SyncML = Failure

Knowing I’m an interested party, Brett1 sent me a link to the article on LifeHacker that explains how to use ScheduleWorld as a sync hub for your PIM data.

It all looks really good, including supporting over the air (OTA) sync of BlackBerry devices.

I tested the sync with Google Calendar and it worked. So I went ahead and bought the SyncBerry software2 and entered in the ScheduleWorld server data in SyncBerry on my BlackBerry.

The initial results were not encouraging. The sync was timing out and failing. After about 10 sync attempts over a couple of hours, I had ~350 of my ~700 contacts transferred to ScheduleWorld, and none of my appointments. The SyncBerry software does an automatic sync every n seconds, with the maximum interval being 1800 seconds (30 minutes).

So on into the evening, it kept attempting to sync. During the sync process, the BlackBerry becomes so slow to respond that it feels like it has locked up for a few seconds, only to spring back to life and execute everything you just did all at once. It isn’t a good experience, and I can’t find a way to disable the auto-sync.

However, that isn’t the big problem. The big problem was that these sync attempts somehow managed to completely delete everything in the calendar on my BlackBerry. I no longer have any of the calendar entries I had in my BlackBerry, nor do I have any of the entries from my ScheduleWorld calendar (entries synced from Google Calendar).

So basically, the SyncML stuff doesn’t work (at least for me), and since it failed in such a bad way I no longer trust it. It’s a real shame, because on first glance it looks like a great solution.

  1. I wish Brett had a blog I could link to… [back]
  2. I did test the free option first, but it didn’t seem to also do calendar sync. [back]