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Sync.in Review - Real-time Collaboration in Cloud
 
POSTED BY BASANT NARAYAN SINGH ON SUNDAY, JUNE 13, 2010
LABELS: CLOUD COMPUTING , INDIA INNOVATION , SAAS+PAAS+IAAS , WEB TECHNOLOGY
 
Summary
 
Sync.in ?
Web based word processor for collaboration in real-time
A product of
Cynapse, Mumbai, India
Useful for
Brainstorming, meeting notes, project planning, training
User Interface
Slick & intuitive 
Base Technology
Etherpad
USP
Fast & responsive
Limitation
Drawing tools, subscript, superscript, image
Conclusion
Recommended
 
Detailed Review
Sync.in is a real-time collaboration tool. Users can simultaneously edit and all changes are seen live by users connected to the note/document. It synchronizes everyone’s edit & merges them all in real-time. Multiple people can simultaneously edit the same document, any changes reflect on everyone’s screen instantly.
 
I tested Sync.in (Public) with a team of 4 members (collaborators), simultaneously & randomly writing on the pad. There’s a Paid version as well - Sync.in (Pro).
The most impressive feature was its real-time synchronization capability. I was curious to know the time lag in syncronization i.e. the difference in time of typing the letter & appearing of that letter at the other end. To calculate this we accessed the same note (document) from two systems placed besides each other (so that we can view both the monitor screen). Interestingly, we could see each & every letter typed by other collaborators/members at our screen as if it was being typed from the keyboard attached to the local system. Practically, there was no perceivable lag at all.
We did a similar test with Google Docs - document, in the same environment. But its synchronization ability proved to be slower compared to Sync.in. In Google docs document, chunks of words appeared suddenly after a significant lag of say 12 seconds.
Noteworthy features
  • Interface is quite intuitive. No learning curve.
  • Chat window - collaborators can communicate while they're editing.
  • The color coded (8 colors) text background indicates the contributions done by different users. Users can change their colors or completely turn this functionality off.
  • Color highlight trail for each author: quickly know who contributed what.
  • Infinite undo history..all changes are saved to the server and can be undone any time…
  • One click, easy sharing - invite collaborators easily by sharing the note link over e-Mail, Facebook, twitter, Linkedin & other social networks.
  • Travel back in Time using Time Slider.
  • Mark & find important versions in a click
  • Chat history is saved foreve, along with the note.
  • Export your note as html, plaintext, bookmark file.
Limitations
  • Export to Plain Text NOT maintaining formatting…of no practical use.
  • No drawing tool
  • No subscript, superscript support
  • No formulae support (e.g. sharing equations etc)
  • No image support…
  • Font styles not supported.
  • Very limited formatting tools.
  • Connection with server lost frequently
Conclusion
Recommended.
Also note that, Sync.in Public notes can be accessed by anyone. For a private & secured note, companies can opt for Sync.in Pro which has enhanced security features for Private Notes viz.  Password, SSL (https) etc.
Optional Info
A few other similar services powered by ether-pad technology. 
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2 comments:abhi said...
Hey thanks for the info
June 14, 2010 3:49 PMArafat Hossain Piyada said...
Good researched article. After a long time I read an researched article. Most of the Indian blogger this day don't researched on article, they just write it. Nice reading.
June 15, 2010 4:53 PM
 
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