Microsoft's online/offline sync platform (re)released to manufacturing

An updated version of Microsoft's Sync Framework was released to manufacturing on October 13 and is available for download from the Microsoft Web site. The Sync Framework is key to Microsoft's cloud computing strategy.

An updated version of Microsoft's Sync Framework was released to manufacturing on October 13 and is available for download from the Microsoft Web site.

The Sync Framework is key to Microsoft's cloud computing strategy.

Microsoft has two synchronization services -- FeedSync and Sync Framework -- which are intertwined. Microsoft Sync Framework, as Microsoft describes it, is designed to allow developers to add synchronization, roaming and offline access to apps, services and devices. FeedSync, the technology formerly known as RSS Simple Sharing Extensions, is one of the providers that integrates with Sync Framework.

At the PDC, Microsoft is on tap to detail how the Sync Framework is at the crux of a "managed cloud environment." From a PDC session write-up:

"See how synchronization plays a pivotal role in transitioning to a managed cloud environment by creating a central hub of information in the cloud. Using synchronization, organizations can enable more efficient mobile and enterprise-to-enterprise scenarios"

The Sync Framework will be integrated with other Microsoft services, including ADO.Net Data Services (Astoria), Velocity application-caching and SQL Server Data Services.

Version 1 of the Sync Framework was released for download on August 5, 2008, according to a posting on the Sync Framework blog. That initial release supported as its main provider Sync Services for ADO.Net. (Those bits seem to have been superseded by the October 13 ones on the Microsoft Download Center now.)

In mid-September, Microsoft added another provider to those supported by Sync Framework, specifically ADO.Net for Mobile Devices via a downloadable service pack.

Sync Framework is licensed for free on Windows platforms. Microsoft has said it will license the spec and source-code porting kit to developers who want to make it available on non-Windows platforms. (Not sure if there have been any takers so far.)

I'm definitely interested in seeing how Microsoft is going to make sense of its multiple synchronization and storage platforms at the PDC. However they explain it, Sync Framework will definitely be at the center of it.