While we’ve already discussed the offline caching of files, this section involves a look at the synchronization settings relating to offline files and how they can be configured and controlled. Synchronization Manager allows you to control how and when offline files are synchronized. You can find the utility via the Synchronize option on the Tools menu in Windows Explorer. Options include synchronizing offline files, folders, and web pages at logon/logoff, when the system is idle, or at a scheduled time. You may, for example, choose only to synchronize a certain folder, instead of all offline items. You can also control whether synchronization occurs based on the type of connection. For example, you may want to synchronize when connected via the LAN, but not when connected via a dial-up connection.
The Synchronization process also handles file conflicts. For example, let’s say that you synchronize a directory and then disconnect your system from the network (a laptop). If you change a file while offline, Windows 2000 will automatically replace the network version with your newer version once you reconnect and synchronize, assuming the network version hadn’t changed. If another user had also changed it while you were offline, Synchronization Manager would ask how you would like to proceed. It allows you to view both copies of the file, and decide on an appropriate course of action. You could keep both files (renaming one), overwrite the network copy with yours, or overwrite your copy with the new network copy.