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Flexense Data Management Software

Files and Directories Compare Operations

DiskBoss provides the ability compare directories and detect changes in the directory structure, file contents, file size, file attributes, file ownership, creation and last modification dates. The user is provided with the ability to detect all changes between two directories and save reports into a number of various report formats including HTML, PDF, text, CSV and XML.

Compare Directories General Options

In addition, DiskBoss allows one to select which types of changes to detect, compare specific types of files using flexible file matching rules, exclude special subdirectories from the directories comparison process, customize various performance optimization options and export detected changes to an SQL database.

Compare Directories Results

IT professionals and storage administrators are provided with the ability to schedule periodic execution of directory comparison operations and configure conditional actions allowing one to automatically save various types of reports, send E-Mail notifications and/or execute file synchronization or custom file management operations when a directory comparison operation detects a user-specified number of changes.

Comparing Files and Directories

In order to perform a simple directories comparison operation, press the 'Compare' button located on the main toolbar. On the 'Compare Directories' dialog, enter a source directory, a destination directory and press the 'Compare' button. DiskBoss will scan the specified source directory including all subdirectories, verify the directory structure, check all files and display the directories comparison results dialog showing all the detected file system changes.

Compare Directories Dialog

In addition, the 'Compare Directories' dialog provides the ability to configure advanced directories comparison options allowing one to select which types of file system changes to detect, optimize the performance of directories comparison operations, configure specific types of files to compare, exclude subdirectories from the directories comparison process and configure conditional file management actions and E-Mail notifications to be executed when a user-specified number of changes are detected.

Compare Directories Results

The compare directories results dialog shows the list of detected file system changes and provides the ability to view detailed information about the directories comparison operation, save the detected file system changes to a number of standard report formats, export changes to an SQL database and copy changes to the clipboard.

Saving Directories Comparison Reports

In order to save a directories comparison report, compare two directories, open the directories comparison results dialog, press the 'Save' button and select one of the following report formats: PDF, HTML, Text, Excel CSV or XML. In addition, DiskBoss Ultimate and DiskBoss Server provide the ability to export detected file system changes to an SQL database.

Compare Directories Save Report

Each report includes a report summary showing the date and time of the report, the total number of processed files and the total amount of disk space, the number of changed files and changed directories and the list of detected file system changes. For each detected file system change, DiskBoss shows the change description and the name of the related file or directory.

Compare Directories HTML Report

Directories Comparison Options

Depending on user-specific needs, sometimes it may be required to detect only specific types of files system changes and hide irrelevant changes. In order to select which types of file system changes to detect, open the 'Compare Directories' dialog, press the 'Advanced Options' button and select the 'General' tab.

Compare Directories General Options
  • Check Directory Structure - select this option to verify that the destination directory structure is identical to the source directory structure.
  • Check Extra Directories - select this option to verify that there are no extra directories in the destination directory which do not exist in the source directory.
  • Check Extra Files - select this option to verify that there are no extra files in the destination directory which do not exist in the source directory.
  • Check File Size - select this option to verify that the size of each file existing in the source directory is identical to the size of the same file in the destination directory.
  • Check File Owner - select this option to verify that the owner of each file and/or subdirectory existing in the source directory is identical to the owner of the same file and/or subdirectory in the destination directory.
  • Check File Contents - select this option to verify that the contents of each file existing in the source directory is identical to the contents of the same file in the destination directory.
  • Check File Attributes - select this option to verify that the attributes of each file existing in the source directory is identical to the attributes of the same file in the destination directory.
  • Check File Creation Date - select this option to verify that the creation date of each file existing in the source directory is identical to the creation date of the same file in the destination directory.
  • Check File Modification Date - select this option to verify that the last modification date of each file existing in the source directory is identical to the last modification date of the same file in the destination directory.
  • Check Directories Creation Date - select this option to verify that the creation date of each subdirectory existing in the source directory is identical to the creation date of the same subdirectory in the destination directory.
  • Check Directories Modification Date - select this option to verify that the last modification date of each subdirectory existing in the source directory is identical to the last modification date of the same subdirectory in the destination directory.
  • Detect and Skip Recursive Directories - by default DiskBoss detects and skips recursive directories, which may form infinite directory scanning loops. Unselect this option to disable detection of recursive directories.
  • Report File Access Errors as Changes - by default DiskBoss reports file access errors as changes. When this option is disabled, DiskBoss will show all file access errors in the process log, but not in the change list.
  • Report Directory Access Errors as Changes - by default DiskBoss reports directory access errors as changes. When this option is disabled, DiskBoss will show all directory access errors in the process log, but not in the change list.

Advanced Directories Comparison Options

In order to configure advanced directories comparison options, open the 'Compare Directories' dialog, press the 'Advanced Options' button and select the 'Advanced' tab, which provides the ability to control the default report title, the maximum number of file system changes to report, the number of parallel directory comparison threads, the speed of the directories comparison operation and the files comparison mode.

Compare Directories Advanced Options
  • Default Report Title - this option allows one to set the default report title, which will be saved in PDF, HTML, text, Excel CSV and XML reports. In addition, this option controls the default report title for reports automatically generated by conditional actions and reports sent in conditional E-Mail notifications.
  • Max Change Count - this option provides the ability to limit compare directories reports to a user-specified maximum number of changes. By default, DiskBoss reports the first 1,000 detected file system changes. During a directories comparison operation, DiskBoss always processes the entire source and destination directories and detects all file system changes and the report summary always shows the total number of processed files and the total number of changed files and changed directories, but the list of changes in the report will include the first X file system changes according to the user-specified maximum number of changes.
  • Compare Threads - this option sets the number of parallel directory comparison threads to use to compare the specified source and destination directories. When comparing two directories located on the same mechanical hard drive, it is recommended to use just one compare thread in order to avoid unnecessary disk seek operations. When comparing two directories located on two different mechanical drives, it is recommended to use two parallel compare threads. When the source directory is located on a local mechanical hard drive and the destination directory is located on a simple NAS device with a mechanical hard drive, it is recommended to use two parallel compare threads. When comparing two directories located on SSD disks or an enterprise-grade storage system with multiple physical drives or SSD disks, it is recommended to use 4-8 parallel compare threads depending on the number of CPUs available on the computer.
  • Performance Mode - sometimes it may be required to intentionally slow down the directories comparison process in order to minimize the potential performance impact on running production applications. The 'Performance Mode' option provides the ability to execute the directories comparison operation using one of the following performance profiles: 'Full Speed', 'Medium Speed' and 'Low Speed'.
  • File Compare Mode - when the 'Check File Contents' option is selected, DiskBoss calculates a hash signature for each file located in the source directory and compares the source file hash signature to the hash signature of the same file located in the destination directory. By default, DiskBoss uses the SHA-256 hash signature algorithm, which is very reliable, but requires significant CPU resources. In order to reduce the CPU usage during the directory comparison process, the user is provided with the ability to change the hash signature algorithm to SHA-1, MD5 or even simple CRC-32/CRC-64 checksums, which are less reliable, but require fewer CPU resources.

Comparing Specific Types of Files

DiskBoss allows one to compare selected files by the file type, size, file name, extension, file attributes, etc. using one or more user-specified file matching rules. For example, the user is provided with the ability to compare all types of documents, images and program files and skip all other types of files. Multiple different types of file matching rules may be used to precisely select files to be processed.

Compare Directories File Matching Rules

In order to add one or more file matching rules to a directories comparison operation, select the 'Rules' tab, press the 'Add' button, select a rule type and enter all required parameters. During the directories comparison process, DiskBoss will select files using the specified file matching rules, compare files matching the specified rules and skip all other files.

Compare Directories Negative Rules

In addition to positive file matching rules, which can be used to specify files to compare, DiskBoss also provides negative file matching rules, which can be used to exclude specific files from the directories comparison process. For example, in order to exclude all types of backup files from the directories comparison process, add a new file matching rule, select the 'Search Files Categorized As' rule type, select the 'Archive, Backup and Disk Image' files category and then select the 'Not Categorized' rule operator.

Excluding Subdirectories from the Comparison Process

Sometimes, it may be required to exclude one or more subdirectories from the directories comparison process. In order to exclude one or more directories, open the 'Compare Directories' dialog, press the 'Advanced Options' button, select the 'Exclude' tab and add directories that should be excluded from the directories comparison operation.

Compare Directories Exclude Rules

In addition, advanced users and IT professionals are provided with a number of exclude directories macro commands allowing one to exclude multiple directories using a single macro command.

  • $BEGINS <Text String> - excludes directories beginning with the specified string.
  • $CONTAINS <Text String> - excludes directories containing the specified string.
  • $ENDS <Text String> - excludes all directories ending with the specified string.
  • $REGEX <Regular Expression> - excludes directories matching the specified regular expression.

For example, the exclude macro command '$CONTAINS Temporary Files' will exclude all directories with 'Temporary Files' at any place in the full directory path and the exclude macro command '$REGEX \.(TMP|TEMP)$' will exclude directories ending with '.TMP' or '.TEMP'.

Conditional Actions and E-Mail Notifications

DiskBoss provides the ability to compare two directories, evaluate the directories comparison results and then automatically save various type of reports, send E-Mail notifications or execute file management operations if the number of detected file system changes exceeds a user-specified number. In order to configure one or more conditional directories comparison actions, open the directories comparison options dialog, select the 'Actions' tab and press the 'Add' button.

Compare Directories Conditional Actions

On the 'Add Action' dialog, specify the number of changes to trigger the action, select an appropriate action type and specify all the required parameters. The 'Send HTML Notification' and 'Send Text Notification' action send an E-Mail notification to the specified E-Mail address. In addition, the user needs to open the 'Options' dialog and configure an E-Mail server to use to send E-Mail notifications.

Compare Directories Conditional Actions Report

For all report generation actions, the user needs to specify a name of an existing directory where to save all report files. The 'Save To SQL Database' action saves the list of detected changes to an SQL database and in order to use this action the user needs to open the 'Options' dialog and configure an ODBC data source to use to export changes to the SQL database. The 'Execute User Command' action allows one to execute a pre-configured DiskBoss file copy, file synchronization or any other DiskBoss file management operation. The 'Execute Custom Command' action provides the ability to execute a user-custom command, script or batch file.