Egnyte, a startup with file syncing and sharing software that supports storage in the cloud and companies’ on-premises data centers, is announcing today the launch of a new desktop app for both Mac and Windows. Several customers are already using the app in beta, and it will become generally available on Windows in April and on Mac in May.
The new Egnyte Connect Desktop app will effectively replace existing Egnyte software for accessing files from different places: the original Desktop Sync client for high-speed and offline access, the Egnyte Drive app for accessing an entire file system in the cloud, and the Storage Sync virtual appliance for on-premises deployment. “Imagine these were three different access points on Finder or Explorer and you had to click each of them separately. Now there’s only one Egnyte desktop app,” Egnyte cofounder and chief executive Vineet Jain told VentureBeat in an interview.
Egnyte has been developing this app for the past year, but for the past two and a half years engineers have been working to refine one of its key features, global file locking, which prevents multiple people from simultaneously editing the same file in order to prevent issues, Jain said.
“On Mac, we use Fuse instead of a kernel module to ensure system stability in case of unforeseen application issues, and on Windows we use filter drivers,” Egnyte chief technology officer Amrit Jassal wrote in an email. “Files are cached locally based on size, access history, and for folders explicitly pinned by the user.”
The app also figures out which repository — local, cloud, on-premises storage — is the best place from which to serve a specific file. This means Egnyte customers can continue to keep different kinds of data in their current locations to meet regulatory and business needs.
Today’s launch comes a week after cloud-only file syncing and sharing software startup Dropbox announced the launch of the Smart Sync (formerly Project Infinite) for Dropbox Business customers, through an early-access program. The core function of that feature — which lets you view all files you have access to and store certain files locally — is available through the Egnyte Connect Desktop app, Jain said.
So long as companies make their repositories in third-party services like Box, Dropbox, or OneDrive accessible through Egnyte’s software framework, end users will be able to access files from those services in the Egnyte app, Jain said.
Based in Mountain View, California, Egnyte is now cash-flow positive, he said. The startup’s most recent funding round came in 2013. In June, Egnyte introduced the Egnyte Protect data management service.