Monday, December 1, 2003

Synchronizing Notes with Palm handhelds with Pylon 5.2

PRODUCT REVIEW

By Mick Moignard

I've been a happy and contented Pylon Pro user for some years now, connecting my Palm to Lotus Notes. So when iAnywhere, the new owners of Pylon who recently acquired Pylon's previous owner, AvantGo, asked us to review their latest version, 5.2, I jumped at the chance. It was easy to see what I wanted it to do -- everything it was already doing for me.

Look back at previous DominoPower issues and you'll get some idea of what I use Pylon for. There's my expenses -- which as you can imagine, is really important to me. See my article "Managing expenses with Palm and Notes," in the April 2001 DominoPower at http://www.dominopower.com/issues/issue200104/dpexpenses001.html for that. And more generally, in "Integrate Notes with Palm's new Tungsten T," I described using my then-new Tungsten T with Pylon and Notes 6 (at http://www.dominopower.com/issues/issue200212/tungsten001.html).

This review covers Pylon and Pylon Pro with Lotus Notes and Palms only; it does not cover the other flavours of Pylon that work with Microsoft Exchange or with Pocket PC devices.

I started to work on this review with the Notes 6.5 Milestone 2 beta. That worked well with my old Pylon 3, so I expected that the new Pylon would too, and it did. Not too surprisingly, iAnywhere wanted me to work on official Notes releases rather than the beta and so I can also report that Pylon works on Gold Notes 6.5. While working on this review, I reported on or two issue to iAnywhere, and completed the review with Pylon 5.2.3. I have not specifically tested it with Notes 6 or R5, but I would be really surprised if it didn't work just fine with them too. I guess iAnywhere would be surprised, too.


"All of that almost went quite cleanly."

Pylon comes in two flavours. The basic Pylon product deals with the basic six confuits: mail, contacts, calendar, to-dos, journal and expenses. Pylon Pro is an add-on that synchronises up to 20 custom databases or database views from Notes to Palm.

Installation

I'm one of those people who, even though I get a little impatient to try things, usually read the manual. Or at least I go so far as to check the installation instructions. These told me that before installing Pylon Pro, I should uninstall any previous versions from both the Palm and from my laptop. I'm not sure I always like this approach -- it always seems so irrevocable, but in fact it worked fine.