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Amazon S3 success (FWIW)

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  • Amazon S3 success (FWIW)

    I looked here earlier today hoping to find information on support for Amazon S3, but I was disappointed to find requests but no indication that native support was on the cards.

    There are tools for doing split screen views and transfers back and forth from remote FTP sites and Amazon S3 sites (the S3Fox plugin for Firefox and Cloudberry Explorer e.g.) but compared to Beyond Compare these are quite primitive.

    Jungledisk is said to provide a drive emulator view of Amazon S3 but I've read of reports of problems with it and so I've passed on it for now (it's also not free, unlike Cloudberry Explorer or S3Fox).

    Webdrive from South River Technologies supports now both SFTP/FTP and Amazon S3 (as well as Webdav). At one time I used an earlier version of this to sync a remote site with a local copy. As they ran linux and windows respectively I always had issues with file size differences; later I used Beyond Compare 3 on Linux and that worked well. Today I tried using Webdrive to transfer files from a remote Linux site to an Amazon S3 site, using Webdrive to make the connections and Beyond Compare to do the work.

    It worked well and the problem of file size differences evaporated.

    Webdrive uses S3's Active Key ID and Secret key where one expects to enter a username and password; it doesn't appear, at the UI level anyway, that supporting S3 is so complicated.

    The only thing I needed to do to get an exact copy was "touch" directories on the S3 side (to which I was synchronizing).

    It seems a workable way of using BC with S3 for now, but direct support would be nice. Webdrive can be tried out for free for a few weeks.

    Meanwhile, I've discovered that one of my other favourite sync tools -- one I prefer for automated jobs -- Superflexible File Synchronizer, supports, Amazon S3; so I don't need to relicense Webdrive just yet (I have a previous version without S3 support).
    Last edited by paulonolan; 21-Feb-2010, 07:52 PM.

  • #2
    Here's a free alternative to Webdrive (just discovered): (Windows only)

    I have no idea what the paid for (Pro) version does.

    Here's another alternative: (formerly known as sftpdrive; also available for the Mac); $39.95 with a 30 day demo. doesn't give a drive view but has Windows, OSX and Linux versions.

    I'm interested to hear what other BC users use. Anybody?


    • #3
      Thanks for the suggestion, Paul. Adding support for Amazon/WebDav is on our Customer Wishlist. We have had Customers mention both success and issues with JungleDisk. Thanks for posting other alternatives to try. While not officially supported, if a program can load the Amazon S3 folder via a Drive Letter, FTP, or Remote Share, then Beyond Compare can attempt to open that location.
      Aaron P Scooter Software


      • #4
        Aaron, I've spent a little more time playing with Amazon S3 now, trying out some different tools.

        Contratry to what I posted earlier tntdrive isn't free, it's only free for 10 days. This is not at all clear on the web site. Furthermore the only thing the so-called Pro version does is not expire! Tntdrive is an add-on for s3browser, a free program that is not worth bothering with because Cloudberry does so much more. Cloudberry lets you move stuff between Amazon buckets on a split screen and they get moved without being transferred via your computer. I haven't come across another free program that does this.

        The only problem I had with moving stuff between Amazon buckets was that the file datestamps were not preserved. Using Webdrive (demo version) to map a drive it was easy to fix this with BC's Touch function.

        There may be an option to copy between buckets preserving time and date info but I haven't discovered it yet (using Cloudberry).

        Some links

        I'm still exploring all this. So far, Superflexible and Cloudberry seem to do almost everything one might want. I just need a free tool to map a drive to an S3 bucket... until BC supports S3!


        • #5

          What would you like the S3 integration to look like? Would BC just show the buckets as-is, or should it do some sort of indexing/remapping to make it look like your local files? I haven't looked into it too much, because I was under the impression the S3 stuff had some goofy naming rules that would make the integration harder than something like FTP. Is that wrong?
          Zoë P Scooter Software


          • #6
            I haven't studied the developer docs for Amazon S3 so I don't really know what would be involved. There's a useful discussion link here

            (find the link to the post by Mitch on the Amazon developer forum)

            TobiasGiesen at gmail dot com (author of Superflexible) has provided a nice solution without going to the trouble of disk mapping and might share some of the thinking and issues. At any rate the elegant way superflexible handles S3 is WELL worth a look. S3 buckets look just like another S/FTP site--operationally anyway (Superflexible lacks the split screen UI; so Cloudberry is a great complement).

            This: says gladinet is free and will do drive mapping with S3. Elsewhere I read that "Supported storage includes FTP, WebDav servers, EMC Atmos online,, Amazon S3, Google Docs, Picasa, and more." I still haven't discovered what the paid for Pro edition does and I won't install either until I find out.

            I really hate "Guess what the catch is" games.

            Update: some info here about the different versions of Gladinet:

            I'll give it a try if isn't going to expire completely. The Safe Cards functionality referred to here doesn't appeal much; I use Lastpass (w/Yubikey) for cross-platform security.

            I suppose one option could be to outsource the whole cloud interface problem and organize offering BC + 3rd party solutions in bundles. On other hand, support for the biggest clouds, Amazon, Google and Microsoft, say, would be compelling to those with a good Internet connection.

            By the way, what finally got me to actually go and sign up for S3 was the release of a Wordpress plugin that provides automated daily backup of everything (both MySQL db + files) to S3 storage ( The storage cost is pennies per month.
            Last edited by paulonolan; 23-Feb-2010, 01:15 PM.


            • #7
              Here's the catch:

              I just installed the starter edition of Gladinet (v1.4 -- avoiding the beta of 2.0 for now). It's an "always free" version but there is a catch that wasn't advertised until after I'd installed it

              -- a limit of 1000 file-transfers per task will be enforced


              • #8
                Thanks, Paul. I've added your notes to our Customer Wishlist entry.
                Aaron P Scooter Software


                • #9
                  I have been a loyal Beyond Compare user for years. It keeps getting better and better. Introduced to it during version 1 at my company. They upgraded to version 2 and thats when I decided to buy a copy for home use. I have since bought the upgrade to version 3. The application is near perfect. However, having webdav support would be the one NEEDED item on my list. It would be worth even a few more bucks, just so I don't need webdrive (or something similar).


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the suggestion. WebDAV is still on our list of features we would like to implement in a future version of Beyond Compare.
                    Chris K Scooter Software


                    • #11

                      We use a document management system that is compatible with WebDAV. Adding this bit of functionality would make a world of difference in my daily routines.

                      I hope it goes from being on the wish list, to being on the "let's seriously research this" list real soon.



                      • #12
                        Thanks for the input, Tom. It is still on our Wishlist. It would be a large change and requires adequate investigation and schedule.
                        Aaron P Scooter Software


                        • #13
                          Cloud Support Needed

                          I would also add that with all the talk of iCloud and Amazon Cloud, having BC3 (or BC4) support that directly would be absolutely essential.

                          As to interface, cloud storage should look like any other network/storage area and could even work similar to how FTP/SFTP currently works in BC3.

                          Yes, there are a number of products out there that can map a drive to Cloud storage, but honestly I've had mixed results with them. I'd feel better having integrated BC3 support for this instead.

                          This could be a perk of owning the "professional" version.


                          • #14
                            We agree that accessing Cloud Storage is important. However, please note how large of a project that would be if you compare the price of BC3 to a single product that only performs the drive letter mapping to just one service. As such a large project, we need to come up with a high quality implementation while trying to avoid driving up our price.
                            Aaron P Scooter Software


                            • #15
                              One thought is this could be either a new flavor of BC (such as "Network Professional"), which also would have a higher price. I know that basic users probably don't care about many of the features now even in "Professional", but this would be even more advanced.

                              Something to think about in any case, especially for BC4. I for one would pay more to have such a feature.