set limits and filter about files , something like YES .docx NO .avi) affordable (control on these limits and log or alerting).
Users can go on with their jobs like every day, putting files in a predeterminated path and no other (no wizard, no windows...)!
After this, a web application can query this server's file system portion, but this is not a problem....

In our opinion, which is the best way to develop a similar solution?
Can i use a personal application to set filter, then perform a traditional synch with a software like Allway Sync...?
Have u ever read about a similar need?
Sorry for my english, please ask me for details...and help me!
M
nautilus01Asked:
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nautilus01Connect With a Mentor Author Commented:
i have realized , with my collegues, a simple iis ftp environment .
then on client cobian backup starts periodically ftp session, zipping files.
i have no full features, but now it'e enough
Thanks for all
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have read that Allway Sync works.

Myself, I use SyncBack Pro (2brightsparks.com) and it does everything you want. It can easily be scheduled, it can exclude tranfers of certain files based on criteria (I do that), it syncs two-way only what has changed, it identifies conflicts, and it is very fast in my experience.

So yes, I have experienced a similar need (not exactly the same) and I settled on SyncBack Pro to solve it.

.... Thinkpads_User
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nautilus01Author Commented:
thanks..
seems to be an excellent product, but what i need is (maybe) a server solution.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
SyncBack Pro runs on workstations but will sync to servers.

I do not know of a server solution that will sync the same thing to multiple laptops that may not ever be connected when scheduled.

Someone may know of a server solution, but I have always approached it from a workstation perspective.
... Thinkpads_User
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nautilus01Author Commented:
in a server env i can manage better user (maybe with ldap), its file system, backup..
Something like http://www.softwarepursuits.com/suresync
But my question is another, how avoid user to manage settings, answer to popup...?
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
You don't mention at all what the Operating Systems of the notebooks or server are -- but if you have Windows 7 notebooks synching with a Windows 2008 server then you already have all the solution you need.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff633429(WS.10).aspx

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
While the Microsoft Sync solution works (sometimes), I have had no success with it. When I opened a Support Case with Microsoft, their only answer was to use very small data sets for offline use - less than 1% of what I use and need.

It may work for some people, but never for me, so at least use caution.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
@Thinkpads_User  What on earth are you talking about?  

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The title of the article was

Configuring New Offline Files Features for Windows 7 Computers Step-by-Step Guide

I tried Offline Files and they never worked for me. That is what I was talking about. I have moved on and won't try Offline files in the near future.

So I was just suggesting that people take care with offline files. YMMV.

... Thinkpads_User
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
I've never experienced any problem with offline files which wasn't easily remedied -- they work for millions of users, so the fact that you personally had a problem doesn't seem to warrant a general warning to steer clear.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I opened a case with Microsoft Support, they logged into my machine, and confirmed the Offline files would not work for me.

So I know they work for some (and you, as you said) and I know from here they do not work for others (and me, as I noted).

My caution is only my experience and a suggestion to exercise caution. If it works, go for it.
... Thinkpads_User
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
What was the reason they gave?  It would only make sense if you were not joined to a domain, or if all the files you wanted to sync were .mdb files.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Microsoft gave me two reasons: Number of files and folders; and type of files (e.g. QuickBooks ledger files). I am a business consultant and not on anyone's domain.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
So, as I said, you cannot sync database files (.mdb -- which also includes QuickBooks .qbw/.qbb files).  This would be the case with any sync software though as well -- you simply cannot keep replica copies of a database file in two locations without using more sophisticated database replication software.  So if you are currently syncing a QuickBooks database file to another location with some 3rd-party tool, I would seriously doubt that you are getting a true sync and that you could open the database file that is on the other location without getting an error.

Number of files and folders makes no sense as there is not really a limit on this (at least not one that any normal use would reach, other than the limits of your own hard drive on your computer).

So, if anything you need to caution about file types, but it doesn't seem from the initial question that we are even discussing database files at all.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
So if you are currently syncing a QuickBooks database file to another location with some 3rd-party tool, I would seriously doubt that you are getting a true sync

I use QB daily and I get a true and accurate sync with SyncBack Pro. It has no limits, no errors, no issues and no problems that I can see. That is why I use it and recommend it.

Number of files and folders makes no sense as there is not really a limit

In real life, with Microsoft at the keyboard, their stuff choked.

However, if the Microsoft tools fit nautilus01's situation, then they should be used. I am not hung up about my own solution - it just works perfectly on all files everywhere I try it.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
What you're really talking about is creating an automatic backup of your QB files -- not a true offline sync back to a network server.  It seems as though this is what you are considering as the main purpose of a sync solution?  To create an automatic daily backup?

A true sync solution keeps all files on a central file server and provides offline access to those files on laptops.  Files would be synchronized continuously so that both copies are always kept up to date.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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nautilus01Author Commented:
simple and cheap solution (any limitations)
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