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NewsGator Outlook edition 2.5 is here!


Wow. It’s been a LONG time in coming. But it’s finally here…NewsGator Outlook edition 2.5.

This release is all about synchronization. But wait, you say…didn’t we have synchronization in 2.0? Well, yes…but there were some limitations. Big ones.

With 2.0, with sync turned on, when you downloaded something into Outlook, it would marked as “read” in NewsGator Online.  Even before you read it in Outlook.  Even if you never read it in Outlook.  The mere act of downloading it marked it as read.  Also, folder hierarchy wasn’t synchronized between Outlook edition 2.0 and NewsGator Online.

This is all changed now.  Read/unread/deleted status of individual items is now synchronized between Outlook edition 2.5 and NewsGator Online (and all other applications using our system – more on that in a bit).  Folder hierarchy is now synchronized between Outlook and Online.  It’s all as it should be.  As someone on the beta said, “it all worked exactly as I expected it to.”  Nice.

How did we do all this?  We’ve developed what we have called our 3rd-generation synchronization API.  NewsGator Online implements this API, and Outlook edition 2.5 uses it for content sync.  The upcoming FeedDemon 1.6 uses this same API for sync.  And we’re opening up and documenting the API for you to use, too.  Watch for more about this in the next couple of days – as soon as we iron out a few things, we’ll publish the docs and sample code, and we’ll tell you about some folks who are already working with it. [Greg Reinacker’s Weblog]

I’ve been on the beta test program for this for a while, and the sync engine is much improved – syncs that used to be a “go away and get a cup of coffee” job now happen very quickly. Very impressive stuff – well done NewsGator people.

Incidentally, NewsGator Outlook Edition becomes VERY handy if you’re also using a desktop search engine capable of working with Outlook, such as MSN Desktop Search or Google Desktop Search. Because all the posts you gather via RSS are stored as messages in Outlook, they’re searchable – which means it’s very quick to find a lot of posts about a particular subject. For example, yesterday I was looking to write something on the Supreme Court decision in the Grokster case – a quick search on “Supreme Court Grokster” delivered a slew of posts, most of which were full-text feeds.

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