July 21, 2004 .net

My Favorite Smart Client App: Robocopy

There’s a smart client app that I’ve found myself using more and more and loving it: robocopy. The UI for robocopy sucks, of course. It’s a command line app with a myriad of options that take experimentation to really figure out, but once it’s started, it works like a champ, providing progress on each file and, most importantly, retrying once it loses it’s network connection.

What this allows me to do is set up long copy operations bringing down the latest internal Longhorn builds (which are huge) over my uncertain VPN connection. When I hibernate my box, I don’t worry about Robocopy dropping bits or getting confused and when I lose my internet or VPN connection, it retires 1 *million* times before giving up, which gives me plenty of time to notice and reestablish the connection.

Slap a friendlier UI on Robocopy and you’ve got a wonderful smart client citizen that should be emulated.