Thursday, November 08, 2007

Synch This With Gears

So, Microsoft has come out with a Community Technology Preview (CTP - just another fancy name for "beta") of it's new Synch Framework.

This ball of magic and wonder is supposed to allow developers to synchronize anything (contacts, drives, RSS feeds, relational databases, etc) to and between anything and over any protocol for online/offline goodness.

The framework contains a runtime and several pre-built "providers" that allow Windows developers to call Windows APIs to handle synch stuff. It's going to be built-in to Visual Studio 2008 which should go to the duplicators at the end of the month.

Where Google Gears is mainly targeted at developers who want to bring their online applications offline (with data) and then synch them up in the background, the Microsofties are billing the Synch Framework (really just an extension of ADO.Net) as an end-all-be-all answer to synch - covering multiple services and devices.

To be fair, I have not seen the Synch Framework personally. However, whenever I hear the word "runtime" in the same sentence as "Microsoft" - I begin to involuntarily shutter. I can just picture the 15,000 security alerts, patches, and other goodies just waiting to happen. Now picture when "services and devices" have the ability to synch anything to anything over any protocol... can you say Apocalypse?

Not that Gears is any less of a security nightmare waiting to happen, but at least with Gears you can screw yourself cross-platform!

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