[CoMoDev] data sync

  • From: David Beers <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2005 18:35:33 -0700

Darren Shaffer's excellent webcast today on the topic of data synchronization 
with SQL CE hit on something I would like to see addressed at a meeting "coming 
soon"--maybe as a recurring topic from time to time.  Data synchronization is 
still one of the hardest things about mobile software development and arguably 
the hurdle that most hinders the progress of mobilized computing.  And there 
are so many ways to go about it depending on your situation:  As Darren pointed 
out, even if we narrow the topic of  synchronization down to (a) Windows 
Mobile, and (b) applications that use SQL CE, we still have a bunch of 
different options to look at: merge replication, RDA, or web services.

So what about best synchronization practices when you've just got a text file 
(maybe XML) for the data store? (RAPI anyone?)  Or best practices for Palm 
conduits?  Or what about when your application is cross-platform Java of some 
kind and uses RMS or a Waba Catalog to persist mobile data?  When to use web 
services (and what protocol is best) and when to use something like SyncML?  Or 
when to consider one of the commercial middleware options offered by the likes 
of Intellisync, Sybase, ExtendedSystems, Oracle, IBM, etc.--and which one?

And here's the kicker that gets a lot of folks who think they've got the rest 
worked out: how best to deal with network intermittency at inopportune moments 
for those wireless apps that have to run in the real world of non-ubiquitous 
wireless service?  

I could have a thing or two to present at either the March or April meeting in 
connection with some of this.  But does anybody else care to share a little of 
what they have learned in the area of application data synchronization?  Or 
even PIM synchronization, which is a whole field unto itself?  Anybody have 
something they would *like* to see demonstrated by someone else?  I may be able 
to round up someone who could do it for us.


David Beers, Moderator
Colorado Mobile Developers

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