Lotus Notes Sync to Google

I’m getting ready for life after the Palm OS. My Centro has a lot of life left in it and more importantly, over 9 months until I can upgrade so I need to figure out how to get my enterprise Lotus Notes calendar (version 7) onto whatever my next smartphone will be. The good news it will be either a webOS or Android phone so the obvious solution to me was getting my Notes calendar onto my google calendar since both phone OS play nice with the google apps over the air. Yesterday I dove into CompanionLink for Google. The app advertises to connect to your google apps via the google API and sync your enterprise or local calendar to your google account. Here’s my first impression of the software:

The good:

  • Easy to configure. The wizard picked out all the arcane Lotus Notes file locations both locally and on the domino server.
  • Has a purge/reload function for the inevitable duplicates that will be generated on google.com as you’re fiddling around with getting the right configuration for you.
  • No need for a wired sync. Just a live internet connection. I like that.
  • You can schedule syncs with quite a bit of flexibility. Not quite a push but pretty close.
  • Relatively inexpensive at $39.95. They also seem to roll out new builds fairly frequently. I wish they’d use incremental version numbers rather than build numbers to identify updates. Version 3.0 has been out for a couple of years with a ton of new builds but no move to version 3.1.
  • The address book/contacts sync worked really well.
  • You can sync multiple google calendars to your PIM. I would like to have the ability to select how I want to transfer the events (ie pull from my personal calendar, push or sync from my work calendar, pull from my family calendar, etc) but that’s not supported. If you choose to sync, you sync all the selected google calendars.

The Bad:

  • Windows only.
  • If you are trying to sync an existing google calendar with and existing PIM, you’re going to get duplicates. Get ready to spend some time culling. Use the purge/reload function to clean your google calendar before you sync if you can afford to purge the google calendar.
  • Kind of hit or miss when you have meetings when you are not the organizer. I have a monthly meeting that the organizer sets up once for the year that doesn’t show up on my google calendar no matter how far back I go in the sync date range.
  • Syncing repeat appointments can create duplicates on the first day of the appointment.

Recommendations:

The software is ok. Not great. Not bad. I’ve finally settled on having my google calendar mirror my Lotus Notes calendar which isn’t a sync but a push to google. I didn’t feel like dealing with the duplicates for the amount of times I will create an appointment on google (none). If you can live with your google calendar/smartphone being a mirror, I’d recommend the software. I’m sure the sync works ok, too but I got turned off on the first round of duplicate culling.

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