Real-time FileSystem Monitoring

by , December 21, 2010
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HotFolder is the most feature rich client application in the FileCatalyst suite. In a nutshell, it lets you watch folders on your local computer and/or FileCatalyst Server, and automatically transfer new or changed files.

Until the release of version 2.8.1, FileCatalyst HotFolder had one major drawback: It couldn't identify changes to the source folder unless it was recursively crawled and compared to the destination folder. This comparison was based on a user-defined schedule; every 5 minutes, for instance.

This approach worked fine for small to medium file sets; however, on very large file sets this posed a significant bottleneck as it consumed (potentially) several minutes, sometimes only to discover no changes had been made. Furthermore, in order to ensure new files being detected in a timely manner, checks were performed as frequently as the scheduler was set to run.

There are some features in previous versions (prior to v2.8.1) that help quite a bit with detecting changed files; however, none are as efficient as the new version:

The new “Real-Time File System Monitoring” feature allows a HotFolder task to run in a new “monitoring” state (after one initial scheduled pass to put the files in sync). In this state, HotFolder waits for file system events (adding or removing files; saving new versions) that cause the task to “wake up” and transfer any modified files. These events contain the exact location of the file that caused the trigger, the time it occurred, as well as the nature of the event. For example, an event may occur that says “c:\temp\file1.exe has been created at 1:32pm”. Or “c:\temp\file2.exe has been modified at 2:34pm”. HotFolder no longer needs to perform time-consuming comparisons to determine what has changed. It may passively listen for events and instantaneously act upon affected files.

This new feature is supported on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS 10.5 and higher.

Revision List

#1 on 2010-Dec-21 Tue  12:20+-14400

#2 on 2010-Dec-21 Tue  12:38+-14400

#3 on 2010-Dec-21 Tue  12:29+-14400

#4 on 2010-Dec-21 Tue  12:42+-14400

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