A Beginner’s Guide to Bidirectional Sync

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The integration of business applications has become an essential factor for the effectiveness of any organization. With the use of different applications, it is necessary to find a way to make it easier for them to communicate and share data.

However, data syncing is not as easy as it sounds because different applications use different API protocols. Hence, if you want to integrate applications from different developers, you need to start thinking about bidirectional sync.

If you are unfamiliar with the term, no need to worry we have you covered.

To learn more about how bidirectional sync works and how it can benefit you; keep reading.

What is Bidirectional Sync?

In layman’s terms, bidirectional sync is the synchronization of data between two or more databases/apps/networks/servers. With bidirectional sync, you can access information or data provided by another application or server without the need for any extra effort on your part. Additionally, you can share data with another server or network irrespective of having different protocols.

Since it is bidirectional sync, it goes both ways. This means that you can access and share information from and between different apps respectively.

In a nutshell, bidirectional sync allows data to be sent and received between two servers, applications or networks irrespective of the source or destination in a heterogeneous manner.

How Does Bidirectional Sync Work?

A protocol is a computer program/language that APIs use in order to communicate. Communicate, means to fetch and share data with each other.

Despite the attempt to standardize API protocols, there are a number of protocols in use. Hence, APIs using different protocols can’t communicate easily.

To bridge the gap between two different protocols a middleman of sorts is required to translate the different protocols and establish sync. The middleman is responsible for fetching data from one app (source) and matching its API to the API of the target app.

The synchronization works the same when roles are reversed. The source becomes the target and the original target becomes the source.

Take an example of a document stored in a cloud. When you access the document from the cloud, the cloud is the source and your PC, tablet or phone becomes the target.

So what happens to the original document in the cloud if you make any changes on your PC or phone?

Due to the bidirectional sync in place, the changes get mirrored on the original document stored in the cloud. Hence, you do not have to take the extra effort of manually updating or upload the changes to the cloud.

How Does Bidirectional Sync and One Way Sync Differ?

As the name suggests, one-way sync can only share and access data. Hence, data can only get updated from server/network A (source) to B (target). However, server B can’t share data with server A because there is no two-way synchronization (bidirectional sync).

Hence, bidirectional sync acts as a one-way sync alternative by providing two-way sync. With one way sync, the sharing of data between two applications is limited to one way traffic. However, with two-way sync, you can eliminate the limitation.

Advantages of Bidirectional Sync

When compared to one-way sync, bidirectional sync has the following advantages.

  1. Saves Time

Bidirectional sync eliminates the need to manually update data on a different application. When data gets entered into the one node, it is replicated on all the other nodes with their respective APIs.

  1. Easy File Sharing

With bidirectional sync, staff members don’t have to physically seek permission or ask for files. They can access the files they need right from the network or cloud without any need to request access.

  1. Information Security

Bidirectional sync works in a closed loop. It makes it harder for people who are not within the synchronized nodes to access the information.

Final Word on Bidirectional Sync

Bidirectional Sync enables the seamless communication of different apps irrespective of the protocols. Due to the benefits involved, it is considered a suitable alternative to one-way sync.

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