[NTLK] What is the possibility for SyncML for Newton?

From: gmoody_at_gmx.net
Date: Thu Nov 18 2004 - 08:38:24 PST

Hi Folks,

Is anyone familiar with the SyncML, a common data synchronization
initiative that is being widely adopted by mobile devive manufacturers=2E=20=

Could this address, in a more universal way, the Newton synchronization
issues? This is already being embraced by Palm, PocketPCs and cell phone
manufacturers, as well as software providers=2E

More info at http://www=2ESyncML=2Eorg and

An exerpt from a white paper:
Characteristics of a Common Synchronization Protocol

The goal of a common synchronization protocol is symmetric=2E It would
connect any to any, over any network=2E That is, it would:

    * Synchronize networked data with any mobile device
    * Synchronize a mobile device with any networked data

The data synchronization protocol would synchronize networked data with
many different devices, including handheld computers, mobile phones,
automotive computers, and desktop PCs=2E A user could access and manipulat=
the same set of data from different devices=2E For example, a user could r=
e-mail from either a handheld or a mobile phone, and still maintain a
consistent, updated record of which messages had been read=2E

Similarly, with any-to-any synchronization, mobile devices could support
more types of data, including e-mail, calendar, contact management
information, enterprise data stored in databases, and documents on the web=
With such functionality a user who received an order via e-mail could
access the company inventory system on the same device to determine a
delivery date=2E

To accomplish this goal, the protocol needs the following characteristics:=

    * Operate effectively over wireless and wireline networks
    * Support a variety of transport protocols
    * Support arbitrary networked data
    * Enable data access from a variety of applications
    * Address the resource limitations of the mobile device
    * Build upon existing Internet and Web technologies
    * The protocol's minimal function needs to deliver the most commonly
      synchronization capability across the entire range of devices=2E

Effective Over Wireless and Wireline Networks

A common synchronization protocol must work over all networks used by
mobile devices, both wireless and wireline=2E The various wireless network=
commonly used by mobile devices demand the most from a protocol, since
these wireless networks share common features of high network latency,
limited bandwidth, relatively high packet costs, and low reliability of
both data and connectivity=2E

    * High network latency - Network latency is the delay introduced when =
packet is momentarily stored, analyzed and then forwarded=2E Wireless
networks, with a high latency, require a robust synchronization protocol=2E=

    * Limited bandwidth - To minimize bandwidth requirements and the
associated pro-cessing demands, the protocol should allow alternate binary=

encoding techniques to both the data and the synchronization commands=2E T=
WBXML (WAP Binary XML) standard adopted by the WAP Forum and submitted to
the W3C represents a good candidate encoding technique for limited
bandwidth environments=2E
    * Relatively high packet costs - The protocol must minimize the number=

of request-response interactions between the device and the networked data=
An optimal protocol would generate a single request-response pair of
messages=2E In this model, a request from a mobile device would contain al=
updates to its local data=2E The response message would provide the update=
with conflicts already identified and possibly resolved=2E Any protocol
adopted by the industry should seek to enable this minimalist messaging
    * Low reliability of both data and connectivity - In order to function=

with only intermittent connection to the network, the protocol must surviv=
inadvertent disconnection during the synchronization procedure=2E Even whe=
n a
disconnection is encountered, the protocol must ensure that the device and=

the networked data repository stay consistent and make progress when the
connection is reestablished=2E

Support Various Transport Protocols and Media

Since wireless networks employ different transport protocols and media, a
protocol must work smoothly and efficiently over:

    * HTTP 1 (i=2Ee=2E the Internet)
    * WSP (the Wireless Session Protocol, part of the WAP protocol suite)
    * OBEX (i=2Ee=2E Bluetooth, IrDA, and other local connectivity) It can=
be deployed over: =A5 SMTP, POP3, and IMAP
    * Pure TCP/IP networks
    * Proprietary wireless communication protocols

An effective synchronization protocol cannot depend on any capabilities
that cannot be made available over these transports=2E To be efficient, th=
protocol should minimize duplicating features provided by the transport=2E=

A reliable request-response model can be efficiently deployed across all o=
these trans-port protocols=2E An effective protocol could be built on this=

model=2E Moreover, defining a MIME (Multi-Purpose Internet Mail Extensions=
content-type for the protocol units will allow the protocol to be
transported across any of these different transports=2E Optional enhanceme=
to the transport protocol should include security and compression

Hmmmm=2E=2E=2E=2E Any developers willing to look at the specs and inform =
us of the



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