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Discussion of Synchronisation Standards. SWG2 Technical Report T2-(99)669 V0.1 Helsinki, FI TSG-T WG2 #5 06-09 Sep ‘99. Discussion of Sync Standards. 3G Information Device Users Require Access to the Same Information Regardless of Location Regardless of Device Types Personal Computers

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discussion of synchronisation standards

Discussion of Synchronisation Standards

SWG2 Technical Report



Helsinki, FI TSG-T WG2 #5

06-09 Sep ‘99

T2-99669 v0.1

discussion of sync standards
Discussion of Sync Standards
  • 3G Information Device Users Require Access to the Same Information
    • Regardless of Location
    • Regardless of Device Types
      • Personal Computers
      • Servers
      • Handheld or Palm-size Devices or
      • Mobile Phones.
    • This Means The Information Needs to be Synchronised
  • T2-(99)669 Provides Information on Existing Synchronisation Protocols By
    • Summarizing Proprietary and Open Standard Protocols Relevant to Current and Future Mobile Communication Devices and
    • Covering Only Synchronisation Between End-user Devices, Desktop Applications, and Server-based Information Services but
    • Not Covering Replication or Synchronisation Between Enterprise Databases.

T2-99669 v0.1

existing standards
Existing Standards


  • Extension to IrDA For Data Exchange Between
    • Mobile Devices and
    • Mobile Devices and Desktops or PDAs
  • Defines Four Levels of Support for Information Exchange
    • Each Higher Level Must Support All of the Preceding Levels
      • Level 1 (Minimum Level)
      • Level 2 (Access Level)
      • Level 3 (Index Level), and
      • Level 4 (Sync Level).
    • Level 4 Does Not Require Level 3
    • Levels 2 and 4 Are the Most Relevant for Sync
  • Has Been Adopted by IrDA and Bluetooth
  • Has Wide Industry Support.

T2-99669 v0.1

existing standards1
Existing Standards


  • Adopted the IrMC Standard for Sync


  • Has Not Specified a Sync Standard
  • Attempts to Form a Work Group Last Year Were Abandoned.

MNCRS (Mobile Network Computer Reference Specification)

  • Specified an API Providing Data-sync Services Focused on Java-enabled Devices
  • Promoted by a Number of Companies
  • Has Not Been Adopted by Any Formal Standards Body.

Symbian’s ‘Synchronisation’

  • Composed of Puma, Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola, Starfish, and Lotus
  • Disbanded Before Any Agreement Was Reached.

T2-99669 v0.1

existing standards2
Existing Standards

MDSP (Mobile Data Synchronisation Protocol)

  • Promoted by IBM
  • Designed for Use Between
    • Mobile Devices Sporadically Connected to the Network and
    • Servers Continuously Connected to the Network
  • Designed to Handle the Case Where Server and Device
    • Store Data in Different Formats and
    • Use Different Software Systems
  • Can Be Used to Push Data Elements to One-Way Devices
  • Has Not Been Adopted by Any Formal Standards Body.

T2-99669 v0.1

narrowing the playing field
Narrowing the Playing Field
  • One Adopted Mobile Standard that Addresses Sync: IrMC
    • Used in IrDA and BlueTooth
    • Defined by Handset Manufacturers to Provide a Means for Exchanging Data Between Mobile Devices, Desktops, Handhelds, Printers ...
    • Supports Data Exchange With Phone Book, Calendar, Messaging and Note Applications
    • Works With Either Low or High Bandwidth Networks
    • May Be Used in Connection-oriented or Connectionless Links
    • Includes Stuff Like Call Control, Isochronous Audio Transmission, and Permissions for Getting and Setting the Real Time Clock.
    • Doesn’t Specifically Support an Optimized Mode for WAN Sync

WAN Sync Presents a Unique Set of Problems for Efficient and Accurate Synchronisation.

T2-99669 v0.1

irmc wan sync issues
IrMC WAN Sync Issues
  • Written to Exchange PIM Data in a PAN or Peer-to-Peer Environment
  • Hasn’t Addressed Sync in a WAN Environment
    • Level 4 Dependent on Connection-Based Transport Protocol
      • Requires a Connection-Oriented Service (in IrDA - IrLAP and IrLMP)
      • A Persistent Connection Between Devices Is Difficult to Maintain in Some WANs

(Latency Can Slow the Transactions to an Unacceptable Level or Cause Sync to Be Stopped)

    • Inefficient Data Exchange
      • Data Exchanges Between an IrMC Client and Server Tend to Be Chatty and Inefficient.
      • Each Object Sent Between Devices Requires a Separate Request/response Pair
        • GET Operations Entail a Request and Response for Each Object.
        • PUT Operations Can Be More Efficient in a Connectionless Environment, Since No Response Is Expected.

T2-99669 v0.1


Address the Limitations of IrMC Level 4 Sync in a WAN by ..

  • Modifying IrMC Level 4 to Address the WAN Limitations or
  • Extending IrMC Level 4 to Include WAN Sync
    • Operate on Top of Existing Stacks
    • Use As Much Existing Code Base As Possible

T2-99669 v0.1

irmc technical overview
IrMC Technical Overview
  • The IrMC Specification and Its Supporting OBEX Object Exchange Layer
      • In an IrDA Application, Requires IrLAP, IrLMP, TTP, and IAS
      • In a Bluetooth Application, Requires the Bluetooth Equivalent of These Layers
      • Designed to Swap Transport and Below Layers While Keeping a Common Set of Applications.
  • The Information Exchange Levels of Irmc Starts With Text-based Data Formats
      • Using Industry-standard Data Formats - vCard, vCalendar, plus IETF Versions (in Proc)
      • Adding Telecom-Specific Extensions to vCard
      • Defining New Formats Where None Existed - vMessage, vNote
      • Defining Space-Saving Binary Formats - bvCard, GBO (In Proc)
      • Adding Sync-Specific Exchange Data Objects
        • Change Logs, Change Counters, Time Stamps
        • Information Logs on Database Characteristics
        • Device Information Block for Device Capabilities
        • Database and Unique Object Identifiers
        • Optional Error Logs for Record-level Error Codes
        • Detect Activity During Sync
        • Detect Device Reset

T2-99669 v0.1

irmc technical overview1
IrMC Technical Overview

IrDA Data Hardware/Protocol Stacks Graphical Representation

T2-99669 v0.1