SyncML

SyncML is an XML standard for synchronizing data between devices. The most common use for it is to create back-up copies of your cellphone data, or even synchronise it with your desktop PIM.

I want that too! The user manual of my phone describes how I can set up synchronisation to store a copy my data on the Siemens web site. But…. it did not work. After looking in every corner of the Siemens site, I came to the conclusion that they only support SyncML for some countries, and Spain is not one of them. Also on the site of my provider Movistar I could not find anything about SyncML.

In the mean time I read a little bit more about SyncML, and came to the conclusion that it is a very simple XML based protocol. Besides that, I figured that the average cellphone has a maximum 5Mb of data, so it must be very cheap to set up a SyncML server. My friend Google showed me some companies offering SyncML accounts, but they charge the same amount that I pay for hosting this whole site!!!

Mmm, maybe I can find some software that I can install on my own server. Once again I asked my friend Google, and he offered me two solutions: Sync4j is a Java based solution, which requires setting up a Java server (JBoss or Tomcat). I run Apache, and I prefer to use a solution that also uses Apache.

The second option is a PHP solution with a mySQL back-end. That sounds a lot better! I quickly set up the database and installed the script. But my phone could not synchronize. :-( I assume that my phone uses the binary WBXML format, which is not yet supported by the script…

What next?

mobical[Update 2004.05.12]: I found a free service where I can store my calendar en addresses: Mobical. It is a pitty that they do not support notes and tasks yet, but at least I can backup my address book. Now all I have to do is find a SyncML plug-in for Palm Desktop, and I will be the happiest mobile user in the world!

Jeroen Sangers @jeroensangers

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