BACKGROUND: Encore Development is a leading provider of Web-powered business solutions for corporate work groups, departments and the enterprise.

PLATFORMS: NT servers and Pentium II laptops.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Princeton Softech's SyncPoint was the key enabling technology in a custom sales force automation application for a large medical distributor located in Jacksonville, Florida. This application gives 700 sales consultants secure Web-based access to critical information that had previously been locked in a J.D. Edwards ERP system. The company can now distribute customer information, plus provide remote order processing capabilities to an entire mobile sales force, even when they are off-line. In addition, selected customers can now remotely process their own orders. By extending this self- service capability to its customers, the company increases sales, frees salespeople for other sales activities and enhances customer relationships.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Princeton Softech's SyncPoint automatically segments very complex databases, effectively manages referential integrity and data model issues, quickly refreshes remote databases by sending only net changes and safely synchronizes data that has been updated in multiple locations. By utilizing ActiveX technology for client applications and APIs for existing server applications, SyncPoint is easily and seamlessly integrated as a separate layer between the application and the database.

STRENGTHS: Princeton Softech's SyncPoint readily accommodates complex, mission-critical applications that have a large number of users, all of whom require simultaneous synchronization. SyncPoint is network transport independent. The product supports large numbers of users with scalable parallel processing and dynamic load balancing to deliver optimum performance and efficiency. SyncPoint directly supports the most commonly used databases in the client and server environments including Oracle, DB2 UDB, DB2 for OS/390, Sybase and SQL Server. This direct support provides very high- performance access and update to these database environments. SyncPoint can also utilize ODBC-client database access for other database types.

WEAKNESSES: Initially, Princeton Softech's SyncPoint did not support dynamic load balancing, the ability for users to obtain the full results of a synchronization and server system administration via APIs. However, working closely with our development staff, Princeton Softech incorporated all of the features that had been missing, including the ability to dynamically add SyncPoint servers, with one functioning as the master, to ensure consistent response time. These product enhancements now uniquely differentiate SyncPoint from other synchronization solutions in the market.

SELECTION CRITERIA: In terms of our most critical requirements ­ accuracy, ease of integration, performance and security over the Internet ­ Princeton Softech's SyncPoint surpassed even the claims of the other alternatives we had seen and far surpassed our performance criteria. We needed to synchronize a Web-based Oracle8 database with interbase client databases. SyncPoint's capability to directly access Oracle, allow ODBC utilization for client access to interbase and provide a high-performance, scalable solution for large numbers of simultaneous users gave us by far the best combination of compatibility and performance. We were also very impressed with Princeton Softech's ability to respond and commit to our needs during the development cycle.

DELIVERABLES: In today's ruthlessly competitive world, you need to deploy information at the point of commerce, such as your sales force or, increasingly, directly to customers, distributors and partners. Princeton Softech's SyncPoint is a powerful and highly scalable technology for managing distributed and disconnected eData across and beyond the enterprise. SyncPoint features an off-the-shelf, robust solution for what are otherwise limited options for managing distributed data ­ options that are often arduous, error-prone and performance-problem plagued. The product maintains 100 percent data accuracy while automatically segmenting, distributing, securing and synchronizing eData in a multivendor database and application independent environment.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Princeton Softech was willing to listen to our suggestions for enhancing the product and actually modified SyncPoint to meet our needs. Princeton Softech's support team became a partner, not just a supplier.

DOCUMENTATION: Due to Princeton Softech's extensive on-line support, we did not use any documentation.

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