Sync2, Coming in Sente 6.6
I wrote recently about some changes coming in Sente's support for synchronized libraries and I promised more details. Here is some additional information on what is coming.
First, some things that are not changing. Sync will continue to be cloud-based, operating on any number of copies of a library on any number of Macs and/or iPads, located anywhere on the Internet. Sync will continue to support permission restrictions on copies so you can distribute, for example, a read-only copy of a library to colleagues or students. Sync will continue to replicate everything in a library, including attachments, PDF highlighting, notes, etc.
One thing that will change is that sync will no longer use port 993, but will instead use the same port that secure HTTP uses. The transmissions will continue to be encrypted, but there should be very few cases where sync cannot get through a firewall. Sync will work wherever you can access a secure web page in your browser.
The upper limit on attachment size will also go away. You will be able to control whether very large attachments are uploaded or downloaded, but there will not be a hard limit enforced by the server.
Sync2 will also make it easier to install copies of a library on new devices. Instead of creating a synced copy on one machine and moving that copy to the second device, you will be able to install a library directly from the server on any device.
One consequence of this change is that using sync for backups becomes trivial. As long as a library has sync turned on, you can install an up-to-the-minute copy from the server anywhere at any time. Replace your computer? Install Sente and download your libraries from the sync server. Purchase a new iPad? Same thing, just install Sente and download your libraries.
Sync performance is also being improved. In our early testing, uploads and downloads happen at speeds much closer to the raw connection speed than in the current version. Uptime will also improve because we are eliminating a third party component that has caused reliability problems in the past.
When Sente 6.6 is released, previously synced libraries will continue to work, but we will be encouraging users to convert their libraries over to sync2. It will not be possible to create new synchronized libraries using the old sync technology, and some features will be disabled on old sync libraries (like the ability to create new synced copies). At some later time, Sente will no longer be able to open old synced libraries, so any old libraries will have to be converted by that time. Converting from the old sync to the new sync is simply a matter of turning off the old sync, turning new sync on, and then open the library from the server on all of your devices.
We have the new sync mechanism running here and we are refining the user interface to use this new technology. We will make a beta version of Sente 6.6 available in the next month or two so people can try it out for themselves. It is pretty slick -- we think you are going to like it. And then you will probably just forget about it, except when you wonder why all your programs don't work like this!
p.s. Sente 6.6 will, of course, be a free upgrade for everyone with a Sente 6 license.