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Nov 04

Microsoft Sync Framework != Google Gears (even if the press wants to make it look that way)

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I saw Microsoft’s Answer to Google Gears popup in my news feed, along with Mary Jo’s piece itself: Microsoft delivers first test build of its online-offline sync platform.

I was excited to read about the sync platform and see how it compares with the Database, LocalServer, and WorkerPool components that you get with Gears.

Instead I end up at the main documentation which makes the sync framework look nothing like Gears at all.

Instead you see the providers:

  • Sync Services for ADO.NET: Synchronization for ADO.NET enabled data sources
  • Sync Services for File Systems: Synchronization for files and folders
  • Sync Services for SSE: Synchronization for Simple Sharing Extensions (SSE) such as RSS and ATOM feeds

This looks interesting from a client-side perspective, and I want to take some time to look at the sync API itself and see what good stuff we could potentially use in Gears. Microsoft has had to do various sync protocols over the years, so I am sure there is a lot to learn, but this isn’t a Gears rival in its current form.

3 Responses to “Microsoft Sync Framework != Google Gears (even if the press wants to make it look that way)”

  1. Ralf Says:

    Hi Dion,
    I was also wondering about the relationship to Gears. I couldn’t find anything about browser integration or JavaScript APIs in the documents provided. It offers sync services, but not persistent storage by itself. So it seems to target desktop RIAs, not browser-based apps. One can hardly compare this to Gears.

    Do I miss something about the browser?

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