Tim Dietrich

Custom Software Developer

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EasySync: The Excellence Award, New Versions, and the Future

It's been an exciting past ten days or so on the EasySync front. There was a lot of interest in EasySync at DevCon, which intensified on Wednesday when we were awarded the FileMaker Excellence Award for FBA Development of the Year and when David Head demonstrated EasySync in his "Getting Started with FileMaker Synchronization" session.

The Excellence Award

Winning the Excellence Award was a surprise and an incredible honor. For a number of reasons, I didn't think that we had much of a chance of winning. First, EasySync is open source, and not a commercial solution as people seem to expect it to be. Second, EasySync isn't so much a "solution" as it is a framework that developers can use to build synchronization into their own solutions. And third, I think that EasySync didn't easily fit into the award categories.

So you can imagine how surprised I was when we won the award. It's still somewhat of a shock to me - and a good type of shock. I want to thank FileMaker Inc again for the award, and everyone who helped to make EasySync what it is today.

New Versions

I've been working on the next release of EasySync, and I'm hoping to make it available in early September. Version 1.3 will resolve a few bugs that have been reported, and might include a new demo database. However, it will not include any new features or significant changes.

There are significant changes in the works, and they will likely ship as EasySync v2.0. What those changes will be will largely depend on what we see in the next version of the FileMaker platform. The challenge with EasySync (as it is with any software) is balancing simplicity and power. If some of the things that we're hoping to see from FileMaker come to pass, then maintaining that balance will be much easier.

The areas that I am focusing on in v2 include:

More efficient handling of deleted records. The goal is to be able to handle deletions without the need for the extra layouts.
Improved container support. We use Base64 encoding to sync containers, which increases their size by as much as 30%. We're working on an alterative approach which would reduce the size of the payload and the amount of memory needed to process them.
Easier setup and installation. We're hoping to reduce the number of scripts that need to be wired up and the number of layouts that need to be created.

At this point, there is no ETA for EasySync v2.0.

The Future

With the dust settling from DevCon, I'm going to be turning my attention to a few client projects that I've taken on, spending some time with my family, and preparing for the rest of what has proven to be a wild year.

I've mentioned to a few friends and colleagues that I have a few other tricks up my sleeve - things along the lines of FMEasySync, FMWebFrame, and FMAuthenticator. The new side projects that I'm referring to are still in their early stages, but I'm hoping to start releasing them in the fall. Stay tuned to my blog and Twitter for details.

That's all for now... Time to get back to work!