The Inner Workings of Hotsync

How Hotsync Conduits Work

The Palm hotsync uses the concept of individual conduits to handle synchronization of the data between the Palm device and a host device, like a desktop PC or laptop. Each conduit is responsible for managing the synchronization process for the native Palm databases on the unit that share a particular creator ID. A fallback conduit, the backup conduit, handles any Palm databases that do not belong to their own conduit. The backup conduit does not synchronize at the record level; it simply copies the Palm database to the host's backup folder.

Palm supplies conduits for the built-in databases, addressbook, datebook, memopad, todo, and expense. In addition, Palm supplies a conduit that handles the specialized mail synchronization. Third parties are free to supply conduits for their own products and/or replacement conduits for the built-in applications. Note however, that third party conduits may not conform to the Palm recommended API for conduits.

Conduits for the Built-in Apps

The following is a vastly simplified description of how the Palm supplied conduits handle different situations while hotsyncing in the Fastsync mode. A second mode, Slowsync involves record comparisons to a third backup database. Those comparisons are a bit more involved, but the principals that are described for the Fastsync generally apply.

The basic issue in a syncronization of two databases is how to deal with the inevitable collisions that will occur when records are modified on both platforms. The rules used by the Palm conduits are as follows;

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