Overall Satisfaction with BeyondCompare
Beyond Compare is a useful tool for operational tasks. We use it to compare various formats, include plain text, folders, and other structured data. It also works really great as a source code diff tool. Using it to compare eliminates manual work and reduces the risk of human error in long lists/data sets.
- Improved developer productivity both in development and operations.
- Allow us to reduce risk of bad data causing production issues.
I haven't run across a whole lot of products that offer just comparisons, besides the classic diff tool. Beyond Compare serves as a specialized tool that usually is part of other software, such as IDEs. It offers some great features of IDE-embedded diff tools. A small but incredibly useful feature is the ability to manually align the different lines. Even the best diff tools don't have the full context. Of course, BeyondCompare doesn't have the IDE functionality for code analysis or build tools included, so it becomes a trade-off.
Beyond Compare does have command line support which makes it able to be used with source control and other tools, but it doesn't offer integrated features with those tools. Ideally, I would look for the ability to embed Beyond Compare in those tools and share, for example, code analysis, git history, and in-line editing.
Beyond Compare is intuitive and easy to use, especially for it's more complex features such as folder compare. It doesn't require any setup or integration to simply plug in data to be compared.
BeyondCompare is useful anytime two pieces of data need to be compared. It's a tool in my set that I use after some text manipulation or regex to find differences in log files, hard-to-spot changes in large XML files, or just comparing code snippets.