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PeerDirect syncs distributed data

The Progress Software subsidiary is pitching its new software for building distributed applications as peace-of-mind backup for businesses worried about server outages.

Progress Software unit PeerDirect on Monday released a tool to help businesses build applications for distributing information among multiple machines in a corporate network.

The PeerDirect Distributed Enterprise software synchronizes data between different data stores, allowing companies to automatically feed information from central locations to remote offices or to mobile workers.

PeerDirect was acquired by Progress Software last year. Since then, the Bedford, Mass.-based company has been developing PeerDirect Distributed Enterprise to make it easier to use data replication for distributed applications. "In the past, PeerDirect required a lot of bundled services. We've refined the product to the point where it's general-purpose software that is easy to configure and (that) needs minimal consulting," said Britt Johnston, chief technology officer of PeerDirect.

By distributing data to several places, companies add a layer of backup that, if a central server goes down, should ensure that employees have up-to-date information.

For example, if a bank security application's database is copied to remote locations, the bank's security system will not be compromised even if its central systems or network connections go down, a company representative said.

Johnston said that PeerDirect's data integration technology differs from that of its competitors because it can replicate data to and from a central database, rather than broadcasting data outward only from central locations to distributed computers.

One version of PeerDirect's new software is aimed at data centers, which house corporate servers and back-office applications. That software edition is designed to integrate data from multiple data sources to provide better performance by balancing data processing workload among different servers.

PeerDirect Distributed Enterprise works with multiple database engines, including Oracle, Microsoft, Progress, IBM, Sybase, Informix and the PostgreSQL open-source database.