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Data Digester Enterprise Edition (EE)

Data Digester EE Box

The Data Digester Enterprise Edition (EE) is the flagship of the Data Digester product series. It includes all features of the Basic Edition and Standard Edition, and adds sophisticated new functions to work with network file systems connected via FTP/SFTP and to synchronize files and directories based on checksums and signatures.

Checksums and OpenPGP signatures are not limited to integrity and authentication checking, but can also be deployed very efficiently for file synchronization. It's the ideal solution to transfer even large file collections from local to remote servers or vice versa while consuming only a minimum of time and bandwidth. By analyzing the available checksums and signatures the Data Digester software ensures that only new or modified files are being transferred. So you don't have to take care about the edited files, let the Data Digester do the job by simply pressing the Synchronize button. Read more...

The key features of the Data Digester Enterprise Edition at a glance:

  • Generate and examine checksums like MD5 or SHA. Create and verify OpenPGP signatures.
  • Supports GNU, BSD, and the new Digester XML file format. Create files with multiple checksums.
  • Synchronize files, directories, or file system trees based on checksums and signatures.
  • Access network file systems with FTP/SFTP. Generate and check digests/signatures remotely.
  • Manage OpenPGP keys comfortably, create/import/export OpenPGP keys.
  • Be platform independent. Runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and many more systems.
  • Use the installers or execute the application directly with Java Web Start.
  • Call the command line interface from your own applications. Support for Ant build scripts.


Generate and examine checksums, create and verify OpenPGP signatures

The Data Digester Enterprise Edition does it all: generate, refresh, check, synchronize. It is the perfect solution for those users wanting to equip their download servers with checksums or the more secure OpenPGP signatures or both. Checksums and OpenPGP signatures can be deployed in almost all situations where important files must be secured against data corruption or manipulation. Checksums and signatures should be generated for server backups, multimedia archives (image, audio, video), medical and scientific documents, CAD project files, scanned documents, and many more mission-critical files.


Currently, the Data Digester supports the following message digest algorithms: MD2, MD4, MD5, RIPEMD-128, RIPEMD-160, RIPEMD-256, RIPEMD-320, SHA-1, SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA-512, Tiger, and Whirlpool.

The Data Digester software provides many ways to generate checksums and OpenPGP signatures. You should start with the Generate Wizard where you can choose the target files, select the desired message digest algorithms, and setup some basic options for the generation process. Then the most flexible way is to select single files or directories from within the built-in file system navigator window. Choose the desired message digest algorithm or OpenPGP key from the context menu (right mouse button) and the files are being generated. You will find all available options for the digest/signature generation centralized in the Generate docking window. Here you can adjust the mesage digest algorithms and associated file extensions, the file format options, the OpenPGP keys used for signatures, the many options to finetune the new Digester XML file format, as well as the options controlling the refresh mode.

Of course, all features of the Basic Edition and Standard Edition are also supported by the Data Digester Enterprise Edition.



Process GNU/BSD/Digester XML files with multiple checksums

To check single files or file collections it is necessary to store the computed checksums for the original files into checksum files. Normally these checksum files are stored together with the original files for example on magnetic tape which are then delivered to a safe place like a bank safe. In the emergency case such backups can be restored. On the Internet you can find checksum files predominantly on FTP and other download servers. Normally the checksum files are named after the original files by adding a distinctive suffix such as .md5 for MD5.

The most common file format used for checksum files on the Internet is the GNU format. The data is stored as text lines each of which holding a calculated checksum for exactly one single original file. Another widely used file format for checksum files on the Internet is the BSD file format. Like GNU format files, the checksum values are stored as separate text lines for each original file while the line format is slightly different for BSD format files.

Wherever possible the new Digester XML file format should be preferred which can be used very efficiently together with the Data Digester software. Here you can also create single checksum files for each original file but the checksums can also be bundled together in arbitrary combinations even over drive boundaries. Another advantage of the Digester XML format is the capability to store intermediate digests. While GNU/BSD files  can only contain one single checksum for each original file, the use of Digester XML files allows to store as many digests/signatures as desired. Unnecessary to mention that Digester XML files can also contain OpenPGP signatures, so it's one format for all.

Here you can view some Digester XML examples.


Synchronize files, directories, or file system trees

One of the main features of the Data Digester Enterprise Edition compared to the other versions is the capability to synchronize collections of files and directories. For example image and video files may have been captured with a digital camera and must then be transferred on a company's server using the Internet connection of a notebook. Simply connect the camera to the notebook to access the image file system, then the Data Digester software comes into play. Instead of copying all image/video files on the server, where some of the photographs may have been transferred already, checksums can be analyzed to determine only the new files on the memory medium. If you have already edited some of the images using the notebook's image tool, these files may also be easily detected. This optimization helps saving costly mobile bandwidth and time.


Setting up a new sync mapping is easy: the Sync Wizard will guide you through the few necessary steps. After selecting the source and target entries which may be local or on a remote server, you can choose the formats of the checksum files as well as the message digest algorithms and OpenPGP keys (optional). The synchronization can then directly be started by pressing the Synchronize button provided by the sync window. The sync docking window is the central component where all synchonization options may be configured. Like the generation templates, also the sync options can be stored as mappings to support arbitrary sync operations for different environments.

The target set is not limited to one server connection. It is possible to setup two, three or more targets sets each containing files/directories on different server systems. The source entries are then checked against the entries of each server target set. Only new and modified files are being transferred to the servers. This allows for an easy and fast distribution of files and directories on remote servers (mirroring). If necessary, the source and target sets may be switched without creating a new mapping template in order to transfer entries in the other direction.



Access remote servers with FTP/SFTP

The Data Digester Enterprise Edition provides support for accessing remote servers connected via protocols like FTP/SFTP. Connections may configured using a special dialog, where the basic parameters of each connection are specified: the host name or IP address, the protocol and port, the remote path as well as the credentials to login (username and password). The expert settings may be used to re-establish lost connections automatically or to send a keep-alive signal to the remote machine for connections with timeout like ISDN dialup.

Arbitrary connections can be established using a specialized network file system navigator window. Each connection has its own tab and can therefore be handled independently from the others. Both the network and local file system navigators support drag & drop to interact with the sync docking window. The source and target sets of files and directories to be synchronized can be inserted easily by dragging the entries from the file system navigator windows. Checksums and OpenPGP signatures can be directly generated on the remote systems with the context menu (right mouse button) or the Generate and Refresh buttons of the generate window.


Built-in OpenPGP key management, create/import/export OpenPGP keys

The Data Digester software has a built-in OpenPGP engine (Pretty Good Privacy) to create and verify signatures according to the OpenPGP standard. You can easily create new key pairs consisting of a private and a public key. The private keys are used to create signature files while the public keys are required to verify your signatures. While the public keys can be published e.g. on your website, the private keys and the associated passphrases must be handled with care to avoid misuse.


OpenPGP signatures allow for more security compared to checksums since downloaded files may also be authenticated. If a OpenPGP signature created with a well-known public key could be successfully verified for a downloaded file, the file is both valid (not corrupted or manipulated) and it originates from the creator it claims to originate from.

If you already have generated OpenPGP key pairs, it is possible to import them into the Data Digester software with a few clicks. Passphrases may be stored securely along with the keys in order to support non-interactive processing and command line operation. It is also possible to enter the passphrases each time OpenPGP signature files are being generated. OpenPGP keys may be exported to be used by other OpenPGP applications like GnuPG or the enigmail plugin for the Firefox browser.



Runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and many more systems

The Data Digester software is written in pure Java which allows the software to be executed on almost any platform on the market. If your environment changes from one platform to another, chances are good that the Data Digester software can be migrated without problems to the new platform. The obtained licenses are still usable no matter the platform. This gives system administrators the flexibility to migrate from one platform to another without generating additional software license costs.

Future versions of the Data Digester software will add Android support for mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. So the marketing slogan "Write once, run everywhere" becomes reality.


Install or execute the application with Java Web Start

The Data Digester software can be executed in two ways: from a classic installation or directly using Java Web Start. Installers exist for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux/UNIX systems. There are currently two Windows installers available, one including a Java runtime environment (JRE) already. Additionally, a DMG installer for Mac OS X is available as well as a universal shell executable installer for Linux/UNIX operating systems. All installers can be executed either from the command line/shell or in a graphical environment.


The Data Digester software may also be run directly from a website by clicking the Launch button (an appropriate Java runtime environment must be installed on the PC). The application is then downloaded and started right away. If the software is started the next time using the desktop icon or the link again, the application is not downloaded again but started from the local cache. There is no need for time consuming installations, so Java Web Start is the ideal mechanism to execute the Data Digester software on a customers' site, on temporarily used PCs, or mobile devices like notebooks.


Command Line

Command line interface and native Ant support

Use the command line interface of the Data Digester Enterprise Edition called digestercli to check, generate or synchronize message digest and OpenPGP signature files on those computer systems lacking a graphical user interface (e.g. from a remote system). The Data Digester software implements the Apache Ant task interface to support Ant build scripting natively. Let the Data Digester GUI generate the command line arguments and Ant task definitions for you, so there is no need for additional programming.

Please take a look at the command line arguments for the Check, Generate, Refresh, and Sync operation modes of the command line application digestercliHere you can view the Apache Ant examples.

How to continue

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