Discussions on sync (syncronization)

Discussion in 'Surface Pro 6' started by jott27, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. jott27

    jott27 Member

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    I have three active computers on my home network: iMac, Surface pro 6, and a Surface 2. They have each a different operating system, but each have OneNote installed. Making changes on one will show up on the two others. This surprised me somewhat, because I was under the impression that OneDrive is different from Cloud storage used I iMac. Before I proceed to more questions I will wait for some better insights into this, so that I get a better understanding of this.
    Until next.
     
  2. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay, now add OneDrive to your smartphone. You will be able to take a photo, and it will be available on all your devices. That will make 4.
     
  3. jott27

    jott27 Member

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    I can do even better, I can add my Acer Laptop as well. It still would not enlighten me how the sync would accomplish the task when different operating systems are used.
    But to add one more question to the subject: I would like to know what apps can be synced and what cannot be synced. e.g I have a "Contact" on one (SP6), can it be synced ? Or why not?
     
  4. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Every Microsoft Customer who has a Microsoft Account gets 4GB of OneDrive Storage and OneNote uses that to sync across devices and platforms...

    If you use Office365 Personal or Home Premium or Skype your contacts will sync as well...
     
  5. jott27

    jott27 Member

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    I do have Office365 Personal. My Contacts are displayable when Outlook is active on the screen. All I have to do is to click on the people icon on the very left on the screen. My problem is how to sync the complete content of the Contact to my other devices. Just saying that my contacts will sync, is a little short on the "how" part.
     
  6. msolok

    msolok Member

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    Sync becoming a common thing in apps these days. Many apps will sync their data into your account for that App, and allow that data to be accessed across devices and operating systems. This is usually different to any cloud saves or backups you have in place, the apps themselves will deal with it.
    Of course this does limit you to using that app, as the data and sync is tied directly to that app.

    Now, in the case of contacts, the easiest way to handle this is with an email account. This might seem a bit strange, but email accounts will allow you to sync Contacts into them, and access them from Multiple devices.
    If you want to use Outlook on Windows, your best bet with using a Hotmail / Outlook.com account. Setting this up will enable a 2 way sync to your online account. You would then setup this account on your Mac, which will then also setup the contacts sync. Same when you add the account to your phone.
    If you are willing to use the built in Mail app (and the inbuild Calendar and People apps) on Windows (which I highly suggested, as most people don't need the full power of Outlook) then your options for email account are larger. The 2 way sync in the Mail app on Windows works with far more accounts (such as with a GMail account) so you aren't as restricted.
     
  7. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Using the Microsoft Apps on the other devices and logging in with your Microsoft Account it will sync your information automatically, it is written into the code. The "how" is using UDP sockets via your internet connection pulling that information over a secure (encrypted) connection via your OneDrive.
     
  8. jott27

    jott27 Member

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    It will take some time to digest the info given in the last two replies. But first I need some clarifications on some terms used. It is my understanding that an account is the gateway that permits entry to the data and tools of an app. You might consider it as a key (open sesame). So you don't really sync data into the account. It only gives you the permission to sync or store or manipulate data in the storage allocated by the app. The "sync" part comes only into play, if the app either has the capability to sync automatically, or needs a user initiation for the sync. In OneNote the user can initiate the sync of selected sections.
    At this point I ask the question: Is my understanding correct or needs it to be corrected?
     
  9. msolok

    msolok Member

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    To be honest, I think you are over thinking this and worrying about the how's and why's too much. It's making this, for your purposes, far more confusing than it needs to be.

    To put it as short and simply as I can: The process of Syncing data is simply the automation of moving data between different devices. This relies on your account to determine where the data is coming from and needs to go. Setting up the app on multiple devices and signing in with your account will allow data to automatically be transferred between the devices.


    In a bit more detail (although it's getting a bit more complex for what you are after)

    A basic definition of the terms below:
    Account: The account is the... account. Same principle as say your Bank Account. It's your identifying information with the provider, and is where all your data and files end up when sync'd.
    App: This is the Application or Service itself. This can be installed onto your device, or a web server accessed through a browser.
    Cloud: Is a buzz word. It simply means a remote storage location. They will usually come with an App that allows data to sync into them.
    Sync: This is the action of 2 sources sharing information. It can be 1 way (one source needs to be the Master and sends all data to the other. Changes in the second source won't be reflected in the second) or 2 way (data travels in both directions so changes to either source will appear on the other). Most Sync's these days will be 2 way.
    For a sync to work you will need to have an account setup for the data to sync into.

    The main principle of Syncing is that data is moved between devices automatically via the internet. In order for this to occur an account is required to identify you and your data and for a location to be saved into. This can be at a Operating System and File level (such as OneDrive and iCloud, in which the buzzword of 'Cloud' is often attached), or can be at an App level.

    So, in order to envisage how all this works, picture a wheel. In the centre you have the Cloud storage location, which is within your account. It is the Master source for the data. Each spoke is effectively a App Location that syncs to and from the center. There are as many spokes as you have app connections (which is often limited by license restrictions in the app, but that's another discussion).
    As a change is made to the data on one of the spokes, the sync process on that device then automatically transfers the data files (or the delta between original and new) into the central cloud location. Each of the spokes' sync services are also automatically (be it constantly, on a minutes/hours/days, or on a button press in the app basis) polling the center to see if there are any updates to the files. As a change to the center is detected, the files are downloaded by each of the spokes.

    So how do all these tying in together?
    You want to use OneNote. You can use it in 2 ways:
    Offline/No Account: You can use it offline without the internet, and without an account. Your Notebooks are stored locally on your device. If you want to use these notebooks on a second device, or back them up, you will have to manually move the data files between the devices yourself.
    Online / with Account: You can also use OneNote online with an account. The account will identify you and your data and will allow the sync to occur. The sync basically just moves the data files automatically into a cloud location. This then allows the sync to occur on other devices where you are signed into your account and keeps everything updated. This sync to the cloud is only for the app data and doesn't include other data outside of the app.

    So the sync is basically just the automation of the data file move that you would otherwise be doing yourself. It stores these files in a remote storage location (which is often refer to as cloud storage) as the central repository for all devices to sync to and from. There are some smarts around how to handle concurrency and conflicts, but it's mainly just about automating what used to be a manual process of moving data between locations, and having it backed up and available from a central location.
     
  10. jott27

    jott27 Member

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    You might be right, but let me regurgitate your info and let me express it in a form that my young grandson might be able to understand:
    I have an Account (ID and PW) registered with Microsoft. This enables MS to put data on a remote computer (it might be in Timbuktu, for all what I care) that is only accessible by me and by nobody else. I have X numbers of computers, and all will have access to this data as long as I use the account ID and PW for entry. I can change the stored data, (add/delete/modify) from anyone of my computers. Any change I make will include a record of the time and date. Depending on the app, I can make such changes either on-line by directly changing the remote data, or off-line on one of my computers. If I should do the later, I could make some changes also on one of my other computers that might be different from the changes I made on the first one. When I finally decide to sync both computers, the remote storage will only be changed with the data provided by the computer that has a date/time stamp that is later than the one on the remote computer (time and date comparison). This way the Cloud storage will always have only the most up to date information. This works well, even if my X number of computers might have different operating systems.
     

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