Egnyte launches a latency-optimizing desktop client for its file sharing service

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The desktop applications that accompany every leading file locker are often perceived as secondary to the core cloud-based platform itself. But where most providers see little more than a frontend, Egnyte Inc. sees a big opportunity to set itself apart.

The company today launched a new desktop client for its enterprise file sharing service that promises to help workers access their data more easily than. Dubbed Egnyte Connect, the app take advantage of the fact that Egnyte’s platform offers more deployment options than the competition. Organizations can keep all of their files off-premise, run the software behind the firewall to create a private collaboration environment or employ some combination thereof.

Egnyte Connect retrieves data in the fastest way that a company’s implementation permits. If a user wants to access certain records while they’re in the office, the client will look for them on the corporate network and download a copy from the nearest storage system to reduce latency. When a local version is unavailable because the worker is on the go, Egnyte Connect will simply fetch the files from the main backend repository without requiring any manual change to its settings.

And users don’t have to worry about desktop storage limitations either. An Egnyte spokesperson told SiliconANGLE that Egnyte Connect can handle up to 20 terabytes of data thanks to a mechanism similar to the shortcuts that Dropbox provides thorough its recently launched Smart Sync capability. The feature enables users to display a limitless number of files in their clients for easy access and download a document only when they need it.

But that’s where Dropbox and Egnyte Connect diverge. The latter client one-ups its counterpart with a global locking feature that helps users avoid version conflicts by preventing other people from accessing a file when they’re editing it. Moreover, a worker can set certain files and folders to offline mode if they need to use them even when they don’t have a reliable Internet connection.

That feature should particularly useful for remote users who are working on a deadline and want to avoid a scenario where they suddenly lose access to their data due to networking issues. Once a connection is reestablished, Egnyte Connect syncs the offline copy to the cloud so the colleagues waiting on the files can view them.

Image courtesy of Egnyte