Microsoft Sync Bursts on to the Scene

Wow, another major code framework announcement in a week with the release of the Microsoft Sync framework. Since the release of Google Gears which enables web apps to work offline I have wondered how Microsoft would respond. Well, in a surprise to me, we now have the Sync framework which absolutely swamps Gears. In fact my first reaction is that Sync is so broad and far reaching that it loses out in simplicity to Gears.

Nevertheless in Sync we have the ultimate desktop app, web app, mobile app, P2P and web services (including 2-way RSS ) synchronisation model. In typical timid style Microsoft describes Sync as:

a comprehensive synchronization platform enabling collaboration and offline for applications, services and devices with support for any data type, any data store, any transfer protocol, and network topology

As I suspected there is a reference implementation using SQL Server Compact Edition (local, in-memory database). This not only matches the local storage of SQLite in Gears but adds a rich synchronisation model for parent SQL Server databases or any ADO.NET supported data sources.

At the other extreme we see Sync supporting all types of portable and smartphone devices that contain memory and even RSS feeds and all types of web services. All these features come at the cost of a fairly steep learning curve and the need to use .NET languages like C#. I can’t wait to give it a try in the RSS space.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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