Oracle Lite Sync Agent problem

I  have a problem with Oracle Lite Sync Agent on 2 of my 3 different development mobile devices.

On the mobile device, automatic synchronisation will work ok initially, but after some time it stops. Attempting to manually force a sync using Oracle MSync (on the device - not the server) shows error 'CNS-9312 Failed to stop Sync Agent', and synchronisation does not occur.

So if I then go into the Oracle DM app, and bring up the Sync Agent, this immediately raises an error message saying 'Error getting Sync Agent Status'. If at this point, I click on the 'Start' button, a further error message appears saying 'Failed to start Sync Agent'. However, in fact synchronisation does accur at this point, and silent background synchronisation then continues as it should for some time, even though the status is showing as 'None' against all fields.

This is Oracle Lite version
The three devices I am using for development are all similar, but slightly different, and are chosen because they match the majority of devices in use in the target organisations. They are:-
1) O2 Xda Orbit 2 (Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro) This device also has TouchFlo 'built in' as standard
2) HTC Touch Diamond P3700 (Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro) This device also has TouchFlo 'built in' as standard
3) HTC Touch ELF0100 (Windows Mobile 6 Pro) No TouchFlo here

It appears that the two devices running 6.1 (and having TouchFlo) exhibit this problem very regularly (almost all the time) whereas the HTC Touch running 6 Pro, and not having TouchFlo, is really solid. It never gives this problem.

Unfortumately, the most important one to get right is the Xda Orbit as the great majority of target devices are Xda

The Oracle documentation on CNS-9312 simply says 'The Control API has failed to stop the Sync Agent due to some internal error'. Not especially helpful.

I have the feeling that maybe TouchFlo, or version 6.1 of Windows Mobile are the issue here, but I don't have enough test devices to be sure.

Any suggestions or assistance, as always, will be most welcome.
Particularly I would like to hear from anyone who is succesfully using Oracle Lite on Xda with WM6.1

Thanks in advance.
Nick BrownDirectorAsked:
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mrjoltcolaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Did you call Oracle support regarding 6.1 compatibility? I know some other vendors (iAnywhere) were not officially supported 6.1 yet when I checked a few weeks back and Oracle does not explicitly show 6.1 as supported on OTN. Check metalink or place a support call, they will tell you.

I will say after 3yrs of Oracle Lite, I eventually got fed up with bugs, and user's experiencing corrupt databases, and a slow release cycle, and moved to Sybase iAnywhere and have been very happy for it and have reduced support costs. If you do not have a lot of time or money invested, I suggest you at least look at iAnywhere for your own sake, before scaling up. I use it with Oracle backends.

I love Oracle Standard / Enterprise, and feel it is best of breed, but OLite is a different product altogether. I know this doesn't solve your problem but may give you other options to consider.
Nick BrownDirectorAuthor Commented:
Hi mrjoltcola

Actually that might be more helpful than you realise.

I too use Oracle Standard extensively and nothing would move me away from it.
My experience with Olite is very recent and very limited, but I have found it unstable, and very unlike other Oracle Database products.

I confess that I have not confirmed WM6.1 compatibility with anyone yet.
I shall do so and report back.
I shall also discuss the broader issues with my colleagues and consider alternatives such as iAnywhere.
Again I shall report our decision here.

Glad I could help.

iAnywhere + Mobilink take a different approach, that is more "DBA" oriented. Oracle Lite is a big Java API, and to do customization requires writing Java in many cases. There is probably more extension possibility, such as customizing the consolidator, but I found the consolidator approach to scale poorly anyway. Mobilink works differently and does not require a background "consolidator" process, and also allows everything to be tweaked from a SQL prompt, so it is completely feasible to build your own schema manager in-house. OLite does not make this easy or even possible.

The one nice thing that OLite has is the ability to define view definitions in SQL and just have OLite create those tables on the remote. iAnywhere Mobilink requires more explicit work to be performed, but once done, it is more flexible. The last time I worked with OLite, you could not easily change a table on the remote after deployment without total resync of the remote db, and to distribute pre-built template databases for users was a very convoluted process, as well.  As such, it presented challenges in distributing large static datasets (such as medical dictionary tables, drug data, etc.) out to many customers, where there were only a few customer specific tables. iAnywhere is much simpler in this regard.

Also, I've never had a corrupt db in 3 yrs using iAnywhere. I used to have 1 a month with OLite 10.0 / 10.1.
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Nick BrownDirectorAuthor Commented:
Thanks again,

you put forward a persuasive argument!

I'm pleased to find that my thoughts on Olite are not just me, and hopefully not just me being stupid.

Did you consider MSSQL at all? The lite version was suggested to me as more economical alternative to Oracle.

If you are a pure Microsoft shop, MS SQL will probably do the job, but I have not personally deployed any systems with it, so I cannot give anecdotal or expert advice. I do believe it will limit you on both backend databases and mobile device choices. I think both have native C++, .NET, but Ultralite has a Java implementation, and also supports Blackberry with the same sync server. They also are rolling out iPhone support at some point. No news yet on GPhone.

Sorry I cannot give my experience with MSSQL, but I can say iAnywhere is considered best of breed and has the most impressive deployment and client list of all, last time I checked. I've also used DB2everyplace during IBM days but moved away from it as well due to many bug with the replication server.
Nick BrownDirectorAuthor Commented:
Many thanks for your thoughts on this subject. I shall take them to our office tomorrow for discussion.

We really don't consider ourselves Microsoft in way, and generally would never implement MS SQL in preferance over Oracle. But I confess I know MS slightly, whereas I don't have any experience of iAnywhere - I guess it's time to learn!  Again :)

As I said, I'll report back tomorrow.

Thanks again
Nick BrownDirectorAuthor Commented:
Many thanks for your help and suggestions.
We have put Oracle Lite on a 'back burner' for now as we investigate iAnywhere.
Nick BrownDirectorAuthor Commented:
Just to add a little more to the story:-
I was unable to get a definitve answer on WM6.1 with Olite, or indeed whether the problem has anything at all to do with TouchFlo. So along with your comments about slow release cycle, and the fact that WM6.5 is (I believe) imminent, we decided that we should look at alternatives.
I guess it's fair to say that the cost of licensing with Oracle Lite is also a factor. It would be OK if Olite was as good and stable as their other 'main' database products - but it isn't.

You are making a wise decision. I have ported from OLite to iAnwhere twice and both times the customer was much happier after the temporary switchover. Keep in mind there are 2 main products in iAnywhere, ASA and UltraLite. Their footprints are different but they both work. Let me know if I can be of any other assistance.

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