Versatile directory synchronization tool offers all but the kitchen sync

A program called TreeComp doesn't just perform directory synchronization. It can synchronize between local directories, synchronize files across FTP directories, or synchronize the contents of .ZIP archives...or all three.

Directory synchronization is one task I write about often. In this tip I'm letting you know that I've come across a program, called TreeComp, that handles this task and has a few features that make it worth looking at.

TreeComp not only synchronizes between local directories, but it can also synchronize files across FTP directories, and can synchronize the contents of .ZIP archives. . .or any combination of the three. For instance, TreeComp could synchronize an FTP directory with a .ZIP file.

Note: As far as I can tell, you cannot synchronize toan anonymous FTP directory, but you can synchronize from one. When I tried to sync to an anonymous directory, I got some cryptic errors (which I've since contacted the author about).

TreeComp can either monitor folders for changes directly, or use a tracking mechanism internal to the program. Try the first method if you're not using anything other than TreeComp to do the comparing/synchronizing; use the second if you're working with directories that might have been "touched" by another program that does something similar (or another program, period). TreeComp also uses multithreaded operations to synchronize multiple subdirectories to speed things up.

When you run the program, first select a pair of directories to synchronize. You can't yet explicitly save pairs of directories, but the program does retain lists of the most recently used directories internally. TreeComp then generates a composite directory tree with color-coded nodes next to each folder or file to show the changes.

  • Black means no change.
  • Red means the file only exists in the right-hand directory.
  • Blue means it only exists in the left-hand directory.
  • Purple means it exists on both sides with different contents.

A set of command buttons lets you choose which actions to perform on both trees. Any actions you take are double-checked with you before you commit them. Any files that are deleted or overwritten locally can be copied to the Recycle Bin instead of being erased outright. P>About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter, which offers the advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators.

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This was first published in June 2006

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