10 tools to improve your synchronization speed and managementProduct updates
Fast data synchronization provides a massive advantage in terms of efficiency, cost savings, and customer satisfaction.
With access to real-time insights and metrics, companies and their field workers can make informed decisions quickly, allowing them to respond faster than ever before.
But synchronization can be the make-or-break technology for your whole digital initiative.
With megabytes or even gigabytes of data, it can be tricky to set up and it’s a challenge for situations when moving between online & offline locations.
Resco solutions offer several tools helping you to maximize the efficiency of synchronization.
Let’s take a look at the most important ones and their specifics.
Tools for analyzing
The Sync log is a powerful tool. You can use it to analyze the time spent on each synchronization step and adjust it based on the requirements.
For example, you notice that the sync is taking too long and find out that one entity is downloaded without restrictions, even when the user doesn’t need all the data.
The most common way of figuring out the cause of any issues is to look into the log from the device. You can find it in the “About“ section of the app.
The option “Diagnostic Sync Logs” must be enabled in the Woodford project, under “Settings” in “Configuration”, or as “Log Sync Details” in the Mobile CRM app’s Setup.
We recommend using this option only if you’re in the process of fine tuning. Enable this to ensure that your log includes as much detail as possible. However, in general, don’t leave this option enabled in production.
After publishing the project and synchronizing with the app, you will see the changes.
Scroll down to the latest synchronization (which you can find thanks to the date and time in its name), where you will see what entities have been synchronized, how many records are there for each entity, and other processes which happened during synchronization.
You can find detailed information about the structure of our log files and an in-depth analysis on our wiki: Log files – Resco’s Wiki
The Sync Dashboard is our monitoring tool for administrators that collects information about every synchronization. It presents them in an understandable way with charts and the ability to see each synchronization log individually.
It also shows when there are any errors or warnings present. The administrator can see what exactly caused them by clicking the icon and solve the issue at hand.
You can find more information about how to set up the Sync Dashboard in your environment and how to use it on our wiki: Sync Dashboard – Resco’s Wiki
This tool helps with deeper analysis by showing statistical data about the app’s local storage.
You can find it in the setup of your app:
You can see multiple reports focusing on database storage and binary documents (blob storage).
Here we are providing detailed information about what each component takes into storage for you to look at and adjust as necessary.
You can find detailed explanations for each of the Storage Analyzer reports our wiki: Storage analyzer – Resco’s Wiki
You can do two types of auditing: server auditing and mobile auditing.
It can be quite helpful to see what changes were made to records or entities to help determine additional steps to improve synchronization, and when tracking other issues.
You can enable auditing on your back-end server.
For more information, see our wiki article: Auditing – Resco’s Wiki
This type of auditing shows changes in the app itself. Here you can find out how often users create records and what changes they make.
That creates individual records for each change you want to track, so we suggest using maintenance in Woodford to prevent unnecessary cluttering.
This is an external free tool that we regularly use when trying to analyze the traffic between the server and the app. You can use it too for our Windows (store and desktop) apps.
It helps with figuring out what data was synchronized with the server and it’s also handy for finding bottlenecks.
You can find more information on how to set up Fiddler on our wiki: Fiddler – Resco’s Wiki
Tools for configuration
When you want to limit what data is being shown in the application, Sync filter is just the tool for that.
With it, you can set each entity to show only the records relevant to a user and make the synchronization process as quick and smooth as possible.
When selecting most entities in Woodford, you will find that they have a sync filter.
You can set up your conditions for the filter, and after a full synchronization (deleting data in the app’s setup tab and synchronizing), you will see the changes in the app.
It is also possible to edit the filter directly by exporting it as an XML file and adjusting it yourself.
You can find more information about the Sync Filter on our wiki: Sync Filter – Resco’s Wiki
Also, we have plenty of examples on how to utilize the sync filter here: Sync Filter examples – Resco’s Wiki
Advanced Sync Setup
When you want to go into more in-depth synchronization, you can set up the behavior of the Sync Downloader and configure how the records are downloaded.
This is an XML configuration file that can be found in the Woodford project under “Settings” inside “Configuration” on the top of the panel named „Sync Config“.
You can modify the download process to your liking based on many parameters.
For an exact and detailed explanation of how to work with Advanced sync setup, visit our wiki page: Advanced sync setup – Resco’s Wiki
In Resco Cloud, you can you can use external storage for binary documents to save space in your database (such as Azure Storage or AmazonS3).
Blob storage takes this into account and downloads the documents from this storage during synchronization.
For more information on how to set it up in your environment, look into our wiki article: Blob storage for Resco Cloud – Resco’s Wiki
For when you don’t want to download all of your files into your app, but want to have them present on-demand (with internet connection) you can use this blob filter.
It can be found in the Woodford project under “Setting” inside “Configuration” on top of the „Blob Filter“ panel.
You can set varying max sizes for different file formats based on specific entities and much more.
For examples and more information about this tool, go to our wiki page: Document filters – Resco’s Wiki
Woodford Config Setup
Last but certainly not least is the Woodford configuration setup. It contains an amazing number of specific configurations for setting up your environment to your needs.
This is present in every Woodford Project under “Settings” on the left panel.
To pick a few specific configuration settings that are worth mentioning here:
- Max Upload Attachment Size – The maximum size of an attachment (documents, notes, email attachments) in bytes that can be created, captured or attached in the app.
- Background Download – Always download records in the background. If True, foreground sync switches to background after executing the upload & customization update. No impact on background sync
- Auto Sync – Set up an automatic sync
- Max Sync Records – Max number of records per entity to download. This is a hard limit that violates data integrity (a more restrictive sync filter is a better way to reduce app data)
- Show Sync Warnings – Show sync warnings alert after sync completion or just silently write them to the sync log (in case of multiple warnings, only the first one is shown)
- # Records/Upload Request – Max number of upload requests sent in one batch to the server
For more information about each setting, see our wiki article explaining the whole Configuration tab: Configuration – Resco’s Wiki
How to start
Fortunately, Resco solutions provide a range of tools that help optimize and manage data synchronization.
But if we can recommend what should be the first step in making your sync better, it’s enrolling to Resco Academy courses.
They provide an in-depth look at data synchronization and insights on how to maximize efficiency when using different tools.
These courses will be a great place to start:
- Introduction to Resco Architecture
- Woodford Basics
- Synchronization & Sync Dashboard
- Logs and troubleshooting
If you are ready to enroll in one of these courses, you can register to Resco Academy for free.