Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Simple Sharing Extensions

I have always been a prety big fan of Ray Ozzie of Lotus Notes and Groove fame. I think he has really nailed all of the complexities of synchronization and replication in his products. If you compare how long it takes to set up replication for a Notes database to how long it takes for an Oracle database, you will see what I mean.

Another technology that I have been a big fan of since discovering it is RSS. RSS is dead simple- an XML format for html links and their summaries. It is a bit of a mistake to call it "a format", since there are several popular versions of RSS and Atom out there. The whole concept of having an RSS feed for a site, search, or topic that you are interested in is that you can have a tool watch that file for changes, and then display the summaries of the new content to you, allowing you to decide if you want to click on the link to the original source.

Now, Mr. Ozzie likes the dead simplicity of RSS, and thinks he can do the whole magical synchronization/replication thing one more time, but this time with a creative commons licensed standard that will do it for the whole web. His first little example is a calendar. I love it because my whole team has this problem while working at customer sites without their mobile devices. I also love it because it almost seems like he developed this whole technology to solve a problem that he and his wife were having with synchronizing their calendars. In two weeks. And if it's going to be in Office/Outlook/Exchange, it's going to be a viable solution for the whole internet. This may mean no built-in iCal for Outlook, but maybe we don't need that anymore.