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SyncML: the lingua franca of communication between computers, PDAs, cell phones

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SyncML is an initiative that started in February 2000 to develop and promote a common protocol for synchronizing data between workstations, networked application servers and devices for mobile communication such as cell phones, laptops, PDAs etc. The first version (1.0) of the specifications was made in December 2000.

Under the patronage of the SyncML Initiative organization, collaboration between the industries is foreseen tools for the compatibility test with the protocol available to industrial partners and developers of both hardware and software and services. Among the sponsoring members of SyncML we find Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia, Openwave, Starfish Software, Symbian. Significant support from Ericsson, Motorola and Symbian-Nokia which represent a large part of the world mobile market. Obviously Microsoft does not participate in the initiative but it has not been said that in in the near future you will retrace your steps adapting to what can become a successful initiative that contrasts proprietary synchronization systems.

The first products compatible with SyncML appeared on the market in early 2001: apart from the numerous server-side products here are the clients compatible to date (July 2002)

– Ericsson T68i– Ericsson T39m– Ericsson T65– Ericsson T68– Ericsson R520m– SonyEricsson P800– Motorola A830– Nokia 3285– Nokia 7650– Nokia 9290– Nokia 9210 Communicator– Samsung Client– Siemens AG Client– Symbian OS SyncML and obviously Palm PDAs equipped with special software and Apple iPod in September 2002.

As you can see, there is the best of the world mobile production and surely all the top models coming out in the coming months will take advantage of the technology to increase the level of interoperability with desktops, networks and other similar devices.

The SyncML protocol offers real synchronization symmetry: it allows you to synchronize data on the network with any mobile device and synchronize one mobile device with another or with data on the network. The protocol does not define the user interface nor does it restrict the type of instruments that they can take advantage of this, it is not a software product but provides developers with the structure to create interoperable data synchronization products through the format / protocol specifications, the architecture and interface specifications as well as the source code one by one reference implementation.

SyncML is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) to ensure a future of absolute compatibility and the possibility of exchanging personal information, calendars, lists of commitments, contacts and other relevant data.

For example: a calendar appointment entered from a mobile phone while you are traveling can be synchronized with the calendar of the company server when you return home or with an exchange of data via the internet. With a reduced use of bandwidth it is possible to optimize the wireless connection and compensate for any high latency of a network.

The synchronization can take place in any case on fixed, infrared, cable or Bluetooth networks.

SyncML Sponsors: Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia, Openwave, Starfish Software, Symbian

SyncML Promoter: Extended Systems, fusionOne, JP Mobile Inc., Oracle Corporation, Pumatech, Siemens AG, Solid Information Technology, VerdiSoft Corporation, Vodafone Group, VoxMobili.

SyncML Supporter: 3R Soft, Inc.,, Aepona (England) Ltd., Alcatel, America Online, Aventeon Inc., Axisoft Technologies, Inc., Aztec Software and Technology Services Ltd., Bea Systems, Casio Computer Co. , Ltd., CIM Wireless Oy, CommNav, Inc, Comverse, DCM Technologies Limited, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), EVERelite Tech. Co., Ltd., Eztogether, Ltd., Fenestrae BV, Fischer International Systems Corp., France Telecom, FutureDial, Gate5 AG, Insignia, Inventec Electronics Co., Ltd, Isoft Inc, J-Phone Co. Ltd., LG Electronics Inc, Logica Mobile Networks, Mirapoint Inc., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, NEC Corporation, Neosteps Co., Ltd, Nexthaus Corporation, RTX Telecom, SDN Online Inc./Zkey, Serial SA, Sinpag (linkuall), SK Telecom, Software AG, Solvix Technology Co. Ltd., Steltor, Inc, Synchrologic Inc., Synthesis AG, Tactel AB, Telespree, TietoEnator Corporation, Time Information Services, Toffa International Ltd., Ukibi Inc., Viair, Inc., Waverly Software, Inc., Weblicon Technologies AG, Websync Corporation, Ltd., X and Mail

The current SyncML specifications arrived at Version 1.1 in April 2002 and can be downloaded from this site.