Information is the nucleus of today's interconnected economy. We need to be able to access our personal and business information quickly, efficiently, and securely, at any time and at any location, even if this location has no capabilities for wireline or wireless networks to access remote servers.
Pervasive devices like PDAs and mobile phones enable us to remotely use services provided by servers. With these devices we want to access personal or corporate data that we need for our daily business, like contact information of customers, pricelists, or other corporate data.
Data is primarily stored on servers or desktop computers. The mobile device contains a copy of this data and the user needs to be able to manipulate the data on the mobile device. The resulting changes need to be reflected in the source database, without retyping them.
At the same time somebody else could make changes to the data on the server directly. Having two or more copies of a dataset and being able to manipulate the copies independently requires synchronization to reconcile the different changes to form one consistent dataset.
To make all this happen seamlessly, the industry is currently converging upon the required standards. The leading companies in the Information Technology and Mobile Communications industries, like Ericsson®, IBM®, Lotus®, Matsushita®, Motorola®, Nokia®, Palm®, Psion®, and Starfish® founded the SyncML® Initiative as a forum for the definition and promotion of a universal synchronization de facto standard based on XML. Since the first meetings in 2000, SyncML has received a lot of support and the resulting specification has been a great success. All leading companies interested in data synchronization actively participated in the definition and enhancements of the specifications. More importantly, a number of SyncML compliant servers and devices are already available in the market.