I am happy to announce the general availability of Sync Framework v1 and Sync Services for ADO.NET v2. As of today you can download the Sync Framework SDK in 11 languages including Chinese (Hong Kong), Chinese (Simplified), English, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish for AMD64, IA64 and x86 processors from the Sync Framework Download Center.
What is Sync Framework?
Imagine being able to build a solution that seamlessly exchanges contact information between Outlook, a database contact management application, your mobile device and your service based contact management system. Or how about a mobile device that connects with other devices to exchange pictures and videos. How about being able to take data from any of your enterprise databases, file or enterprise systems and make it available offline for users to modify and sync back up to the enterprise. All of these capabilities are possible with the Sync Framework and best of all, it is free on Windows platforms and licensable on non-Windows platforms!
Just a few examples of companies that are already using the Sync Framework include:
- SmugMug who has added support for the Sync Framework to enable developers to build rich offline applications that can allow photos to be easily shared on friends and families local computers.
- InterScape have embedded Sync Framework into their Customer Relationship & Management (CRM) solution to enable sales people to synchronize enterprise files and data for offline access.
- Fujitsu Siemens will embed the SyncToy file synchronization solution (powered by Sync Framework) on their STORAGEBIRD external drives to enable seamless file synchronization between devices and computers.
Sync Framework Highlights
Some of the highlights of this release include:
- Sync support to new and existing applications, services, and devices
- Collaboration and offline capabilities for any application
- Roam and share information from any data store, over any protocol, and over any network configuration
- Leverage sync capabilities exposed in Microsoft technologies to create sync ecosystems
- Extend the architecture to support custom data types including files
Sync Services for ADO.NET v2 Highlights
Sync Services for ADO.NET is a Microsoft Sync Framework powered solution for synchronizing ADO.NET enabled databases in offline and collaboration scenarios. Sync Services for ADO.NET allows developers who are familiar with the concepts of ADO.NET to apply that knowledge to data synchronization through a very similar set of APIs to that of ADO.NET. Sync Services for ADO.NET provides the flexibility of a programming model like offline datasets and a richer synchronization feature set like that found in Merge replication. Sync Services for ADO.NET also supports synchronization over services, such as Windows Communication Foundation (WCF).
Some of the Sync Services for ADO.NET highlights include:
- Offline Database Synchronization: With Sync Services for ADO.NET you are able to build a solution where multiple remote clients connect and synchronize to a central ADO.NET database in a Hub-and-Spoke configuration. This enables occasionally connected devices to periodically connect and synchronize changes with a central ADO.NET database server. This topology is a common solution for remote workers such as sales reps or field service workers.
- Collaboration Between Databases: Sync Services for ADO.NET also includes Peer-to-Peer capabilities. Through a custom Peer provider, collaboration between two or more SQL Server databases can occur (support is not available for SQL Server Compact). Unlike a Hub-and-Spoke architecture, this provider enables a SQL Server database to communicate and exchange information with any other SQL Server database. This type of scenario is useful in group scenarios where users (such as auditors) need to update information and then collaborate those changes with other group members.
- SQL Server 2008 Integrated Change Tracking: If you are using SQL Server 2008, we recommend that you use the SQL Server change tracking feature. This feature addresses many of the issues of custom-tracking systems and provides a straightforward way to track changes. Change tracking is also supported by the Local Database Cache in Visual Studio 2008 SP1. Developers can now specify that the Configure Data Synchronization wizard should enable SQL Server change tracking on the server and generate the commands necessary to select and apply changes to the server database. Unlike custom change tracking systems, SQL Server change tracking does not require any schema changes in the server database. For more information, see the Visual Studio 2008 documentation.
Sync Framework Pricing
Sync Framework will be licensed free on Windows platforms. In addition, we are also licensing the specifications and a source code porting kit to developers who want to implement Microsoft Sync Framework solutions on non-Windows platforms.
To learn more, visit http://msdn.microsoft.com/sync
I also want to send a special thank-you to those of you who have provided feedback throughout our CTP's and have helped make this a great release!