Synchronization refers to the process of coordinating and aligning data between different devices, programs, or locations to ensure that they have the same up-to-date information.
See also: data backup, soft copy
Methods of synchronization:
- Manual synchronization. The user copies and transfers data from one system to another. While it can be time-consuming, manual synchronization can be useful when data only needs to be transferred occasionally.
- Batch synchronization. The data is moved to between two or more systems in batches at a set time. Batch synchronization can be automated and suits working with large volumes of data but may result in data inconsistencies if updates are frequent.
- Real-time synchronization. Using messaging for replication technologies to keep multiple copies of the same data, data is synchronized in real time or near real-time.
Benefits of synchronization:
- Consistency and accuracy. It can reduce errors by ensuring that data in different systems is up to date.
- Improved collaboration. It helps improve work efficiency by enabling applications to share data seamlessly.
- Better resource utilization: It can reduce duplication by optimizing how resources are used.
- Limit data loss. By ensuring that multiple copies exist, synchronization reduces the risk of data loss.
- Increased efficiency. It can help organizations better use their data by improving the efficiency of data-related tasks, such as reporting and analytics.
Drawbacks of synchronization:
- Overhead. Network usage and computational resources may reduce the performance of a system.
- Data conflicts. Simultaneous modifications can sometimes result in conflicts.
- Cost. If sophisticated technologies are required, data synchronization can be costly.