I’m a sticker for keeping data in sync on whichever platform I currently work on, which is one of the reasons I (sometimes) love using Lotus Notes & Lotus Domino. As always though, when something new drops onto my lap, I start thinking about the ideal way of getting contacts (i.e. addresses) and calendars correctly synchronized over a multitude of devices. Nokia mobile phones are delivered with Nokia’s PC Suite, a set of programs that allow a Windows PC to synchronize data with MS-Outlook and with Lotus Notes. Support for the latter is quite lacking (memos, a.k.a. notes, a.k.a. personal journal are not supported), and all in all, past experiences with PC Suite have been sub-optimal at the best of times and terribly wobbly otherwise. Apple’s iSync works out of the box of course and moves both addresses and calendars to and from the mobile phone properly, but Apple’s Address Book is not my primary storage (I’ll write about what is at a later point in time), which of course means synchronizing into respectively out of it. A cumbersome and error-prone proposition… All the more reason to look more closely at Funambol, the Open Source software which supposedly has umpteen-thousand downloads per month! That may be, but Funambol appears to promise a bit more than it delivers, IMHO: it is a framework which can be used to build upon. After downloading the latest 3.0 stable release, I got it running within minutes, using the supplied demo applications. Getting Funambol to store data in a MySQL database was a bit more work: the PIM-to-DB connector needs installing, after which Funambol does start writing into the appropriate database tables, although not all vCard/vCal data is correctly stored. Never the less, Funambol would be a way to go. Then there are highly convoluted solutions which involve just too much manual ado, although ScheduleWorld in itself might be a useful service, if I’d want to keep my personal data on somebody else’s server… I just need a few more sleepless nights to arrive at the best solution for my needs. Unfortunately I’m already convinced it won’t be an ideal solution.

LDAP, DomiNotes, MySQL, Linux, Database, SyncML, and MacOSX :: 10 Oct 2006 :: e-mail