Tuesday Feb 12, 2008

Synchronica Mobile Gateway 3.5 works with Sun Comms Suite 5


Synchronica Mobile Gateway 3.5 with New Features for Consumer and Business Market

Additional Back-end, Provisioning, and Billing Support Reduces Time to Market for Business and Consumer Mobile Email and Synchronization Services

GSMA Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Hall 2.0, Stand 2J25, February 12, 2008. - Synchronica plc, international vendor of mobile email and synchronization software, has announced Mobile Gateway 3.5 with new back-end support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 and Sun Java Communications Suite 5.

Mobile Gateway 3.5 also introduces support for the Java Content Repository (JCR) standard, allowing it to be integrated easily with third-party personal information management (PIM) systems, significantly reducing the development time. The new product incorporates a billing API (Application Programming Interface) to facilitate both prepaid billing, predominantly used in the consumer sector, and post-paid billing favored by corporate accounts.

Mobile Gateway 3.5 further features a new mobile registration interface that allows consumers to sign up easily and quickly from their phone by using WAP, activating the service directly from the device without requiring access to a PC.

In the business sector, Frost & Sullivan predicts that mobile email will become a must-have application, with revenues estimated to grow from EUR 1.86 billion in 2007 to EUR 6.65 billion in 2012.

By adding support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 and Sun Communications Suite 5, Mobile Gateway 3.5 enables operators to provide a carrier-grade mobile email and PIM synchronization service to the majority of users working in businesses, without forcing them to use a specific device. This makes the use of a single device for both business and private email a reality, removing the headache of carrying multiple devices for executives on the move.

"The enormous popularity of the Apple iPhone has demonstrated that consumer and business use of mobile phones is converging, and operators are starting to look at how best to serve both markets on a single device", says Synchronica CEO Carsten Brinkschulte.

At the same time that mobile email becomes a must-have application in the business sector, Visiongain predicts that consumer mobile email accounts will increase to 184 million users by 2011. Because Mobile Gateway 3.5 supports popular consumer email services such as Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, or any POP3 or IMAP mailbox, it is equally attractive to operators introducing consumer mobile email services.

Using the open standards Push IMAP and SyncML, Mobile Gateway 3.5 integrates with the native email and synchronization clients built into more than 1.5 billion devices from all major handset manufacturers like Sony Ericsson, Palm, Nokia, Samsung, Motorola.

This is ideal for business users who need secure mobile access to corporate email and calendar information, as well as users in the prosumer and consumer markets, as it supports both smartphones and mass market feature phones without requiring an additional client to be installed on the device.

As a key advantage, unmatched by other products, Mobile Gateway does not require any additional software installation on the users' PC or firewall modification in the corporate network. Instead, Mobile Gateway is operated in the data center of the service provider and connects to the user's mail server through a secure connection.

The combination of this zero footprint architecture with an additional over-the-air provisioning module eases service activation and improves adoption rates.

"By extending our back-end support to include Microsoft Exchange 2007 and Sun Communications Suite 5 and continuing to support open standards and popular consumer email services, Synchronica can provide a single solution that can deliver carrier-grade mobile push email and PIM synchronization to both consumer and business users on a wide range of devices", says Synchronica CEO Carsten Brinkschulte.

"We are delighted to announce these important enhancements to our flagship product Mobile Gateway. This is another important step in our mission to bring carrier-grade push email, PIM synchronization, and backup and restore services to every phone on the planet, whether it is in the hands of a European executive on his Sony Ericsson P990, a U.S. prosumer on his Apple iPhone, or a consumer in Bangladesh accessing emails on his Nokia 1101", adds Brinkschulte.


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Thursday Feb 07, 2008

CNET #1 Download: OpenOffice

Congrads to the Hamburg Team working on OpenOffice/StarOffice!


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Thursday Nov 29, 2007

Joy to the World: a Web server, a web cam and House Christmas Lights

Control the Christmas lights of some guy's house.. through the Internet!! The guy somewhere in Europe.. I guess it is Europe given by the 9 hours difference and the different electrical plugs... http://www.lightscontrol.com

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Tuesday Oct 23, 2007

Skype's Major Outage Blamed on Microsoft

Skype's service outage should serve as a warning to any company offering services to its customers. The message is clear.. Microsoft Windows Vista isn't ready for 7x24.

The massive outage on August 16 and August 18 caused denied Skype's subscribers access to their accounts and ability to make phone calls. The company is reporting that the cause was due to the standard monthly Windows updates causing Skype's production PCs to reboot unexpectedly.

A report by Ferris Free News Service believes that this outage was due to the standard monthly Windows updates causing PCs running Skype to reboot. These updates were unique because "they FORCED a reboot of unattended PCs" without notice to administrators. All this happened within normal working hours when usage of the popular Skype service was at its peak.

This reboot eventually caused a spiraling failure when after the reboots. The reconnects after the reboots forced failures of their authentication servers that and problems with their network routing algorithms created the "perfect storm."

Further Readings

ComputerWorld's Richi Jennings on the Outage

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Thursday Sep 20, 2007

Mobile Phones Agree on Power/Data Cable Standards

Hopefully this agreement will help end the nightmare of cables to power different cell phones. This agreement makes Micro-USB to be the mobile phone standard for Data and Power connections. I'd give it two years before some of these phones show up.

ZDNet: Micro-USB to be phone-charger standard

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Tuesday May 22, 2007

Transactional Model for Sun's Outlook Connector


The below is a diagram representing the transactional model between Outlook Connector and the Sun Communication Suite Servers. I have broken this into four different types of transactions. I have diagramed the relationship between the Outlook Connector and Microsoft Outlook. These transactions are mostly GUI driven, and I haven't bothered to document all of those other than stating that these sit on a MAPI bus connection.


a. Access to Personal Address Book Information
b. Access to Mailbox and SMTP Delivery
c. Calendar Server Access
d. Corporate Address Book & Outlook Connector Configuration

(a) Personal Address Book Access

Outlook users have the ability to add, edit and remove their personal Contacts. On these actions, the Outlook Connector will connect with Communications Express to transmit these changes using the Web Address Book Protocol (WABP) which is a Sun Proprietary protocol.

On Communications Express is a special servlet which provides the WABP Service. This servlet also represents a LDAP Client which communicates back to the Directory Server. The WABP Service will first look up the user, then interact with the user's Address Book Data.

b) Mailbox Access and SMTP Delivery

On the Outlook Connector, a user may wish to retrieve their emails from their mailbox. In this case, the Outlook Connector acts as a IMAP client and connects to the Messaging Server. The Messaging server would evaluate the end-user's username and password with the Directory Server.

If a user is composing and sending an email, the Outlook Connector would provide a SMTP connection to the Messaging Server to attempt to deliver this message. In some cases, the user must first authenticate before sending their email. In this case, the Messaging Server will need to authenticate with the Directory Server.

c) Calendar Access

People may access their, or other's, calendars through the Outlook Connector. The connector communicates to the Calendar Server using the Web Calendar Access Protocol (WCAP). This is also a semi-proprietary (but published) protocol for the Sun Java Calendar Server. User authentication and profiling is provided by the Directory Server.

In Calendar Server 6.3, we added the feature for appointment attachments. This feature allows you to use the Outlook feature to attach a document to a particular appointment. In this case, the Calendar Server has an additional Attachment Store.

d) Corporate (or Global) Address Book

Outlook users may want to find someone within their company or organization which is not already in their Personal Address Book. For this the Outlook Connector becomes an LDAP client which communicates with the Directory Server. The Corp Address Book data are the normal user entries which are the user accounts.

For More Information:

Sun Java System Connector for Microsoft Outlook 7.2 Administration Guide


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Wednesday Oct 18, 2006

Some ideas on using Sun's new Blackbox

Usually, I try to avoid the jumping on the news storms on the Sun Blogs about new products.  On Tuesday the briefing of Blackbox Launch, I kept wondering why I felt this was 'useful'?  Going through different scenarios in my head. I then realized there were more than a few instances where this would be useful.

Scenario #1 – Telco Services.   I could imagine that this mobile data center design would be useful for companies who need to rapidly deploy Telco services and applications.   The value proposition would be that the Telco NEP would pre-assemble/test/ship the boxes for the Telco or large enterprise customer to their regional locations.

-    Voice Mail Services
-    Phone Switching: IP Centrix, IP PBX, VoIP, etc..
-    Mobile Services: SMSC, MMSC, SyncML, etc..

Scenario #2 – “Rent” a Secure Data Center.   I could imagine that an enclosed data center like this would be useful for customers who need a data center for a fixed portion of time. (i.e. projects, campaigns,  transitions, etc..)  These customers would need actual possession of the Data Center because of some security requirements.

-    CRM: Polling, Sales Promotions, etc..
-    Database Services
-    Co-location Services

For more pictures, please see..

C-NET News.com: Inside Sun's Project Blackbox

Thursday Aug 03, 2006

Podcasting to iTunes Music Store

A few weeks ago, I volunteered at my church to publish a podcast of the weekly Sunday service to iTunes Music Store.  My goal was to get to the point that I can get the weekly worship service onto my iPod when I travel.  I didn't realized how much research I had to do to make this possible.  Lucky for you, I did a write up of how I did this... Let me know how it works!

Link to My Paper

[Read More]

Monday Jul 10, 2006

Yahoo goes to Beta with New Messenger for Mac

Wednesday Jun 14, 2006

Yahoo Messenger Video Chat for Mac Coming Back.. slowly

Got some good news.. Rumors were that Yahoo is bringing back Video support for Yahoo Messenger for MacOS. I gave it a try yesterday, people were able to view me. I was still unable to view some people's cameras. I guess this is better than nothing. I hope the spotty service gets better. Jonathan is now listening to... "Father and Son" from the album "Cat Stevens: Greatest Hits" by Cat Stevens (Jonathan's Rating is 4)

Monday Jun 05, 2006

Did Yahoo pull plug on Video Chat for Mac???

In the last week or so.. Yahoo Messenger for Mac suddenly stopped supporting Video Chat. This has left thousands of users of the Yahoo Messenger service in a position where they are facing a shrinking set of support. Now did they pull support for this on their Chat Servers?? I have no idea. Yahoo has no mention of this on their website. It does give some indication of their commitment on their Yahoo Messenger for Mac Download site. They have been on the same 2.5.3 release of this product since 2003. This really gives a good example how so called "free" commercial services isn't really something you want to depend on for business communications. These services always leaves your business with the possible situation to be marginalized and create support headaches for your employees. It might be a better solution to host these services on your own. Jonathan is now listening to... "Beautiful Day" from the album "All That You Can't Leave Behind" by U2 (Jonathan's Rating is \*\*\*)

Thursday Feb 16, 2006

Push Email to Take out Blackberries!!

Synchronica announced on Feb 13 at 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona that they will have an open standard alternative to RIM Blackberry. Their product will provide this to SyncML-enabled phones with their SyncML Gateway 2.1. The new version supports Sun's Messaging Server (via Java Enterprise System) and introduces over-the-air provisioning through their own Portal. Their SyncML Gateway overs wireless synchronization of calendar, address book and email between SyncML-enabled devices and Sun's Communication Software Suite. Trial versions of Synchronica's SyncML Server are available.

"SyncML: Synchronizing and Managing Your Mobile Data" (Uwe Hansmann, Riku Mettala, Apratim Purakayastha, Peter Thompson)

Tuesday Dec 06, 2005

My Happy (and Quiet!) Little Netra T2000

The last month, I've been running tests on Niagara-based systems. Every time I walk into our Communications Lab here at Sun, it sounds like I'm walking into a wind machine. All these fans roaring in their efforts to draw in air to wash over CPUs to cool them down. The sounds is quite loud

One of the really striking things about walking into our labs now is that there is a quiet spot on two racks. These two racks contain my two Onterio Niagara boxes(recently named Netra T2000.

Notice how small these things are. In this picture, we are using an old Ultra60 as a shelf.

Compare the fan sizes on the back. These fans are tiny.

Remember noise is energy.. if so.. these Niagara boxes are not drawing much power. There isn't as much need to have big fans to cool down giant power hungry CPUs.

To contrast this.. I recently gave a presentation at our Sun Software Summit. In the back of the room (behind the audience) was an old v60z which is based on Intel Xeon. We had borrowed this box to run some Solaris x86 demos of our Messaging Server. The noise levels of this box was so loud, I couldn't hear half of the questions from the audience.

Wednesday Nov 16, 2005

StarOffice/OpenOffice.. breaking out of Microsoft Licencing Scheme

Amazing how Microsoft can't break out of their dead-end boxed CD licensing scheme..

My wife is a 2nd grade teacher in Santa Clara Unified School District. She got a new computer for the start of the school year, and she realized that she didn't have a copy of Microsoft Office. So she asked if she could borrow my CD, I told her not legal because of the Licencing. Instead I downloaded StarOffice/OpenOffice and burnt her a CD. She liked OpenOffice so much that she left it in the Teacher's Staff Room. Two weeks later.. Every teacher at several schools are running OpenOffice from that one CD.

Thursday Nov 10, 2005

Day four: Sun Software Summit

My time at the Sun Software Summit is wrapping up. The Sun Internal event focus in depth technical training on the Sun Java Enterprise System (JES) Products.

Today.. Jonathan Schwartz came out on stage. Talked about both Software and Computing move to a Service. "We don't want to sell the electricity, we want to sell the generators." The old model that was packaged software (aka Microsoft) is on the decline. Business aren't buying large Oracle or SAP applications so much anymore, they are going to SalesForce.com to get up and running in a few hours.


I'll be writing about topics that would interest users and developers of Sun Java Communication Suite.


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