November 5, 2007 - 9:09 am - Posted by iDunzo
Microsoft has released an early preview of a new programming tool known as the Microsoft Sync Framework, which looks to be one part Google Gears, with on/offline sync capabilities, and one part Time Machine-like, OS-level syncing system.
According to the documentation, the Sync Framework will allow developers to take online services and databases offline.
Microsoft says the framework can synchronize “any type of file including contacts, music, videos, images and settings.”
The Sync Framework also includes “built-in support for synchronizing relational databases, NTFS / FAT file systems, Simple Sharing Extensions for RSS/ATOM, devices and web services.”
Microsoft rather boldly claims that Sync will support “any application, any type of data, using any protocol over any network.”
But reading through the description on the Microsoft download site, it would appear that the new framework goes somewhat beyond the scope of Google Gears and enables, in addition to the offline support, various collaboration and file syncing capabilities.
Among the scenarios Microsoft notes in the documentation are multi-master file sync between multiple PCs, synchronization between PCs using a USB Drive, taking a network share offline and maintaining a backup copy of files.
At the moment the Sync Framework only supports Windows Vista, XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Service pack 3. It’s unclear whether Microsoft will expand that support in the future.
Microsoft has yet to release any details regarding a timeframe for the final release of Microsoft Sync Framework, though the developer preview is available for those interested in testing it.