Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Synchronization is Hell.

In the past few days I've run into cryptic synchronization errors from Sharepoint, Outlook, Exchange server, and Spanning Sync. Messages like
Task 'SharePoint' reported error (0x80004005) : '"****- PTO" starting on Monday, November 24, 2008, at 12:00 AM (server time) was not copied because Outlook does not support skipping over a later occurrence of the same recurring appointment...
Funny, I saw a similar Spanning Sync warning about deleting the first instance of a recurring appointment in gCal.

Synchronization between apps with identical data models is Heck. That's what Palm Desktop and Palm OS did in the good old days, and what Toodledo iPhone does with ToodleDo web today.

Synchronization between different data models, such as iCal with gCal, or with ToodleDo web service, is HELL.

Really. Try hard to avoid jobs that involve message passing between different data models, or take 'em but ask for a lot of money.

Update 10/21/08: Exhibit #43145515 from Outlook 2007 subscription to a gCal ICS feed:
Task 'Internet Calendar Subscriptions' reported error (0x000710D2) : 'The VEVENT, "Baseball ", defined near line 2061, contains a recurrence pattern that has no instances.'
Update 11/9/08: Synchronization Hell destroys the folder/category relations of hundreds of my iPhone Notes and Tasks. Also, time zone problems between Outlook 2007, gSyncIt and Google Calendar when one views a gCal from a time zone different than the time zone for which the sync occurred, or when the Outlook even has a time zone other than default. Since time zones are Hell, and Synchronization is Hell, what do we call synchronization involving time zones?

Update 1/22/09: Many months after the multiple sync hells associate with migrating my Outlook/Palm Calendar to my iPhone I find out many birthday events were duplicated or prematurely terminated -- so I'm late with my father's card.

Update 2/7/09: Two more examples -- OS X vs. Gmail Contact data models and NuevaSync and "bad" Google Contacts.

Update 2/14/09: An oldie but goodie.

Update 3/18/09: Both Google Outlook Sync to Calendar (gCal) and Google's iPhone Exchange Sync service get messed up, leading to a massive debugging exercise.

Update 4/27/09: Google Calendar Sync disaster returns. This time, the monster is even stronger.

Update 5/15/09: I beat back the Google Calendar Sync monster, then take a huge, complex, but maybe successful run at the horrors of Project Contact.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gordon. I haven't got a sensible suggestion, but just wanted to post to sympathise with the sync hell you are going through. It really is a nightmare. I particularly hate when suddenly my calendar entries for the last two years double, then triple then quadruple every few months. This is only synchronising within Apple protocols and across two apple computers. Ouch! Come on Apple and Microsoft development - pull your fingers out and develop something which just works....