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web site syncing/management software

We have a hosted web application on a remote site. Then we have a development site and a production mirror site which is basically a mirror of the live remote site.
We have CVS setup for the development handling for all the developers and the development site.
I am looking for an application which will let me sync the files, folders between the development site and the production mirror site(both are in house on Windows servers). Ocassionaly, changes will be made on the production mirror site directly (I know it's not good) bypassing the development site. So I need this application to compare and alert me about the changes on the files, folders on both sites. Also let me decide which files and folders to update on which sites etc.
Finally, the application should let me sync or trasfer the files, folders between in-house production mirror site and the external live site over ssh or vpn.
Do any of you have this similar situation? Is there any software which will do this?
I tried Google, but I am not sure what exactly I am searching for.
Thanks in advance for your inputs.

Anon
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Anon,

You might try Unison:

http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/)

It's based on a very popular tool called rsync:

http://samba.anu.edu.au/rsync/

Norbert Burger
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I have seen many companies that still do this by hand.
If Unison/rsync is the way to go, it must have the ability to exempt files from syncing. For example.. the database or password file connection strings for Web Services and Database services are pretty much guaranteed to be different for development sites verses production sites. These files needs to be exempt so that they aren't be overwritten by accident.

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

nant and draco - nant's automated build routines include a function to copy files, and it only copies files if the source is newer than the target.

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Thanks for the input so far. I am mainly looking for a simple yet robust windows application which lets me sync with remote sites over ssh/ftp also.
I just came across Beyond Comapre from http://www.scootersoftware.com/
Has anybody used this? Any other suggestions?

Anon
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

You might try using CVS to handle synchronization. So far it meets all the requirements you've listed.  The one exception is getting it to run on your windows desktop.  To get the remote site updated, you'll need to run cvs on the remote machine.  If you have ssh access this is trivial, and it sounds like you do have ssh access.

If you don't have ssh access, you'll need to drop a small shell script in and make sure that it's got good password protection.

I'm using this for my sites now. I was updating by hand, which was a recipe for disaster. CVS makes it extremely simple.

Clay Dowling
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

You could use RoboCopy from the NT Resource Kit

anon
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I cannot use CVS on  the remote site, because it's hosted by a hosting company and I don't think they will let me.

Anon
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

About CVS: ask. CVS tends to be installed on most machines. You don't need a server on the host (in fact you don't want one), you just need a client. The repository stays where it is.

You can also keep things secure by using ssh as your RSH shell.

Clay Dowling
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

As it happens, i just read a review on a sync application today in a developer mail I get.

Mike Gunderloy from http://www.larkware.com liked Synchronize It! made by http://www.grigsoft.com

He should be putting the mailing on his website tomorrow so you can read his actual review.

I am not affiliated with either company and have not used the software because unfortunately, we sync by sneakernet :(

ko
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Forgot to mention, it'll cost you $29 but also includes a file compare applicaiton as well.

ko
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Beyond Compare is great, I have used it to sync web site code on 3 different machines.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, September 04, 2003

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