Friday, May 28, 2010

A call to action for a new Heterogeneous Sync Framework


We need a framework to sync separate unrelated data sources . Like LDAP & Outlook, or Outlook and your custom in-house CRM.

I am constantly coming across scenarios that sound exactly like this, and every time it seams like I am re-inventing the wheel and building the entire solution over again. I am actually quite confident that everyone reading this post will have dozens of examples similar to what is described here.

I have come to the conclusion a while ago that this problem domain needs to be abstracted and then we can build a framework to handle some of the recurring themes. I was really excited when I found Microsoft Sync Framework because I thought it was exactly that type of abstraction. However after researching it for about two months now, and implementing it a few times. I have to conclude that it is not what we are looking for.

We need a Heterogeneous Sync Framework. A Framework to sync unrelated (but naturally relatable) Data Sources.

The Microsoft Sync Framework deals too much with the relationship and change tracking. It assumes that you are starting with matching data, and only then, does it changes over time.

We need a Sync Framework that assumes that we have conflicting data at every step, and we have no idea how it got that way. Because the data is coming from two sources that couldn't give a darn about each other.

Enough ranting for now.
If anyone knows of such a framework, or wants to start working on such a framework with me (it would need to be much less complicated than Microsoft's solution), or knows how SyncFX can gracefully handle these scenarios. Please POST A COMMENT!

Thank you

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I do come over this situation now.

    What I trying to perform now is to sync my local NTFS file to Google Docs, using Sync Framework 2.1

    Currently try to use the FeedSync approach, wish it works.