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No More Syncing in the Rain

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 27 Mar 2002

Current version: GroupWise 6

Are you frustrated with using Palm sync products that are hard to use or that never synchronize the data you want, leaving you with extra or duplicate records on your Palm device? Do you wish the Palm OS default applications were more like GroupWise? Do you no longer use your Palm device because you can't get the data synchronized the way you want? We have had the opportunity to see and use the beta versions of Nexic Synchronis? and Nexic Palm Client? for GroupWise and the results are in. Wow! Nexic Synchronis and Nexic Palm Client were two of the hottest products showcased at BrainShare in Salt Lake City. Read on if you want to share in the excitement.

Nexic Synchronis

Some Palm sync products were written to the lowest common denominator between GroupWise, Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes, and thus don't access all the power and functionality of GroupWise. Nexic Synchronis is a Palm sync product that was designed specifically for GroupWise users, providing various options to identify and sync just the data they want.

"I stopped using my Palm device because I couldn't get the data synchronized the way I wanted," said Richard Bliss, manager of Collaboration product marketing at Novell. "I have decided to use my Palm device again now that Nexic Synchronis and Nexic Palm Client are about to be released. I can't wait!"

The initial release of Nexic Synchronis is a Windows program that synchronizes GroupWise data with a Palm device using the Hotsync Manager application and the Palm device's cradle. Nexic Synchronis will synchronize GroupWise data with the default Palm OS applications (Mail, Todo List, Date Book, Memo Pad, and Address), as well as with the forthcoming Nexic Palm Client for GroupWise. Nexic Synchronis also synchronizes Nexic Symphony? contact records with the Palm OS Address book application.

Nexic Synchronis gives extensive control over identifying the exact data to sync. Out of the box, Nexic Synchronis can sync records without any user intervention. For those of you who have specific needs, you can define query filters, specify date ranges, limit the items to specific Nexic Symphony categories, or you can even specify to synchronize only the items that you have selected within the GroupWise Windows client window. Power to the people!

Displaying items in a list for confirmation is useful only if you can interact with the list, or if it helps you to decide whether you want to cancel the sync or not. Nexic goes a step further than most sync products in that when it displays a list of items that are about to be synchronized, each item in the list has a check box associated with it. You can review the list of potential items and uncheck the items that may have inadvertently been included in your query results. You can even cancel the sync if you desire. Allowing you the final say regarding what data will be synchronized was a primary design goal for Nexic Synchronis.

The initial release of Nexic Synchronis is a Hotsync conduit that performs synchronization for GroupWise addresses, mail, tasks, appointments, notes, contacts, and other custom messages types. The available options change depending on the type of GroupWise record being synchronized. For example, with address and contact records, you can specify the Palm OS address book category to associate with the GroupWise records. For mail, appointments, tasks, and notes, you can specify certain folders to sync.

Filters for limiting the search can be created using the GroupWise filter interface. Nexic Synchronis will use your GroupWise filters to identify and limit the data to be synchronized.

Each Palm OS database and the Nexic Palm Client for GroupWise database support a predefined list of fields like: From, To, Phone Number, etc. Nexic Synchronis will allow you to map any field from the GroupWise database to any of the predefined database fields. This allows for custom fields to be mapped to fields on the Palm device.

Utility options have been included with Nexic Synchronis to allow for easy cleanup of records in the Palm and in GroupWise. You can easily delete records or break the link between the GroupWise records and the Palm records.

Nexic Palm Client for GroupWise

When using the default Palm OS applications with GroupWise, many users feel they are pushing a square peg into a round hole. The default Palm OS applications were not designed to integrate with advanced e-mail systems. Though these applications are usable, many users would like to have a Palm application that includes functionality similar to their GroupWise client. Nexic Palm Client? for GroupWise is the answer. Nexic Palm Client provides an enhanced collaboration client for the Palm handheld devices and GroupWise users.

The Nexic Palm Client design objectives were focused on creating a robust Palm application that users would want to use and work in. Due to the current limitations of the default Palm OS applications, many users are frustrated and use these default applications just as a "reader" for mail or appointments.

Nexic Palm Client was modeled after the functionality found in the GroupWise Windows client. Nexic Palm Client is just one application for mail, appointments, tasks, and notes. Items can be viewed in a message list format, or different calendar views. The Nexic Palm Client database was designed to allow for GroupWise specific data, like messages IDs and GroupWise message attributes, etc. By using message IDs, the message records on the Palm device become linked to the message records in GroupWise, similar to how GroupWise remote maintains a link between records in the master and remote mailboxes. GroupWise remote was one of the models used when designing the Palm client functionality, since Nexic Palm Client acts as a remote client for GroupWise as well.

The Nexic Palm Client interface was designed to use GroupWise icons and terminology where ever possible. Menu items are arranged in similar locations as they are in the GroupWise Windows client. Maintaining familiarity with the GroupWise Windows client was a top priority for Nexic. Their design goal was to have someone who was familiar with the GroupWise Windows client, be able to use the Nexic Palm Client without any specific training.

Security is a top priority for the Nexic Palm Client. You are required to login into the client in order to access their data if you have specified a password. The client will also automatically logout after a certain period of inactivity. Your credentials and message records are stored in an encrypted format in the database to help prevent loss of data in the event the device is lost or stolen.

When you delete an item, you have the option to delete it from the local database, the master mailbox, or both. You can also retract deleted items that have not been opened the next time the Nexic Palm Client is synchronized.

Items can be created as posted or sent items. You can schedule recipients for appointments, tasks or notes, as well as send mail messages to one or more recipients. Appointments, tasks and notes can be accepted or declined. All items can be forwarded to other recipients.

Nexic Synchronis will synchronize GroupWise data with the default Palm OS applications, as well as with Nexic Palm Client. Nexic Synchronis is required to transfer data between a GroupWise account and Nexic Palm Client. As a result of Nexic designing the sync process, the Palm client and the database, Nexic Synchronis and Nexic Palm Client can expose numerous new and enhanced features to the Palm OS.

Nexic is also working on a WindowsCE/PocketPC client due this summer as well as a wireless cache mode version due later this year.

These are only some of the features of Nexic Synchronis and Nexic Palm Client for GroupWise. Both products will be bundled together and are expected to ship in early May 2002. Check out Nexic's web site for additional information as they get closer to releasing these products:

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