The SyncML Initiative organizes five SyncFests a year. SyncFests take place in Europe, Asia, and North America. The SyncML Initiative provides a test location, and a preferred hotel. Internet access at the SyncFest (with externally accessible IP addresses) is also provided.
The SyncFest provides manufacturers with a convenient way to test the interoperability of their implementations with implementations from other manufacturers. A SyncML Client must successfully synchronize with two SyncML Servers from two other manufacturers before it is awarded the SyncML Logo. The same applies to Servers they need to be tested with two Clients from other manufacturers. The SyncML Logo is licensed to manufacturers of interoperable products under the terms and conditions of the SyncML Logo Guidelines.
To be interoperable, a Client and a Server need to support the same content format, such as vCard 2.1, for example. As part of the SyncML Representation Protocol [SRP02], SyncML defines content formats that Servers must support if the Server synchronizes certain data types. For example, for contacts a Server must support vCard 2.1 and (optionally) vCard 3.0.
Of course, there will be cases where somebody wants to use SyncML to synchronize some data types for which SyncML hasn't specified any content formats. For example, consider a Client that wants to synchronize multimedia data. The ideal approach would be to submit a change request to the SyncML Initiative and to suggest that a content format for this multimedia type be added to the SyncML Representation Specification. Even without this, as long as there are at least two Clients and two Servers from at least three different companies, the implementation can test at a SyncFest.
During a SyncFest, the SyncML Interoperability Committee schedules interoperability test sessions between Clients and Servers. The first priority is for devices that are not yet interoperable to test with devices that are already interoperable. This aids in debugging new implementations. The next priority is to test new devices from one manufacturer with new devices from another, and lastly to test compliant devices with compliant devices. If the SyncFest schedule permits, the goal is to also enable companies to test with as many implementations as possible.
The complete Interoperability Process is shown in Figure 13-7.
Figure 13-7. Interoperability Testing process