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Part VIII: Appendixes > Understanding Briefcase

Understanding Briefcase

Briefcase is a tool for the user who needs to work on a file on more than one computer. A mobile worker with a portable computer and a desktop computer could use Briefcase to keep files synchronized. Anyone who needs to take files home and load them on a home computer can use Briefcase to ensure that the latest versions of the files are on both computers. It is important to keep in mind that Briefcase was intended for use by one person with two computers. It was not designed for synchronizing data files between multiple members of a workgroup. Nevertheless, it can be used to keep simple databases synchronized, as you see later in this appendix. As more applications support merging or reconciliation of different versions of the data, Briefcase expands its role and becomes more useful.

The Benefits of Briefcase

Briefcase was designed with the portable computer user in mind. If everyone were connected to the network all the time, a simpler solution would be possible. Multiple computers could connect to the same set of files, stored on one of the computers, and the latest version of the file would be available to everyone. Then the only worry would be two users opening the same file simultaneously. With databases, even that is not a concern any more, thanks to record locking.


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