ActiveSync is a mobile data synchronization technology and protocol developed by Microsoft. It is a program, which allows mobile devices to be synchronized. It is a bridge for data transfers between computers and mobile devices. It helps mobile devices in transferring documents, files, photos, contacts, calendars, and emails to and from the computer with ease. With ActiveSync, mobile phone is transformed into a pocket PC.
Microsoft provides two types of technology for data synchronization.
Data and information of handheld devices are synchronized with a desktop computer. Apart from with limited backup/restore functionality, and the ability to install and uninstall mobile device applications, ActiveSync also provides for the manual transfer of files to a mobile device. Users need to connect the mobile device with the desktop to synchronize the data. Supported mobile devices can be Smartphones and PDAs running Windows Mobile, or the Windows CE operating system and other operating system.
It is to be noted that all Personal information manager (PIM) data including Email, Calendar, and Contacts can be synchronized with the ActiveSync but Tasks. Synchronization of Tasks is allowed only on Windows Mobile 5.0 devices.
ActiveSync doesn’t support all features of Outlook. Contacts grouped into subfolders are not transferred with ActiveSync.
Exchange ActiveSync provides push synchronization of contacts, calendars, tasks, and email between ActiveSync-enabled servers and mobile devices. It synchronizes directly with Microsoft Exchange Server and lets users keep e-mail, calendar data, tasks and contact information updated wirelessly via Wi-Fi or cellular network.
It is a proprietary protocol, which is licensed to a number of mobile manufacturing companies such as Apple, Palm, and Google. These companies can incorporate Exchange ActiveSync in their devices.
Many brands including Apple, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Sony offer products that are compatible with Exchange ActiveSync.