Syncing your BlackBerry, using the Desktop

Sync Interface

Below is the sync mode screen of the Barry Desktop GUI:

Barry Desktop sync screen

Introduction

The Sync screen displays a list of all connected devices as well as all devices that have an OpenSync configuration (whether those devices are connected or not).

Each device is setup to sync with a given application, which correspondes to the available plugins on the OpenSync side.

In addition, if multiple versions of the OpenSync engine library are installed, the specific version to use for syncing can be selected during configuration, and is shown in the list.

The last sync date is also shown. This timestamp is maintained independently of the one maintained in OpenSync and is only for information purposes.

Multiple devices can be selected in order to sync them all at once. The Sync Now button begins the sync, and each sync will be performed in sequential order.

The Run App button

The Run App button will, if available, launch the application that the currently selected device is configured to sync against. For example, if you are syncing your BlackBerry to Evolution, Evolution will be launched.

The Configure... button

The Configure... button opens the following dialog:

Barry Desktop sync configure dialog

The Configure dialog displays settings for: the OpenSync engine's library version to use, the two sync components (the BlackBerry and the Application), sync options, and conflict resolution options.

If only one version of OpenSync is installed, the engine options will not be displayed.

Configure the Barry side of the sync by entering the device password, if needed. The rest is optional.

Configure the Application side by selecting the Application to sync against, and then pressing the Configure button. Depending on the Application, the Configure button will either automatically configure everything for you, or open a new dialog to adjust parameters for that specific plugin.

The available Applications / plugins are:

  • Evolution
  • KDEPIM (0.2x engine only)

Depending on the available objects on both the Barry side of the sync and the Application side, there will be one or more sync options to choose from: Contacts, Events, Notes (Memos), and To-dos (Tasks).

By default, Barry will ask you to resolve any conflicts, but it is possible to override this using the conflict resolution choices at the bottom of the dialog. If you select Favour Device, then device data will automatically overwrite the application data's record where there is a conflict.

The 1 Way Reset button

Back on the main Sync screen, there is one more button to discuss: 1 Way Reset.

Due to the way OpenSync is designed, it is possible to get into a "slow sync" state if one of the plugins crashes or if there is a serious problem during the sync. Unfortunately, this is normally not easy to recover from.

The best way to recover is to re-create the entire OpenSync configuration for that particular device, delete all the data on one side of the sync, and sync fresh from the beginning again.

This recovery is what the 1 Way Reset button automates. It will guide you step by step through the process, and automatically reset the OpenSync configuration, so that the next time you press Sync Now, a fresh sync will start.

Normally either your device or the Application is authoritative most of the time. For example, you mostly add data to your device, and sync with your application, moving data from device to desktop. The authoritative side of the sync the side you want to keep, deleting the data on the other side.

If the Application is authoritative, 1 Way Reset will offer to delete the data from your device for you, in preparation for the fresh sync. Alternatively, if the device authoritative, 1 Way Reset will launch the application so you can remove old records manually.

Obviously, it is good to have backups first, both of your application data and of your BlackBerry, should something go wrong. The 1 Way Reset feature is designed to help you manage OpenSync, in case you do end up in "slow sync" land.