EasySync made easy

EasySync -- Lotus' wireless solution

The growing number of Notes PDA enthusiasts using EasySync should have something to cheer about with the release of EasySync Pro.

EasySync, Lotus' wireless solution that permits Notes users to synchronize their e-mail, calendar, tasks, contact and memo information between their desktop and PDAs, has garnered a host of users who like what the product does but really wish it would do a bit more. Well, in April, they'll get their wish, according to Ida Parisi, Lotus marketing manager for Mobile Notes/Domino Everyplace.

EasySync Pro will include all the simple PIM synchronization support that users now rely on, but it will also sport a more advanced filtering technology. For users, this means a clearer choice of what direction -- upload/download -- from which a user is going to sync, and the ability to select separate data sources for receiving mail (pulling selectively from a separate address book, for example). Additional field mapping capabilities for better syncing from the desktop to the PDA will also be in the new release.

One of the major enhancements on deck, Parisi said, is an improved interface that will have clearer dialogue boxes that are more intuitive to the end user to get through the synchronization process. Parisi said the new release would probably include support for some international versions of Notes but could not specify which languages.

This should come as good news to Michael Lazar, owner of Illini Consulting Inc., an independent Domino administration consultancy based in Crystal Lake, Ill. One of Lazar's clients, a large pharmaceutical company, employs EasySync to keep its salesforce of approximately 1,400 in the loop. Overall, he is satisfied with the product because "it does exactly what it's supposed to do." But, he noted, the current version "lacks flexibility."

"It does a decent job of syncing but users want more," he says. "We need to see support for Pocket PC devices," he emphasizes.

That often-cited knock against Lotus' product that Lazar points out -- support for only 3Com and IBM devices -- hopefully won't be such a roadblock anymore. Parisi notes that EasySync Pro is slated to support Win CE, certain Pocket PCs and ePockets. This move on Lotus' part comes none too soon. CRN reported in March on London-based market-research firm Context's survey showing that while the Palm is losing market share in both Europe and the U.S., (see link below), the Pocket PC is gaining ground in both markets. That should put Lotus on more even ground with some of its sync competitors -- Pylon Pro and IntelliSync.

Also high on Lazar's EasySync wish list is the ability to sync to custom databases. For that, Parisi notes, users may need to look to Domino Everyplace due out from Lotus in the second quarter of this year.

The Domino Everyplace Enterprise Suite will include the Domino Everyplace Sync Server permitting Mobile Notes users to syncronize data with the Domino server, and a set of tools to allow developers to use Domino Designer to create applications for WAP devices. (See searchDomino's Executive Briefing link below.)

Why opt for EasySync and Domino Everyplace? Parisi emphasizes that by staying true to Lotus technology -- EasySync Pro and if applicable Domino Everyplace -- then administrators (and by extension the entire enterprise) will have a much easier learning curve and transition when moving down from custom databases to the PDA.

"Domino Everyplace cuts down on training, and administrators already familiar with Domino Designer should have no trouble moving applications down to PDA devices," she notes.

Lotus is trying to move in step as fast as its customers are to make the wireless world a win-win situation. "There is a lot of interest [in the wireless arena], she Parisi says, and "customers are moving very fast to stay competitive. Lotus provides whatever solution, for whatever device, a customer wants to use -- be it paging, WAP phones, or syncing data."

Hopefully, if you're going to employ PDAs within your enterprise structure, we've given you something to Sync about.

LINKS TO KEEP AN EYE ON Lotus EasySync Home Page
http://www.lotus.com/home.nsf/welcome/easysync 

Lotus Wireless & Mobil Solutions Home Page
http://www.lotus.com/home.nsf/welcome/easysync 

Lotus EasySync is as easy as 1-2-3 DominoPower's Dan Velasco loves his EasySync. Great tutorial. Check it out.
http://www.dominopower.com/issues/issue199907/ezsync001.html 

Palm losing market share in Europe, U.S. Link to the CRN article stating that Palm is falling while Pocket PC's star is rising.
https://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/info/news;

Synchronizing to Notes with Pylon Conduit DominoPower takes a look at one of EasySync's biggest competitors.
http://www.dominopower.com/issues/issue199808/pylon001.html

Sync with Lotus Notes Microsoft -- gasp! -- takes a look at how to connect to Lotus Notes with a PDA. Good look at the major competitive offerings.
http://www.microsoft.com/MOBILE/pocketpc/tips/synclotus.asp 

Palm Boulevard's EasySync Bug Board Those on the PDA front line with can find the help they need here. Search keyword EasySync.
http://www.palmblvd.com/boards/Bugs/

Wendy Maxfield is a contributing editor based in Littleton, Mass.

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