LapLink Syncs the Web

NEW YORK (06/28/2000) - Laplink.com Inc. is putting its file transfer and synchronization expertise to new use, teaming with Web sites that want to offer speedier and more flexible file access and management.

The company, formerly known as Traveling Software, introduced at PC Expo two programs for "Internet File Management."

One, ExpressLoader, is a Web-aware version of the longstanding LapLink file transfer technology. The other, ExpressDrive Accelerator, is a file management tool used with Web-based applications and files. You can take advantage of it through any Web-enabled device.

The technology will show up on several partner Web sites over the next several months, says Mark Eppley, LapLink.com chief executive officer.

Fast Updates, Retrieval

One of the first ExpressLoader customers is Driveway.com, an online storage site. Driveway.com is implementing ExpressLoader on its site for faster and simpler file transfer. You'll need to download a client component to take advantage of the new functions. ExpressLoader is available for free download from LapLink's site.

When using ExpressLoader with Driveway.com, you'll be able to drag and drop entire folders, not just single files, between your PC desktop and Web-based storage site in a Driveway.com account. ExpressLoader uses LapLink's synchronization technology, so it updates only changed parts of files. Also, you can schedule regular updates and synchronization.

Driveway.com offers up to 100MB of free Web-based storage. The site was recently revamped to add collaboration functions and Web-page clipping.

Additional storage space is available for a fee.

Controlling Collaboration

ExpressDrive Accelerator is server-based software that is being implemented on several sites. It automatically compresses data streams and uses LapLink's SpeedSync synchronization technology, as well as providing some file management functions.

For example, Oracle is integrating the technology for use with the Internet File System (IFS) functions of an Oracle 8i database. Oracle's IFS gives you access to common file and folder management through a Web interface; ExpressDrive Accelerator speeds and streamlines the process.

"It really enhances collaboration," says Steve Messere, LapLink.com's vice president of marketing. Most of us rely on a series of e-mail messages to collaborate on a document, he notes. The file management functions let you maintain version control as a document evolves. You can let colleges "check out" and "check in" files, and you can even restrict who can see which versions of a document. "You tear off copies" of the file as you would peel sheets of paper from a tablet, he says.

Another partner, mydocs.com will let you access and manage files via Web-enabled CDPD handhelds and cell phones.

"Mobile user doesn't just mean someone who has a laptop," Messere says. "We plan to support multiple devices. I want my data to move with me."

Both sites are still rolling out the ExpressDrive Accelerator functions, but they should be live within the next few months, Messere says.

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