Synchronizing database on mobile devices

by Ricardo C
This article relates to the synchronization between mobile devices and databases. Since mobile technology as advanced and equipment have led to the emergence of a new computing environment and a variety of small sized mobile devices such as smartphones and PDAs that has been popularized. The problem is that mobile devices do not have much computing power and they rely on batteries; constant access to network is difficult due to narrow bandwidth. Mobile devices need to download the database when connected and then work off-line and by doing so there are inevitable inconsistencies between the server-side database and the mobile database. Commercial DBMS vendors offer solutions to maintain the database synchronized between the two devices however these solutions are dependent of the server-side database using dependent information such as metadata. Because of these restrictions, the extensibility, adaptability and flexibility of mobile business systems are markedly decreased. The article suggests the implementation of SAMD (Synchronization algorithms based on message digest) which resolves synchronization problems using only standard SQL queries. The SAMD makes the images at the table of the server-side database and the mobile database using a message digest algorithm; then the images and the message digest values are saved in the message digest tables on both sides. The images are compared and select the rows needed for synchronization. The SAMD would provide extensibility, adaptability and flexibility.

The mobile technology is advancing so fast that solutions like this one would be necessary for many databases. Mobile devices have their limitation like mentioned above such as computing power and connectivity and developers need to be aware of them to develop their softwares suitable for this limitations. SAMD would solve the problems of database synchronization when working offline but ultimately we desire our devices to be connected all the time to have a real-time update of databases. Telecommunication technologies are advancing and providing faster and more reliable connections between devices.

Mi-Young Choi; Eun-Ae Cho; Dae-Ha Park; Chang-Joo Moon; Doo-Kwon Baik; , “A database synchronization algorithm for mobile devices,”Consumer Electronics, IEEE Transactions on , vol.56, no.2, pp.392-398, May 2010

2 thoughts on “Synchronizing database on mobile devices”

  1. I personally think mobile device still has a long way before it becomes ready to be used as a tool to work with big database tasks. It is true that some solutions have been thought about to solve some of the current problems, but there are still more problems that exist at the moment. Battery life on smartphones isn’t all that great when it comes to powerful computing power and 4G network connection. It is faster with dual-core processing power and 4G network speed, but it kills the battery of a smart phone way to fast. I have a Samsung Galaxy SII, and with 4G network on the battery life probably don’t last more than a day with moderate use. If database were just on one mobile OS, then it would probably be a lot easier to implement, but that is not how it is right now. There are at least 2 big ones that have totally different OS, and with Android OS, there are different version and different processing power for individual phones. It will be a while before database is really ready to be implemented and worked on through smartphones and PDAs.

  2. I agree that developers need to keep in mind the mobile devices when developing new software. Technology is always improving at a very fast rate. If the developers disregard the mobile devices they will lose a big market. Look at the new Razor Max from Motorola, it’s supposed to have the longest lasting battery life in the smartphone department. Improvements like that will continue to show up and before we know it, smartphones will be able to handle database tasks for anyone on the go. I dont think they will ever compare to a laptop or a desktop, but given the mobility and constant battery improvements they are good alternatives and should be considered when developing database software.

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