[December 03, 2002] In 2002 Q3, the SyncML Initiative was consolidated with the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), together with the Location Interoperability Forum (LIF), the MMS Interoperability Group (MMS-IOP), and the Wireless Village Initiative. "SyncML is the open standard that drives data mobility by establishing a common language for communications between devices, applications and networks. The foundation of the SyncML open standard, SyncML Data Sync (SyncML DS) ensures a consistent set of data that is always available on any device or application, any time. SyncML Device Management (SyncML DM) enables OTA administration of devices and applications, simplifying configuration, updates and support."
SyncML website description:
The SyncML initiative accelerates the development and market success of SyncML Data Sync and SyncML Device Management technologies. It is sponsored by Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia, Openwave, Starfish Software and Symbian, and is supported by leading wireless companies.
SyncML is the common language for synchronizing all devices and applications over any network. SyncML leverages Extensible Markup Language (XML), making SyncML a truly future-proof platform. With SyncML, networked information can be synchronized with any mobile device, and mobile information can be synchronized with any networked applications. With SyncML any personal information, such as email, calendars, to-do lists, contact information and other relevant data, will be consistent, accessible and up to date, no matter where the information is stored. For example, a calendar entry made to a mobile device on a business trip is equally available to a secretary in the network calendar. SyncML is the ultimate choice for remote synchronization.
SyncML is designed especially with the wireless world's tight requirements in the mind. SyncML minimizes the use of bandwidth and can deal with special challenges of wireless synchronization like relatively low reliability of the connection and high network latency. In addition to that SyncML enables synchronization over fixed networks, infrared, cable, or Bluetooth.
[November 30, 2001] "SyncML is the leading open industry specification for universal data synchronisation of remote data and personal information across multiple networks, platforms and devices. The SyncML initiative is sponsored by Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd., Motorola, Nokia, Openwave, Starfish Software and Symbian, and supported by more than 650 key wireless and leading companies across various industry sectors . Companies interested in deploying SyncML compliant products and services in 2001 and beyond are encouraged to join the initiative."
[February 23, 2000] SyncML Initiative Founded to Develop a Universal Standard for Data Synchronization. According to a February 2000 press release, IBM, Lotus, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Inc., Psion and Starfish Software announced that "they have founded The SyncML Iniative. The SyncML Initiative develops and promotes an open industry specification for universal data synchronization of remote data and personal information across multiple networks, platforms and devices. SyncML is a XML-based data synchronization protocol designed to create the optimal mobile computing experience by supporting enhanced data synchronization, including e-mail, calendar, contact management information, enterprise data stored in databases, Web-based documents and new forms of content from systems available in the future. The SyncML Initiative is open for industry partners to join in developing the specification. The SyncML Initiative will leverage industry standards Extensible Markup Language (XML), MIME, the vCard and the iCalendar to represent Internet Data, email information, personal contact information and calendaring information. Extending beyond currently available data synchronization technologies, SyncML will enable seamless synchronization among wireless and wireline networked data, computers, laptops, handheld computers, PDAs, mobile handset and other mobile devices. . . The founding members of The SyncML Initiative have identified the following goals to achieve the successful development and adoption of an industry wide data synchronization standard: (1) Leverage existing open standards for structured data representation and industry object types [operate over wireless and wireline networks; support a variety of transport protocols; support arbitrary networked data; provide data access from a variety of applications; connect mobile devices regardless of platform or manufacturer; use existing Internet and Web standards and technologies] (2) Provide easily accessible code for enabling support for the specification. The SyncML Initiative is open for participation to a wide range of industries including device manufacturers, synchronization vendors, service providers and application developers. Companies interested in joining are encouraged to contact The SyncML Initiative today to become part of the team and deliver the SyncML specification available later this year."
"The SyncML initiative will work with end users, device manufacturers, data providers, infra-structure developers, application developers, and service providers to define a common mobile data synchronization protocol, SyncML. This protocol will meet the resource constraints of mobile devices and wireless networks and will provide the extensibility to support a range of data types. The goal of the SyncML initiative is to deliver the protocol in the future for formal adoption and maintenance by an established standards body. To enable adoption of the SyncML, SyncML initiative will deliver: (1) An architectural specification; (2) Two protocol specifications (SyncML representation protocol and SyncML synchronization protocol); (3) Bindings to common transport protocols; (4) Interfaces for a common programming language; (5) An openly available prototype implementation of the protocol."
[December 07, 2000] Founders of The SyncML Initiative, including Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Inc., Psion, and Starfish hosted a briefing today in connection with the release of the SyncML 1.0 specification. Douglas Heintzman, Chairman of SyncML, hosted the teleconference call with other SyncML founders. The SyncML Initiative "develops and promotes an open industry specification for universal data synchronization of remote data and personal information across multiple networks, platforms and devices. SyncML is a XML-based data synchronization protocol designed to create the optimal mobile computing experience by supporting enhanced data synchronization, including e-mail, calendar, contact management information, enterprise data stored in databases, Web-based documents and new forms of content from systems available in the future." Severall XML DTDs and related specifications documents (e.g., SyncML Synchronisation Protocol Specification V1.0 and SyncML Representation Protocol Specification V1.0) are now available for download. From the announcement: "SyncML, the initiative sponsored by Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Inc., Psion and Starfish Software, has today released the SyncML 1.0 specification providing tomorrow's synchronization technology for today's mobile solutions. In less than one year, SyncML has successfully developed and published a powerful protocol for universal data synchronization of both remote and local data. In addition to the specification, SyncML initiative also released a SyncML Reference Toolkit source code, enabling companies to rapidly bring SyncML-compliant products to the market. 'The SyncML initiative is proud to deliver this exciting technology to the market in record-breaking time. Full interoperability among mobile terminals and server infrastructures is a fundamental ingredient in the successful deployment of mobile Internet services. The entire industry will greatly benefit from the success of SyncML,' said Ilari Nurmi, vice chairman of the SyncML initiative. SyncML-enabled products and services will offer consumers mobile freedom by synchronizing personal data and providing interoperability among all SyncML-compliant products and services. Consumers and business professionals alike will be able to synchronize their personal data, such as contacts and calendars, in mobile terminals with various applications and services including corporate personal information managers, Internet calendars, Internet address books and more. Synchronization will be possible locally and remotely through various transports, such as infrared, Bluetooth, HTTP and WAP, regardless of platform or manufacturer. This open standard will enable device manufacturers, application developers, Internet companies, and wireless operators to have SyncML-compliant products and services commercially available as early as the Q1 2001. Founded in February 2000, the SyncML initiative has recognized the growing need for a single data synchronization protocol. With the industry-wide proliferation of mobile devices and the evolution of these devices as the major means of information exchange, synchronization of data will be of integral importance. The SyncML initiative, officially supported by more than 500 device manufacturers, service providers and application developers, welcomes new supporters to join the initiative. New members have the opportunity to make contributions to the specification work and will receive advanced solution development tools provided by the SyncML initiative." In this connection, Nokia "showcased the world's first SyncML implementation with the Nokia 9210 Communicator. The demonstration also included a powerful SyncML enabled Internet calendar solution, the Nokia Mobile Calendar, which in addition to SyncML supports legacy mobile phones too. The Nokia Mobile Calendar is a product, which operators and Internet service providers can offer to their subscribers."
"SyncFest is the name for the SyncML Interoperability Testing event. SyncFest events are an opportunity for vendors demonstrate, in real-time, that their SyncML products are truly interoperable with at least two other vendor's implementations. Upon the successful demonstration of interoperability during a SyncFest, a vendor will be granted the right to license usage of the SyncML logo in product marketing materials. As SyncFests are purely technical events, it is expected that participants will be members of the vendor's SyncML engineering staff. Vendors can participate in SyncML Interoperability Testing events (SyncFest events) only if they have successfully completed the SyncML Conformance Testing process. SyncFest events are open to SyncML Members. There is a US $500 participation fee per attendee, which includes a product testing station, network connections, and light catering. Each company with a SyncML-compliant product is entitled to one complimentary registration. SyncML is serious about protecting the privacy of vendors at the SyncFest events. As a result, all participants are required to sign a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement. In short, this document ensures that any information or technology that a participant wishes to declare as confidential will be treated as such by all participants at the event. The NDA will be sent to you by the SyncFest organizers upon your registration for a SyncFest event..." Tentative 2002 SyncFest Schedule: #5: January 23-25, 2002 Amsterdam, Netherlands; #6: April 3-5, 2002 US; #7: June 5-7, 2002 Asia; #8: September 18-20, 2002 US; #9: November 20-22, 2002 Europe.
SyncML Specifications Version 1.1.1 "On October 29, 2002, the SyncML BoD granted final approval of SyncML specifications v1.1.1 upon completion of the required IPR review period."
Download SyncML Specification and SyncML Reference Toolkit
"Building an Industry-Wide Mobile Data Synchronization Protocol." White Paper (PDF). Also in HTML format. [local archive copy]
[April 29, 2003] "Mobilkom Austria and Weblicon Announce World's First Wireless SyncML Synchronization on the Sun One Platform." - "mobilkom austria and Weblicon today announced the world's first wireless SyncML server in a mobile operator environment on the Sun ONE platform. The Weblicon SyncML server provides over-the-air synchronization of mobilkom austria's popular A1 ORGANIZER with mobile phones from Nokia, SonyEricsson or Siemens. A1 ORGANIZER provides communications and personal information management (PIM) services based on the Sun ONE Messaging Server and Sun ONE Calendar Server. With the new SyncML solution, users can seamlessly synchronize the address book and calendar of their A1 ORGANIZER with the built-in address book and calendar of a mobile phone. In addition, users can synchronize their A1 ORGANIZER with Microsoft Outlook / Outlook Express desktop organizer and Palm or PocketPC PDAs resulting in a harmonization of various address books and agendas... mobilkom austria is using the Weblicon SyncML Server to enable wireless synchronization of PIM services with SyncML enabled mobile phones, PCs and PDAs. The SyncML standard plays an important role, because it enables cross-vendor compatibility with any SyncML-enabled mobile phone. The new protocol is quickly becoming the defacto-standard for synchronization and has been adopted by leading mobile phone vendors like Nokia, SonyEricsson and Siemens which have recently integrated SyncML into their products. The addition of the Weblicon SyncML Server links these products with the A1 ORGANIZER that was developed on the scalable, robust Sun ONE Messaging and Calendar server. Sun ONE is an open, integratable product platform enabling the development and delivery of Java Web services... More than 3 million Austrians make their calls with A1. Over 44 percent of all Austrian mobile phone users trust in the market leader in mobile communications. With a share of 69 percent, mobilkom austria is also the market leader in the business-customer segment... SyncML is the open standard that drives data mobility by establishing a common language for communications between devices, applications and networks. The foundation of the SyncML open standard ensures a consistent set of data that is always available on any device or application, any time. Sponsored by Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia, Symbian and others, the SyncML initiative accelerates the development and market success of SyncML technologies... Weblicon Technologies AG is a pure technology provider focused on Personal Information Management (PIM) and Synchronization software for corporate carriers. The Weblicon product development is based entirely on open standards such as Java, J2EE, SyncML and WCAP. Weblicon is an active member of the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and has achieved official SyncML certification of its SyncML Server as one of the first companies worldwide in April 2002. The Weblicon SyncML Server has been proven in live operation of leading carriers using the Weblicon SyncML Server in combination with the SunONE Calendar and Messaging Server..."
[April 15, 2003] "SyncML Device Management: An Emerging Protocol Standard for Managing Devices." By Rajkiran Guru (Software Engineer, IBM India Software Labs). From IBM developerWorks, Wireless. April 2003. ['With pervasive devices overwhelming today's market, developers need a standard protocol to set up and reconfigure devices, update software, and register new services remotely. The SyncML Device Management Protocol helps you do just that without having to commit to a proprietary protocol.'] "Ubiquitous access to information is vital in today's fast-moving computing world. If it isn't already, the market will soon be flooded with different types of pervasive devices. These include Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) with network access, as well as a new class of not-so-personal, but more consumer-oriented devices, such as in-vehicle information systems, home service gateways, kiosks, and set-top boxes. And as those devices become more popular and more complicated, the task of setting up and reconfiguring devices, updating software, and registering new services automatically becomes more challenging. Therefore, we need a standard protocol that will allow service providers, device manufacturers, and corporate information management departments to perform the following tasks remotely: (1) Configure new devices; (2) Upgrade software on devices; (3) Upload new applications; (4) Perform backup and restoration; (5) Track hardware inventory; (5) Collect data from the devices; (6) Control devices remotely; (7) Implement service discovery and provisioning... This article gives you an under-the-hood look into the SyncML (Synchronization Markup Language) Device Management Protocol -- an emerging and efficient solution that has gained wide support among major industry players... Currently, there are several proprietary protocols you can use to manage devices, but there is no current standard device management protocol. If you consider the non-interoperability issues that come with multiple proprietary protocols, this is a disconcerting fact. Unless the industry proposes a standard device management protocol, a plethora of incompatible protocols will consume it, whereas a standard device management protocol would cater to all industry segments. The SyncML Initiative, led by more than 640 companies, including Ericsson, IBM, Nokia, and Motorola, has designed a highly-interoperable device management (DM) protocol. The initiative successfully created an industry standard data synchronization protocol. Now industry leaders in both the client and server segment are in the process of designing and promoting the SyncML Device Management Protocol, in hopes of making it the future standard. The SyncML Initiative is now a part of the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), which consists of groups like WAP Forum, Location Interoperability Forum, and MMS Interoperability Group. By being a part of this widespread industry organization, SyncML's acceptance as a standard device management solution will likely increase significantly..."
[March 18, 2003] "XML Watch: WBXML and Basic SyncML Server Requirements. Use SyncML to Mobilize Your Data." By Edd Dumbill (Editor and publisher, xmlhack.com). From IBM developerWorks, XML zone. March 2003. ['In the second installment of his quest to make his data available wherever and whenever he wants by using SyncML, Edd Dumbill encounters Wireless Binary XML (WBXML) and examines the minimum functionality required for a SyncML server.'] "In my previous column, I introduced my mission to investigate and deploy SyncML. Increasingly, people are becoming users of multiple devices, depending on location and occupation. When they travel or change devices, they want their data to come with them. This is the central function of the SyncML XML protocol, which is rapidly becoming a checkbox item on the feature lists of today's mobile phones. Last time, I gave a high-level overview of SyncML, and showed what happened when I captured the first SyncML message sent from my Ericsson R520m mobile phone to my Web server. The most surprising thing about this message was that it was encoded not in XML, but in Wireless Binary XML (WBXML). WBXML is a standard developed by the WAP Forum, and is intended to provide a space and a CPU-efficient XML representation. Many XML developers have never encountered WBXML before, as it is largely used in proprietary cell phone networks. However, supporting SyncML requires the ability to handle this encoding, as well as the straight XML encoding. In this installment, I give a brief overview of the WBXML encodings, the steps involved in processing the WBXML encoding of SyncML into XML, and what is required to go back the other way, from XML to WBXML. I also introduce the main elements of the SyncML protocol, to set the stage for creating a SyncML server. The topic of binary notations for XML is one of the more enduring permathreads that have continued through the five or so years of XML developer discussion. At a high level, opinion is divided into two camps: The first of these favors a custom encoding, such as that used by WBXML; the second maintains that compressing normal XML will achieve similar space savings. To me, the second approach has always seemed preferable, as it provides the ability to re-use common and well-known software components. However, the WAP Forum decided to pursue a custom encoding scheme -- WBXML. Along with several other technical decisions made by the forum, this has received its share of criticism over time... WBXML takes a tokenizing approach to encoding XML. The most common constructs -- such as tags, attributes, and attribute values -- are reduced to one-byte tokens, with some literal text left in the clear. WBXML also allows for common strings to be reduced to tokens as well, with the token table sent as part of the document preamble. WBXML implements the equivalent of XML namespaces through code pages. As only 27 tokens are available for elements -- 5 bits, with the values 0 through 4 being reserved -- complex vocabularies need to be multiplexed by organizing token sets into separate code pages. Switching code pages is analogous to switching the default namespace. The WBXML encoding of SyncML uses a code page for each of the DTDs used in the protocol: SyncML, SyncML Meta Information, and SyncML Device Information... The basic requirements for a SyncML client are similar to those for a server. I'll explore these further as I get deeper into implementing the protocol itself in future installments of XML Watch. SyncML employs the semantics of URIs to indicate items on the local and remote databases. This means that a file system would serve as a reasonable substrate for a synchronization database. With this in mind, the next installment will focus on the construction of a basic server that is able to use either WBXML or XML-encoded SyncML..."
[January 30, 2003] "XML Watch: Have Data, Will Travel. Using SyncML to Mobilize Your Data." By Edd Dumbill (Editor and publisher, xmlhack.com). From IBM developerWorks, XML zone. January 2003. ['In his continuing quest to make his data available wherever and whenever he wants it, XML developer Edd Dumbill sets out on a journey to investigate and deploy SyncML.'] "The arrival of XML, along with the acknowledgement of the usefulness of open standards, has begun to liberate data from the confines of single applications... There's already solid agreement on standards for certain common data items like calendars and contact lists, but an unfortunate lack of convenient ways to transmit such data. This is where SyncML comes into the equation. SyncML, an XML-based protocol for synchronizing data, is enjoying a surge in popularity in the latest batch of mobile devices. Even with current synchronization technology, it's hard to keep contacts and schedules synchronized across my Palm Pilot, desktop PC, laptop, and mobile phone. So hard, in fact, that I've given up trying -- much to my frustration. I'm desperately tired of trying to remember to carry my PDA around with me as well as my cell phone just to have my contact lists available. SyncML seems like a great opportunity to solve this problem, and as it will work over Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), I can synchronize with a remote server wherever I am. Unfortunately there don't really seem to be any consumer-facing SyncML products, and only a small amount of supporting open source code available. So I set out to see what was involved in implementing SyncML, with the intentions of integrating my cell phone and my personal information management software, then releasing the code. These next few installments of this column will follow my efforts, focusing particularly on where XML technologies enter into the picture The goal of this exploration is to create a basic SyncML server component that can be deployed either on a Web server or on an OBEX server (for instance, on a Bluetooth-enabled computer). We've already learned that in addition to implementing the semantics of the SyncML language, we'll need to be able to handle WBXML as well as XML... The name SyncML is somewhat misleading. While it is indeed an XML-based markup language, it's not just a data format. It's really a protocol that provides the structure for agents to synchronize data with each other, by defining the permissible exchanges and determining how they are to be interpreted. ... Because mobile devices have limited memory and processing capacity, their manufacturers created an XML-like binary meta language called Wireless Binary XML (WBXML). The basic idea behind WBXML is that by taking advantage of foreknowledge of the DTDs, you can minimize the tags to one byte. The tradeoff, as you can see, is it loses some of its readability. I was surprised to find out that many XML developers had not come across the WBXML specification before. This is all the more peculiar as there are often questions in developer forums asking about binary encodings for XML. WBXML is most commonly deployed as the encoding for WML pages, as delivered to the WAP browsers on mobile phones. In fact, the SyncML specifications deal with both XML and WBXML encodings of the protocol. SyncML is intended for use over any device, but to support mobile phone class devices, a SyncML server must be able to send and receive WBXML in addition to XML... See also "SyncML intensive, A beginner's look at the SyncML protocol and procedures," by Chandandeep Pabla..."
SyncML: Synchronizing and Managing Your Mobile Data. By Uwe Hansmann, Riku Mettälä, Apratim Purakayastha, and Peter Thompson. Foreword by Phillipe Kahn (CEO, LightSurf). Prentice Hall PTR, 2003. ISBN: 0-13-009369-6. 320 pages. See the announcement and Amazon.com information. Chapter 1: "Introduction" and the Preface are available online.
[December 03, 2002] "Extended Systems' SyncML SDK Compliant with New SyncML Standard. Company Returns From SyncFest 9 With v1.1.1 Certification." - "Extended Systems, a leading provider of mobile information management solutions for the enterprise, today announced that the company's SyncML software development kit, which enables mobile device manufacturers to implement the SyncML client protocol into a wide range of devices including smart phones, cell phones and PDAs, has undergone SyncML Interoperability testing and is now certified compliant with SyncML v1.1.1. Extended Systems' XTNDAccess SyncML SDK underwent the rigorous SyncML Interoperability testing at SyncFest 9 in Sophia Antipolis, France. In addition to being compliant with v1.1.1, noted features of the software kit include portable source code, easy-to-use APIs and comprehensive, easy-to-follow documentation, all of which allow developers to reduce development costs and shorten time-to-market. Specifically designed for embedded client devices, Extended Systems' SyncML SDK also features small code size (less than 40k ROM) optimized for memory limited devices and includes support for large objects, allowing developers to use a smaller message buffer resulting in saved RAM space on the device. Extended Systems Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Don Baumgartner said maintaining SyncML compliance is an important initiative for Extended Systems because the standard, and the interoperability and testing processes that drive it, enable device manufacturers to accelerate the introduction of SyncML compliant products by dramatically increasing the number of data capable products in the market. 'In addition,' he said, 'our unique relationships with leading device manufacturers and standards organizations allow us to bring a greater level of knowledge and expertise to enterprise customers.' SyncML is the common language for synchronizing all devices and applications over any network. SyncML leverages Extensible Markup Language (XML), making SyncML a truly future-proof platform. With SyncML, networked information can be synchronized with any mobile device, and mobile information can be synchronized with any networked applications. With SyncML any personal information, such as email, calendars, to-do lists, contact information and other relevant data, will be consistent, accessible and up to date, no matter where the information is stored." According to a recent OMA announcement, "Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) has finalized the integration of the Location Interoperability Forum (LIF), the MMS Interoperability Group (MMS-IOP), the SyncML Initiative, and the Wireless Village Initiative." See the list of SyncML compliant products.
[October 21, 2002] "Stage Set for Wireless, PDA Web Services Specs." By Vance McCarthy. From Integration Developer News. October 21, 2002. "After a feverish summer agenda, the SyncML Initiative has pulled together a number of key specs and test results for setting standards for the 'mobile extended enterprise.' The work on mobile services interoperability and management wraps up just as SyncML joins the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), the newly created federation of mobile standards groups. 'The interoperable tests for device management we had last month were very successful,' Doug Heintzman, chairman of the SyncML Initiative told IDN. 'We are just one step away from declaring interoperable products under the Device Management spec.' That will likely be done next month, during SyncML's November meeting in Europe, he added... Just in the last few months, Oracle Corp. has become much more hands-on with SyncML's work... SyncML's DataSync, which has been out since December 2000, is now 'very robust,' Heintzman said, and a new wave of more robust testing tools has come available. More than 100 devices now comply with the DS spec (on both the client and the server side). These products come from Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Oracle, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia, Openwave, Starfish Software, and Symbian, among others. As for SyncML's Device Management 1.0 spec, the success from those interoperability tests (held last month is Las Vegas) 'gave the DM committee the confidence to sit down for another 2 1/2 weeks beyond the SyncFest to do the final thing clean up and refer the DM spec and interoperability test suite to the board for final review.' That review will be completed as early as next week, Heintzman added... Starfish Software, a founder of SyncML, just had its latest versions of its TrueSync data synchronization products SyncML DataSync 1.1 certified. Starfish focuses its business on providing data synchronization capabilities to software providers, including IBM's Websphere and PeopleSoft. 'The big guys are making it a core part of their product, and there's reason to assume that data synchronization will be an even bigger differentiator when it comes to supporting mobile workers and wireless clients,' Diane Law, Starfish's director of marketing told IDN. Law puts it this way: 'Sync ML's Device Management specification solves much the same problem for handhelds and PDAs as we had for laptops year ago. It helps answer the questions: 'What's on these devices? How to I get access to that data, application or whatever?,' she said, adding that once the SyncML device management spec gets broad support it will spur IT's interest in mobile use. 'By having over-the-air device management, and access to the device we can update, synchronize, and even for security purposes lock-up and retrieve the data,' Law said. Starfish also has APIs to support synchronization from Microsoft Exchange and Lotus' Domino. The company also has the capability to support Microsoft CE clients from a Java or Windows back-end server, she added. Starfish is working with OEMs, and Law said she expects further added announcements later this year. Despite the SyncML's momentum, Heintzman doesn't expect a complete 'rubber stamp' of their work to date...
[October 14, 2002] "Are Enterprises Ready for Standardized Device Management via SyncML?" By Adam Stone. In Internet.com MComerce Times (October 14, 2002). ['The SyncML Initiative brings together big-name mobility players like Ericsson, IBM, Motorola, Nokia and Palm, among others, who joined forces in an effort to address some of the underlying technological challenges that were hindering the adoption of wireless computing.'] "Participants in the industrywide SyncML Initiative say they have good news for the many enterprise IT executives who are wrestling with device-management issues. Launched in February 2000, the SyncML Initiative brought together such big-name mobility players as Ericsson, IBM, Motorola, Nokia and Palm, among others, who joined forces in an effort to address some of the underlying technological challenges that were hindering the adoption of wireless computing. In particular, they set out to device uniform standards to govern such areas as synchronization and device management. They hit the ground running, and by December 2000 the first devices using the SyncML standards already were on the shelves. Today there are at least 80 SyncML-compliant servers and clients in the commercial marketplace. The SyncML Initiative agreed recently to consolidate its efforts with those of other standards groups under the newly created umbrella body, the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA). But the work goes on at full speed. On October 8, 2002, in fact, members of the initiative voted to send out into the world the first version of a new specification intended to set a baseline specification in the arena of device management. That specification should be ready for publication by month's end, according to Douglas Heintzman, chair of the SyncML Initiative and manager of strategy and standards for IBM's pervasive computing division..."
SyncML version 1.1 specifications:
- SyncML Device Information DTD. Version 1.1. "defines the Document Type Definition (DTD) for the XML representation of the Device Information document. This XML document describes the capabilities of the device and is used in SyncML data synchronization protocol operations. Data synchronization provides the means for two different networked object stores to remain in identical states. Different forms of data synchronization can be categorized into one of a number of topologies, based on the architecture used by a data synchronization server, or sync engine. Sync engines need to understand the features of a device they synchronize with. This information is often stored in a Device Information document on the target device." Also in text format, cache.
- SyncML Meta-Information DTD. Version 1.1. "The DTD represents standard meta-information used in the SyncML Representation Protocol. The meta-information is included in a SyncML XML document through the declaration of the SyncML Meta-information DTD name space on any element types from this DTD.
- SyncML Representation Protocol. Version 1.1. "specifies the common XML syntax and semantics used by all SyncML protocols."
- SyncML Representation Protocol DTD. Version 1.1.
[April 10, 2002] "SyncML Intensive: A Beginner's Look at the SyncML Protocol And Procedures." By Chandandeep Pabla (Software Engineer, DCM Technologies). From IBM developerWorks, Wireless. April 2002. ['SyncML is the data synchronization protocol that promises to put an end to wireless data synchronization woes for end users, manufacturers, service providers, and application developers alike. Follow along with wireless programmer Chandan Pabla as he unpacks the SyncML protocol (now in version 1.1) and walks you through the steps of a two-way client/server SyncML procedure.'] "A long-standing obstacle to the advancement of ubiquitous computing has been the lack of a generalized synchronization protocol. Until recently, the available synchronization protocols were proprietary, vendor-specific, and supported synchronization only on selected transports, for specified data types. This has slowed development in the area of mobile computing and been a common source of frustration for users, device manufacturers, service providers, and application developers. SyncML, launched in February 2000, marked the coming together of industry leaders (Ericsson, IBM, Motorola, and Nokia, among others) to resolve the synchronization problem. With the February 2002 release of the SyncML version 1.1 specification, we have our chance to begin working in earnest with what already promises to be a groundbreaking protocol. In this article we'll unpack the SyncML specification. I'll start by describing the essential components of the SyncML protocols. Next, I'll explain the seven different types of SyncML procedure, and walk through the steps of a two-way synchronization procedure. In closing, I'll outline the contents of the SyncML Reference Toolkit, then briefly discuss the overall benefits of using SyncML as the foundation for your wireless device development. [...] we have explored the basic structure and components of the SyncML data synchronization protocol. We've also walked through a simple SyncML synchronization procedure, using that procedure to learn about some of the complexities that can arise in data synchronization, and how they are dealt with in the SyncML framework. We closed with a quick overview of the SyncML RTK, and a discussion of the wide-reaching benefits of SyncML. The future of SyncML is bright. Already, an initiative is in place to expand it scope, with the Device Management Protocol, and application development under the SyncML programming framework is well underway. [The SyncML Device Management protocol (SyncML DM), announced in January 2002, is the first move by the SyncML Initiative to broaden the scope of the SyncML specification. SyncML DM technology will allow third parties such as wireless operators, service providers, and corporate information management departments to remotely configure mobile devices.] With the release of the SyncML version 1.1 specification, it is apparent that SyncML will continue to mature, and will become an increasingly ubiquitous wireless programming technology over the next several years..."
[April 12, 2002] "SyncML Announces 12 New Compliant Products. 44 Clients and 25 Servers Now Certified SyncML Compliant." - "The SyncML Initiative Ltd. announced [April 8, 2002] that eight (8) new clients and four (4) new servers were certified as SyncML compliant at SyncFest #6 held last week in Boston, MA, USA. Clients tested by Ericsson, fusionOne Client, Magically , Nexthaus, Nokia, and Ukibi and servers tested by Extended Systems, Serial, Synchrologic, and Weblicon were certified as SyncML compliant products. A list of all SyncML compliant products is available at http://www.syncml.org/interoperability.html. Participation in the SyncML interoperability testing process enables device manufacturers, application developers, Internet companies and wireless operators to accelerate the introduction of SyncML compliant products and services to market. SyncML member organizations including fusionOne, NeoSteps, Nokia, Openwave, Starfish, and Steltor also participated in SyncFest #6 in Boston, bringing their SyncML compliant technologies. Their participation greatly enhances the SyncFest process by providing compliant client and server technologies which new participants may test against. 'With over sixty-five SyncML compliant products currently available, our member organizations are seeing real traction in the marketplace with SyncML,' said Doug Heintzman, chairman of the SyncML Initiative. 'According to recent research from Cahners In-Stat, enterprise adoption of wireless data will grow exponentially over the next five years, with business users of wireless data skyrocketing to 39 million in 2006, from 6.6 million last year. We feel strongly that SyncML will be a key driver of that growth.' Ericsson T68 and T65 handsets, Starfish TrueSync Device Stack and TrueSync Wireless, and Nokia 9290 and 9210 Communicators are just a few examples of SyncML products that enjoy market success. See the SyncML Interoperabilty report for a complete list of SyncML compliant products... SyncFest #7 will take place June 4-6, 2002 in Hong Kong... SyncML is the open industry specification for mobile data sync and device management. Sponsored by Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Matsushita Communication Industrial Co. Ltd., Motorola, Nokia, Openwave, Starfish Software and Symbian, SyncML is supported by mobile and wireless leaders across various industry sectors worldwide."
[March 22, 2002] "Stay in Sync While on the Go." By Jeff Jurvis. In XML Magzine Volume 3, Number 2 (March 2002), pages 52-53. ['Use the common protocol SyncML to pass text-based updates from one source to the other.'] "... Sponsored by Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Motorola, Nokia, Matsushita, Openwave, Psion, and Starfish Software, the SyncML consortium organized the work around establishing an open, common language to synchronize compliant devices, applications, and services running over any network. SyncML is designed to work over HTTP; Wireless Session Protocol (WSP) for wireless Web applications that run over Wireless Application Protocol (WAP); OBEX (an object exchange protocol that runs over infrared and Bluetooth connections and that is built into most operating systems); lower level TCP/IP; and e-mail protocols such as SMTP, POP3, and IMAP. SyncML uses XML to encode commands and data and is designed to run on top of tried and true Web protocols such as HTTP, SSL, and WAP, and therefore is compatible with the applications developed for Web-friendly mobile platforms such as J2ME. A developer looking to add synchronization capabilities to a mobile app needs only the bare minimum tools... The SyncML language is supported by a corresponding SyncML framework that lays out the architecture for a complete end-to-end cross-platform synchronization solution that encompasses nearly all mobile, desktop, and server data sources, but even the SyncML consortium does not aim to override existing end-to-end single platform solutions. Microsoft's ActiveSync technology works great across Windows platforms and will likely stay proprietary. But look for Microsoft to join Palm, IBM, the major mobile phone manufacturers, and the rest of the world in providing hooks to SyncML for those ever-so-common instances where proprietary devices need to talk to each other..."
[February 26, 2002] "SyncML Turns Two, Releases Specifications v1.1 for Mobile Data Sync." - "The SyncML Initiative, Ltd. today [February 26, 2002], on the second anniversary of its founding, announced the release of the SyncML version 1.1 specifications for mobile data sync and device management. ... 'Building upon the success of our recent 2002 Congress in Amsterdam, featuring the public premiere of SyncML DM technology, we're pleased to announce the release of the SyncML version 1.1 specifications,' said Doug Heintzman, chairman of the SyncML Initiative. 'Hardware and software leaders worldwide are telling us that open standards-based mobile data sync and device management are essential for the market success of their offerings, today and in the future. The SyncML Initiative is actively advancing the evolution of these key standards, and accelerating the process by which our member organizations assure interoperability, and win in the marketplace.' In addition to many technical enhancements to SyncML v1.0 specification, the SyncML v1.1 specifications features: (1) Device Management: Remote management of mobile devices; provisioning, remote diagnostics, software downloads. (2) Large Object Delivery: Ability to sync large objects such as a complex calendar event, with multiple recurrence and exception elements, or a vCard with large embedded elements, such as a .wav file audio recording. (3) Improved MD5 Authentication: Scalable extension improves security, critical for corporate deployments, enabling the separation of authentication and SyncML servers..."
SyncML Version 1.0.1. Specification date: 2001-06-15. SyncML version 1.0.1 is an attempt to fix errors and make corrections with respect to Version 1.0. Note the Representation Specification DTD, Meta Information DTD Specification. and SyncML Device Information DTD. The version 1.01 specification includes formal notation and documentation in a number of separate disk files. See the SyncML Specification version 1.0.1 (ZIP); SyncML V1.0.1 Release Notes ; SyncML Representation Protocol; SyncML Representation; SyncML over WSP; SyncML Meta Information; SyncML OBEX Binding; SyncML Device Information; SyncML HTTP Binding; SyncML Meta-Information DTD; SyncML Device Information DTD; SyncML Sync Protocol. See the package [cache] and version 1.01 release notes.
"SyncML Representation Protocol." Version 1.0.1. 105 pages. "SyncML is a specification for a common data synchronization framework and XML-based format, or representation protocol, for synchronizing data on networked devices. SyncML is designed for use between mobile devices that are intermittently connected to the network and network services that are continuously available on the network. SyncML can also be used for peer-to-peer data synchronization. SyncML is specifically designed to handle the case where the network services and the device store the data they are synchronizing in different formats or use different software systems. The SyncML representation protocol is defined by a set of well-defined messages that are conveyed between entities participating in a data synchronization operation. The messages are represented as an XML document. XML is the industry standard for text document markup. The SyncML representation protocol also can be identified as a MIME content type. MIME is the Internet standard for identifying multipurpose message contents. It provides a useful mechanism for differentiating between different content and document types. The SyncML representation protocol supports data synchronization models that are based on a request/response command structure, as well as those that are based on a 'blind push' command structure. The SyncML representation protocol embodies the concept of a SyncML Package. The SyncML Package performs some set of data synchronization operations. This conceptual data synchronization 'package' permits either a 'batch' of multiple data synchronization operations put together in a single SyncML Message or conveyed as separate SyncML Messages, each containing a single data synchronization operation. SyncML Messages are the body of the MIME entities." [cache]
SyncML Representation Protocol Specification V1.0. 2000-12-07. 104 pages. The 'SyncML DTD' presented in section 7 is also distributed in a separate file. "SyncML is a specification for a common data synchronization framework and XML-based format, or representation protocol, for synchronizing data on networked devices. SyncML is designed for use between mobile devices that are intermittently connected to the network and network services that are continuously available on the network. SyncML can also be used for peer-to-peer data synchronization. SyncML is specifically designed to handle the case where the network services and the mobile device store the data they are synchronizing in different formats or use different software systems.... SyncML is a specification for a common data synchronization framework and XML-based format, or representation protocol, for synchronizing data on networked devices. SyncML is designed for use between mobile devices that are intermittently connected to the network and network services that are continuously available on the network. SyncML can also be used for peer-to-peer data synchronization. SyncML is specifically designed to handle the case where the network services and the device store the data they are synchronizing in different formats or use different software systems. The SyncML representation protocol is defined by a set of well-defined messages that are conveyed between entities participating in a data synchronization operation. The messages are represented as an XML document. XML is the industry standard for text document mark-up... The SyncML representation protocol also can be identified as a MIME content type. MIME is the Internet standard for identifying multipurpose message contents. It provides a useful mechanism for differentiating between different content and document types. The SyncML representation protocol supports data synchronization models that are based on a request/response command structure, as well as those that are based on a "blind push" command structure. The SyncML representation protocol embodies the concept of a SyncML Package. The SyncML Package performs some set of data synchronization operations. This conceptual data synchronization "package" permits either a 'batch' of multiple data synchronization operations put together in a single SyncML Message or conveyed as separate SyncML Messages, each containing a single data synchronization operation. SyncML Messages are the body of the MIME entities." [cache]
Announcement 2001-11-19: "SyncML Initiative Announces Universal Device Management Project. Open Standard for Remote Management of Mobile Devices Under Development."
SyncML DTD V1.0 "This DTD defines the SyncML DTD. The document type defines a common format for representing data sychronization protocol data units. This DTD is to be identified by the URI string syncml:syncml. Single element types from this name space can be referenced as follows: <element xmlns='syncml:syncml'>blah, blah</element>." [cache]
[December 21, 2001] "IBM, Lotus Tie Up To Power Wireless Synchronization. WebSphere Everyplace Server Also to Support SyncML Standard." By Cathleen Moore. In InfoWorld (December 20, 2001). "IBM plans early in 2002 to unite its relational database wireless synchronization engine with the Lotus Domino Everyplace Server, in a new release of the WebSphere Everyplace Server family of software. The move is part of IBM's ongoing effort to realize closer technology ties with its Lotus Software subsidiary and to provide a more complete wireless synchronization offering to customers looking to wireless-enable business applications and information. IBM's DB2 Everyplace with relational database synchronization capabilities will come together with the e-mail and PIM synchronization in Lotus Domino Everyplace, in an attempt to address the requirement for synchronization that underlies enterprise efforts to extend e-mail and applications to wireless devices... Expected in the first quarter of 2002, the WebSphere Everyplace software family also will ship with support for the SyncML standard, an XML-based technology designed to enable synchronization of remote data and personal information across multiple networks, platforms and devices. IBM and Lotus are founding sponsors of the SyncML Initiative. SyncML support is critical to create the greatest amount of interoperability between all types of devices and servers, [IBM's] Prial said... IBM's long-term vision in the wireless space is to provide a common infrastructure for wireless, stitching together Lotus, Tivoli, and IBM technologies: 'We see the infrastructure requirement to support wireless devices coming together to a common infrastructure base, and IBM is bringing all those technologies together, whether it is synchronization, trans-coding, or subscription and device management. It is all part of a broader solution base'..." See also from August 2001, "IBM Retools WebSphere for Remote Access," - "...IBM announced plans to enhance parts of its WebSphere application server to make it easier for businesses to make information on the Web and in corporate databases available to mobile users, particularly using speech technologies. IBM said it juiced up its WTP (WebSphere Transcoding Publisher), a component of the application server used to reformat Web content and multimedia files so they can be accessed from PDAs, mobile phones, and other 'pervasive' devices..."
[October 26, 2001] "Syncing data. An Introduction to SyncML." By Scott Stemberger (Manager, Etensity). From IBM developerWorks. October 2001. ['In recognition of the fact that as the number of unique devices and the desire to access different enterprise resources proliferates, the SyncML initiative was formed to provide a uniform synchronization protocol for connecting multiple devices over any network to any data store. This article provides an overview of the open industry specification for data synchronization, SyncML, designed to meet the needs of the mobile user and their any-device, any-network synchronization needs.'] "The SyncML specification was designed with two primary goals in mind: (1) Synchronize networked data with any mobile device; (2) Synchronize a mobile device with any networked data. To accomplish these goals, SyncML was designed as a platform, network, and application-agnostic protocol, allowing for 'any-to-any' synchronization and, thereby, access to more types of data. SyncML is based on XML, so it works especially well handling cases in which network services and devices each store the data being synchronized in different formats, and which use different software systems... SyncML is comprised of two protocols: SyncML representation protocol and SyncML Sync Protocol. The first one can be envisioned as guiding the intricacies within the SyncML Framework, while the SyncML Sync protocol guides actions on the SyncML client and server. The SyncML data synchronization protocol is essential for gaining interoperable data synchronization. It essentially defines the protocol for different sync procedures, which occur between a SyncML client and SyncML server in the form of message sequence charts (MSCs). Examples of sync types are two-way syncs between server and client, or one-way syncs between the two. The SyncML representation protocol is defined by a set of well-defined messages (XML documents or MIME) that are shared between synchronizing devices. It supports data synchronization models that are based upon a request/response command structure, or those based upon a 'blind push' structure. The SyncML representation protocol specifies what the result of various synchronization operations should be, based upon a synchronization framework and format that accommodates different data synchronization models... SyncML is certainly the protocol of the future, as interoperability between devices, transport protocols, and network databases becomes a bigger priority for businesses and consumers. However, SyncML does face some challenges along the way. First and foremost is that SyncML is a standard, not an application or software. It allows device and server manufacturers to move to one clearly defined standard in which their products can be interoperable; unfortunately, it does not guarantee compliance. This leads to the next challenge -- partial implementation of the standard by vendors. In a perfect world, our syncing devices will be entirely plug-and-play with any data store on any network, enabling a device to sync with any database, in any location, at any time. Reality says that this level of cooperation among vendors will be challenging, to say the least, exhibited by the fact that many vendors have claimed full support of SyncML, but have yet to implement the standard into their products while continuing with their proprietary syncing efforts. A third challenge is the fact that the standard is in its infancy, and with that comes certain assumptions within the industry. Similar to the sentiment surrounding young standards such as WAP, certain vendors or businesses may be loathe to implement a 'young' standard for fear that the standard is still evolving at such a rate that their implementation will be at risk in a year's time... In light of intermittent network connections and relatively high cost of ownership for wirelessly connected devices, SyncML may very well be the missing piece of the puzzle that moves society into truly embracing mobile data services." Also in PDF format.
[November 30, 2001] "Extended Systems Launches SyncML Client SDK. Software Development Kit Allows SyncML Protocol to be Integrated Into a Wide Range of Mobile Devices." - " Extended Systems, a leading provider of mobile data management and wireless connectivity solutions, today announced a December release of its XTNDAccess SyncML Software Development Kit (SDK) -- a feature-rich client toolkit that enables developers to implement the SyncML synchronization protocol into a wide range of mobile communication and handheld computing devices. Specifically designed for memory-limited devices such as smart phones, cell phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants), XTNDAccess SyncML SDK features small code size, portable source code and easy-to-use APIs (application programming interfaces). This strong feature set shortens time-to-market by reducing development costs and testing cycles, enabling developers to focus on applications and system integration. Additionally, when utilized with Extended Systems' XTNDConnect Server- and/or PC-based data management products, the kit provides a complete, end-to-end synchronization solution for customers, allowing them to do everything from testing and demonstrating their client offering to providing value-added services such as remote PIM storage and data access. As a Promoter within the SyncML Initiative, Extended Systems has worked to ensure strong interoperability of both client and server products. Extended Systems' XTNDAccess SyncML SDK has been certified by the SyncML Interoperability Committee as SyncML compliant, giving developers confidence that their client solutions will interoperate with current and future server products on the market thus eliminating the risk of wasted time and development costs... SyncML is the common language for synchronizing all devices and applications over any network. SyncML leverages Extensible Markup Language (XML), making SyncML a truly future-proof platform. With SyncML, networked information can be synchronized with any mobile device, and mobile information can be synchronized with any networked applications. Personal information, such as email, calendars, to-do lists, contact information and other relevant data, will be consistent, accessible and up to date, no matter where the information is stored. Sponsored by Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia, Openwave, Starfish Software and Symbian, and supported by hundreds of leading wireless companies, SyncML is the leading open industry standard for universal synchronization of remote data and personal information across multiple networks, platforms and devices."
SyncML Synchronisation Protocol Specification V1.0 2000-12-07. 60 pages. This specification defines synchronization protocol between a SyncML client and server in form of message sequence charts. It specifies how to use the SyncML Representation protocol so that interoperating SyncML client and server solutions are accomplished... The purpose of this specification is to define a synchronization protocol using the SyncML Representation protocol. This protocol is called the SyncML Sync Protocol. This specification defines the protocol for different sync procedures, which can occur between a SyncML client and a SyncML server, in the form of message sequence charts (MSCs). The specification covers the most useful and common synchronization cases..." [cache]
Meta Information DTD Specification V1.0 2000-12-07. 15 pages. "This document defines a XML Document Type Definition (DTD) as defined in [the W3C Rec]. The DTD represents standard meta-information used in the SyncML Representation Protocol as defined in ["SyncML Representation Protool DTD"]. The meta-information is included in a SyncML XML document through the declaration of the SyncML Meta-information DTD name space on any element types from this DTD." [cache]
Device Information DTD Specification V1.0 2000-12-07. "This document defines the Document Type Definition (DTD) for the XML representation of the Device Information document. This XML document describes the capabilities of the device and is used in SyncML data synchronization protocol operations. Data synchronization provides the means for two different networked object stores to remain in identical states. Different forms of data synchronization can be categorized into one of a number of topologies, based on the architecture used by a data synchronization server, or sync engine. Sync engines need to understand the features of a device they synchronize with. This information is often stored in a Device Information document on the target device." [cache]
SyncML OBEX Binding V1.0 19 pages. "This document describes how to use SyncML over OBEX. The document uses the primitives and methods defined in the OBEX specification V1.2. The document assumes a scenario consisting of a data synchronization client (e.g., a mobile phone) and a data synchronization server where the master for the data resides. Within local area networks, the data synchronization server could be a PIM application running on a PC." [cache]
SyncML HTTP Binding V1.0 19 pages. "This document describes how to use the SyncML over HTTP. The document uses the primitives and methods defined in the HTTP specification V1.1. The document assumes a scenario consisting of a data synchronization client (e.g., a mobile phone) and a data synchronization server where the master for the data resides. Within wide area networks, the data synchronization server could be a remote web server." [cache]
SyncML WSP Binding V1.0 17 pages. "This specification defines how to use the SyncML in a WAP environment, i.e., it specifies how to use SyncML over WSP (Wireless Session Protocol). It also describes how to initiate a sync session from a server using the push protocol specified in the 1.2 version of WAP." [cache]
[August 01, 2001] "Untethered and In Sync Keeping the information on your company's wireless devices up to date is a core advantage for your business. [Wireless Synchronization.]" By Michael Cohn. In InternetWorld. (August 1, 2001). "It's hard to keep everyone on the same page. Schedules, address books, to-do lists, and other information can vary for every individual in an organization. With the proliferation of Palms, Pocket PCs, two-way pagers, and Internet-enabled mobile phones, information like this is spreading to a wide array of portable, and not always connected, devices. Wireless synchronization software enables people to keep customer contacts and calendars up-to-date between their portable devices, desktop and notebook PCs, and a central server, and access it wherever they are. Many companies also want to pool this information so team members can coordinate their schedules and tasks... Starfish Software, a subsidiary of Motorola, provides synchronization software so users can sync between a device and a PC. Motorola uses Starfish's TrueSync software on its PageWriter P935 pagers. 'It allows a user to load up the pager with names, pager numbers, as well as calendar information, and synchronize that back to the desktop,' explains Tom O'Brien, Starfish's vice president of marketing. Starfish also offers multipoint synchronization, allowing network administrators to synchronize servers and multiple devices with one mouse click. Starfish is one of the founding members of the SyncML consortium. The consortium was established last year to create a standard protocol for synchronization. The organization now has more than 640 members. O'Brien predicts that by the end of this year, SyncML devices will be shipping from Nokia and other handset manufacturers. But while these industry players have joined together to push a common standard, several vendors, such as Starfish and Pumatech, have also been patenting their own synchronization technologies..."
[December 28, 2000] "Features: Staying in Synch." By Didier Martin. From XML.com (December 27, 2000). ['SyncML is a new standard aimed at keeping your data synchronized between devices both large and small. Didier Martin provides a whirlwhind tour of this new technology.'] "On December 7th, 2000, the SyncML consortium, founded by Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Matsushita, Psion and Starfish, released the specifications for version 1.0 of a synchronization protocol based on HTTP and XML. In contrast to its cousin, the WebDAV protocol, the SyncML protocol does not add any new HTTP verbs, but uses the usual HTTP 1.1 verbs like GET and POST. And, similarly to an other cousin, the SOAP protocol, this XML-based protocol uses an XML format to carry its payload. SyncML's purpose is to allow the synchronization of data. For instance, to synchronize a contact list between local store resident on a palm computer and a network store resident on a corporate server; or to synchronize an event list between a calendar resident on a PC and a calendar resident on a smart mobile phone...SyncML servers exchange packages of information. To do so, SyncML provides a set of commands that each SyncML agent interprets. SyncML sits on top of several transport protocols, including HTTP and Bluetooth (note: Bluetooth may be used to transport TCP/IP - do you remember the Russian dolls?). The SyncML protocol itself is encoded in XML. The SyncML consortium provides a toolkit composed of open source modules. These modules, and the SyncML specifications, can be freely downloaded..."
[December 07, 2000] "Data-synchronizing Specification Released." By Matthew Woollacott. In InfoWorld (December 07, 2000). "Version 1.0 of the SyncML specification, which aims to provide an industry-standard way of synchronizing data between different devices, was released into the public domain Thursday. The announcement was made at a press conference here where members of the SyncML initiative simultaneously announced a SyncML reference tool kit designed to encourage uptake of the technology by vendors. As a result of the announcement, the first SyncML compliant products are expected to hit the market during the first quarter of 2001. The SyncML initiative was founded in February with the stated aim of providing a standardized means of data synchronization as a way of simplifying users' experience by improving upon current proprietary solutions. Initially, the group has targeted PIM-type applications such as calendaring and address books, but the group hopes to broaden its focus in the future. The technology is based on XML, and according to the companies, can be used over a range of transport mechanisms including wire line and wireless HTTP, the Wireless Session Protocol portion of WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), and the Bluetooth infrared standard. Similarly, the group said that the technology is platform-independent and compatible with client devices including EPOC, Java, Linux, PalmOS, Windows, and Windows CE According to O'Brien, SyncML is designed to be invisible to users in that it is meant to be layered onto existing synchronization applications. Starfish, for example, has incorporated it into its TrueSync application and will release the enhanced version early in the new year. O'Brien admitted, however, that some sort of branding effort may be necessary to make users aware they are not buying a proprietary solution. This will be up to individual companies to decide, he said. At the press conference, the companies gave a demonstration of the technology in action. First, a calendar entry was created on a Psion Revo personal organizer. This was then synchronized with a Lotus Domino server, and the entry was subsequently transmitted to a range of devices including a Palm V, Ericsson and Motorola phones, and a Nokia 9210 Communicator where it appeared a few moments later."
[December 08, 2000] "SyncML open sources universal data sync system." By Tony Smith. In The Register (December 07, 2000). "Industry-sponsored standards development body SyncML unveiled version 1.0 of its platform-independent data synchronisation spec today. The organisation, founded back in February by the IBM, Motorola, Ericsson, Psion and Palm, among others, released the system's XML-based data transfer specification and the software behind it free to the public under an open source licence. SyncML's technology essentially allows multiple systems to synchronise data much as Palm's HotSync ensures copies of data on a host PC and a PDA are kept in harmony. SyncML, however, is platform-independent, so neither PIM, say, or PDA need to know how either works in order to communicate. SyncML initally operates over HTTP, WAP's WSP, Bluetooth and IrDA (infra-red) transport protocols, though it is transport-independent. The organisation expects the first SyncML-compliant devices to appear during the first quarter of 2001. SyncML chairman Douglas Heintzman said he expects the number of compliant devices and applications to ramp up significantly throughout the year. Incidentally, SyncML sponsor Palm is expected to ship the next major version of PalmOS during that period, so it's likely the technology will be incorporated into Palm's HotSync, ultimately ending the need for different Conduits for different applications. That said, SyncML's success depends on its acceptance by software and OS vendors. In addition to its eight founder members, the group cites some 500 supporting companies, but the vast majority are small developers and wireless firms..."
[December 07, 2000] "Nokia showcases the world's first SyncML implementation with the Nokia 9210 Communicator." - "SyncML, the initiative sponsored by Nokia, Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Matsushita, Motorola, Palm, Psion and Starfish Software, has today released the SyncML 1.0 specification in London, UK. Nokia has showcased the world's first SyncML implementation with the Nokia 9210 Communicator. The demonstration also included a powerful SyncML enabled Internet calendar solution, the Nokia Mobile Calendar, which in addition to SyncML supports legacy mobile phones too. The Nokia Mobile Calendar is a product, which operators and Internet service providers can offer to their subscribers. 'Nokia is pleased to see that the SyncML initiative is proceeding well and delivering the essential technology for digital convergence devices. The entire industry will greatly benefit from the success of SyncML, and Nokia is committed to continue its strong support of the initiative. We are determined to extend our leadership in applying the SyncML technology,' says Janne Jormalainen, Vice President, Product Marketing, Nokia Mobile Phones. In less than one year, SyncML has successfully developed and published a protocol for universal data synchronization of both remote and local data. As SyncML-enabled products and services offer consumers mobile freedom and interoperability, consumers and business professionals alike will be able to synchronize their personal data, such as contacts and calendars, in mobile terminals with various applications and services including corporate personal information managers, Internet calendars, Internet address books and more. SyncML based synchronization will be possible locally and remotely through various transports, such as infrared, Bluetooth, HTTP and WAP over a mobile network."
[December 07, 2000] "Starfish and Motorola Showcase SyncML-Enabled TrueSync At SyncML Launch. Motorola Concept Phone And Excite Planner Wirelessly Synchronize Calendar And Address Book Data Using TrueSync Software." - "Today, at the SyncML launch event, Starfish Software, a leading provider of synchronization software and infrastructure solutions for the wireless Internet, demonstrated SyncML-enabled TrueSync technology wirelessly synchronizing address book and calendar data between a Motorola concept phone and the TrueSync-powered Excite Planner. This demonstration of seamless over-the-air (OTA) synchronization provided a preview to a series of future solutions from Starfish partners including SyncML-compliant Web-based services, mobile devices of multiple platforms and PC applications. Starfish's built-in SyncML based technology further enhances the value proposition of the TrueSync Internet Planner and synchronization services that ISP and wireless operators will be deploying using Starfish's server technology. Starfish's SyncML-enabled TrueSync solution is expected to be available to partners in early 2001. This demonstration also provided a glimpse into Motorola's plans to embed SyncML-enabled TrueSync technology into wireless phone platforms as part of a complete end-to-end solution to its wireless customers. Motorola is demonstrating this capability on a dual-band concept phone solution, which has a compelling feature set including intuitive PIM applications for managing personal information. Starfish's new SyncML-enabled TrueSync solutions will give mobile freedom to end-users by providing TrueSync multi-point synchronization for users' personal data and providing interoperability among all SyncML-compliant products and services, regardless of platform or manufacturer. Starfish recognized the growing need for a single data synchronization protocol and helped establish the SyncML initiative in February 2000. With the industry-wide proliferation of mobile devices and the evolution of these devices as the major means of information exchange, synchronization of data will continue to be of integral importance. In less than one year, the SyncML initiative has developed and successfully provided the world's first protocol for universal data synchronization of remote and local data. As additional SyncML-compliant data types emerge, TrueSync technology will provide support for these data types as well. TrueSync provides true, one click multi-point synchronization -- a fast, easy way for users to synchronize among all the supported phones, devices, PIMs and Internet address books, including Palm-OS powered devices, Pocket PC and Windows CE devices, Motorola wireless phones and paging products, supported Ericsson and Nokia wireless phones, Excite Planner, Yahoo! Calendar and Address Book, eresMas Internet based PIM, soon-to-be-released Eircell e-merge services, Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Organizer, Lotus Notes, Interact.com ACT!, Schedule+, Sidekick and TrueSync Desktop. And only TrueSync gives users the capability to easily download updates for future phones, devices and other applications, absolutely free."
[December 07, 2000] "fusionOne Announces Availability of SyncML Technology. fusionOne SyncML Server and fusionOne SyncML Client Now Available to Partners and OEMs." - "fusionOne, a pioneer in the development of next-generation Internet synchronization services, today announced the availability of its SyncML server and client technology. Available to partners immediately, the fusionOne SyncML server enables any SyncML device to seamlessly synchronize with all other fusionOne-enabled devices. These include PCs, mobile phones, handheld devices, Internet appliances and select web applications and portals. fusionOne has also developed a SyncML client available to OEMs and third-party developers. This highly portable agent not only enables devices to be SyncML-conformant, but also extends their reach to the entire fusionOne synchronization service. The SyncML organization develops and promotes an open industry specification for universal data synchronization across multiple networks, platforms and devices. fusionOne's industry-acclaimed Internet sync service is the first sync solution to provide seamless synchronization -- both wirelessly and otherwise -- across differing platforms, operating systems, and protocols, including SyncML. fusionOne has been working closely with many device partners and continue to work with its growing list of partners to implement the SyncML specifications following its official launch today. 'We are happy to see fusionOne bring SyncML solutions to the market in such an aggressive timeframe,' says Ilari Nurmi, vice chairman of the SyncML initiative. 'The leading synchronization vendors like fusionOne have an important role in productizing the SyncML technology and in offering user-friendly synchronization solutions to the market'... fusionOne's Internet Sync is a seamless and automatic way for users to keep their personal digital content up-to-date and "in sync" across their computing and communications devices. Leveraging its unique store-and-forward architecture and the power of the Internet, fusionOne synchronizes and distributes information easily and efficiently, without the need for any contact between devices. With fusionOne, users enter information once on any device with assurance that it will automatically be updated in all their other devices."
[August 29, 2000] "SyncML Initiative Brings Universal Synchronization One Step Closer To The Public. SyncML Version 1.0 Alpha Specifications Available To Supporters." - "SyncML, the initiative sponsored by mobile technology industry leaders Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia, Psion, Palm, Inc. and Starfish Software, today provided further evidence that the world is one step closer to universal data synchronization of remote data and personal information across multiple networks, platforms and devices. SyncML Version 1.0 Alpha, a release candidate, is now available to SyncML Supporters in addition to new updates to the SyncML Reference Toolkit, which was made available to Supporters in May. Delivered ahead of schedule, the Version 1.0 Alpha Specifications and the updated Reference Toolkit source code will be made available on August 31 in the Supporters area of the SyncML Website. With the release of SyncML v1.0 Alpha, Supporters will have the opportunity to review and provide feedback to the specification standard prior to the public release of SyncML 1.0 in Q4 2000. The updated toolkit now includes information for generating SyncML messages for the PalmOS, EPOC operating systems and Win 32 Server operating systems, as well as a full description of the XML based SyncML format. Information on SyncML messaging for the Linux operating system will also be available in Q4 2000. The new technology will be demonstrated to Supporters at the upcoming SyncML Supporter Summit, Dublin, on September 29, 2000. Since the announcement of its formation in February 2000, over 350 companies have announced their support for SyncML. The goals of the initiative are to develop a universal synchronization standard for the mobile computing industry. SyncML compliant products will be able to exchange information seamlessly across a wide range of operating platforms and communications technologies. Supporters of the initiative now include the founding eight companies, all leaders in their fields, and organizations such as Symbian, Excite@Home, PUMATECH, fusionOne, Xircom, and BT Cellnet."
[July 10, 2000] "Can SyncML Stay in Sync?" By K. Knox. Gartner Research Note [on] Technology. 10-July-2000. "SyncML addresses one of the biggest problems in mobile computing today: data synchronization. However, it will face many of the same challenges and obstacles that caused past standards initiatives to fail. Will SyncML be different? ... Today's synchronization market consists of numerous proprietary solutions that fail to scale the full set of capabilities required by most organizations, causing synchronization to be an inhibitor to most organizations' strategic use of mobile computing. Recognizing this problem, several vendors have emerged to establish the Synchronization Markup Language (SyncML) standards body. The SyncML initiative aims to develop a uniform synchronization protocol operating on any device over any network and among various vendors' products. As the number of unique devices that require access to different enterprise resources grows, so will the need for a synchronization standard like SyncML. Unlike other industrywide standards initiatives, most of which have failed, SyncML has a narrowly defined initial focus. While the standards body could have attempted to set standards in three areas -- format, API and protocol -- it has chosen to concentrate initially on the formats and, to a degree, on the protocol. SyncML does not currently address the APIs because they are specific to a platform, and the committee members, many of whom are experienced contributors to other standards efforts, have concluded that standards fail when they are not cross-platform. The committee members have also chosen not to include the wider area of mobile management (e.g., asset management, software distribution), since this would require much-broader industry support and would add greater complexity and time to deliver. The initial use of SyncML will be focused on cellular phones and PDAs, although the standard can be easily extended to include other classes of devices, such as notebook computers... As with any initiative like this, SyncML faces challenges..."
[June 14, 2000] "SyncML Initiative to Host SyncML Supporter Summit, Attracting Globally Acclaimed Wireless Technology Providers. Wireless Industry Leaders to Implement and Promote the World's First Universal Standard for Data Synchronization" - "Today, Wireless Industry leaders Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Motorola, Nokia, Palm Inc., Psion, and Starfish Software, announced they will host the first ever SyncML Supporter Summit at the historic Regal Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California on June 23, 2000. At this milestone event, registered SyncML Supporting companies will benefit from hands-on presentations and discussions focused on the rapid implementation of SyncML's powerful open protocol for mobile data synchronization, enabling Supporting companies to deliver cutting edge SyncML-compliant products and services to market as early as Q1 2001. For information on how to join SyncML or register for the Supporter Summit, visit www.syncml.org. Founded in February 2000, the SyncML initiative recognized the worldwide need for one common data synchronization protocol. With the industry-wide proliferation of mobile devices and the evolution toward mobile devices as the major means of information exchange, remote synchronization of data will be of integral importance. The SyncML initiative, officially supported by well over 200 device manufacturers, service providers and application developers, is currently developing and promoting an open global specification for mobile data synchronization... Unlike other synchronization platforms, SyncML is the only open industry specification that affords universal and global interoperability. Utilizing the common XML language for specifying messages that synchronize devices and applications, SyncML is the one true "future-proof" platform for enabling reliable and immediate synchronization of data. Additionally, SyncML technology can be used almost anywhere and in a wide array of devices, regardless of application or operating system. In simplest terms, mobile data synchronization means that e-mail, calendars, to-do lists, address books, and other databases remain consistent and up to date at all times among networked devices--a critical capability if mobile data usage is to become as widespread as generally predicted. It is important to remember that the term network in this context includes wireless systems in addition to infrared, Bluetooth, cable, and traditional fixed line networks. A calendar entry made on a wireless device, for example, is immediately accessible by a desktop computer on a traditional office network..." [Note: some 233 companies are now supporting SyncML.]
[April 19, 2000] "Punch Networks Joins SyncML Initiative. Company will join industry effort to develop and promote a single, common data synchronization protocol." - "Punch Networks announced it has joined the SyncML Initiative, the first open industry initiative to develop and promote an open industry specification for universal data synchronization of remote data and personal information across multiple networks, platforms and devices. Punch Networks offers an Internet file storage and collaboration service, called Punch WebGroups. The service allows users to not only securely store files on the Web, but also collaborate with others inside and outside their company, and synchronize their files. WebGroups includes rich management features, including: automatic file versioning, audit trail/member tracking, file access controls, change notification, and check-in/check-out functions. The service is currently accessed via a standard Web browser, and Punch will release wireless and Windows-based versions in the coming weeks. Punch joins other industry leaders including Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Motorola, Nokia, Palm Inc., Psion and Starfish Software, in helping to create the new protocol. SyncML is the common language for synchronizing all devices and applications over any network. It leverages Extensible Markup Language (XML), so that networked information can be synchronized with any mobile device, and mobile information can be synchronized with any networked application. With SyncML any personal information, such as email, calendars, to-do lists, contact information and other relevant data, will be consistent, accessible and up to date, no matter where the information is stored. [...] Founded by IBM, Lotus, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Inc., Psion and Starfish Software, the SyncML Initiative develops and promotes an open industry specification for universal data synchronization of remote data and personal information across multiple networks, platforms and devices. The SyncML Initiative is open for participation to a wide range of industries including device manufacturers, synchronization vendors, service providers and application developers."
[December 07, 2000] "SyncML Delivers Tomorrow's Technology Today. SyncML, One of the Fastest Growing Industry Initiatives, Launches SyncML Specification in Record Time, Providing Future-Proof Synchronization Technology for Today's Mobile Solutions."
The original announcement: "The SyncML Initiative Founded to Develop The World's First True Universal Standard for Data Synchronization. Initiative Includes Industry Leaders IBM, Lotus, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Inc., Psion and Starfish Software."