Monday, February 15, 2010

Book Review - "Funambol Mobile Open Source"

Book Review for "Funambol Mobile Open Source"

If this book sounds interesting to you, it can be found here.

I've just had the chance to read a copy of "Funambol Mobile Open Source" by Packt Publishing. Here's a quick review of what you'll find in this book.

First, for those of us who haven't heard of Funambol before-- it's an open source platform for synchronizing data on mobile devices. Funambol will let you keep your email, personal contacts, and other data kept current on multiple devices. The server is available for Windows or Linux and is easy to operate.

The book is really two books in one-- the first part is a well-detailed user's guide, the second part is a developer's guide for those who want to develop software rather than just use it.

Part one covers product installation, an explanation of the application architecture, user administration, e-mail, PIM (address book and calendar), and the Funambol community.

Part two brings starts the heavy technical content. It contains SyncML (the protocol used to pass data back and forth between the Funambol server and the various devices it connects to) and a detailed chapter on how the reader can extend the server's Data Synchronization Service.

Being technical by nature, I enjoyed the content of the last two chapters-- there were some really good ideas there about how to extend Funambol if it doesn't do exactly what you need it to.

All things considered, I'd think this book would be great for anyone who has a need to syncrhonize data across mobile devices. The first part of the book really is user-friendly-- it starts from ground zero and presents all the steps necessary to use Funambol in a clear and logical manner. There are many screen shots, and everything is spelled out in sufficient detail. This part of the book reminds me of really well written professional-grade documentation. (Except it's written in sort of a use-case manner, leading the reader alongside a mythical user of the application as she sets up her system.)

If you're in the market for a data synchronizer for your mobile devices, give this one a read!

Happy Coding,



Giulia Zanchi said...

Thanks for sharing this positive review!! (from someone who helped this book come to life)

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