Funambol is open source mobile application server software that provides push email, address book and calendar (PIM) data synchronization, application provisioning, and device management for wireless devices and PCs, leveraging standard protocols. For users, this means BlackBerry-like capabilities on commodity handsets.
Funambol is also a software development platform for mobile applications. It provides client and server side Java APIs, and facilitates the development, deployment
and management of any mobile project. Funambol is the de facto standard implementation of the Open Mobile Alliance Data Synchronization and Device Management
protocols (OMA DS and DM, formerly known as SyncML).
What is the Funambol Project?
The Funambol project (earlier known as Sync4j) was started in 2001 by software developers who saw the promise of SyncML for mobile computing, but did not see an open source Java implementation. The Funambol project has gone well beyond the original server engine, and now includes administration tools and client-side APIs. Funambol software has been downloaded more than 450,000 times, with steadily growing monthly downloads, making the Funambol project one of the largest mobile software developer communities in the world. Funambol is in production use on three continents and supports millions of end-users.
Funambol consists of:
- Funambol Data Synchronization Server: a mobile application server providing synchronization services for wireless clients and PCs, including push email.
- Funambol Device Management: an OMA DM server to remotely manage mobile devices.
- Funambol Connectors: gateways to file systems, databases, email systems, and applications for two-way synchronization with existing data assets.
- Funambol Client Plug-ins: protocol extenders and clients for Outlook, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Palm and iPod so users can synchronize their email
messages and PIM data (address book, calendar, tasks and notes) with the server.
- Funambol Software Development Kit: tools to develop sometimes-connected mobile applications on devices (in Java - J2SE and J2ME - and C++) and to add data sources to the server.
Whom is it for?
The Funambol project is intended for IT professionals looking to leverage the latest generation of mobile devices for email and PIM, or for developers who need to build, deploy and manage a mobile project:
- Carriers looking to deploy services around push email, phone backup and device management.
- IT Managers wanting to deploy a PIM and mobile email solution or needing a way to manage a fleet of mobile devices.
- Developers needing to extend an existing product to the mobile world or looking for an easy way to create new mobile applications by grabbing data from
existing data sources (such as SQL databases, Mozilla or SugarCRM).
- Device Manufacturers looking for an OMA DM or DS client.
Funambol Project Mission
Because Funambol is built on the OMA DS and DM standards, it leverages the availability of SyncML clients that are pre-installed on most new mobile phones. For devices where SyncML is missing, Funambol provides protocol support for SyncML and its own clients.
Open source means freedom from vendor lock-in and high quality software (thousands of eyes on the code, an enormous community testing effort). The Funambol project is well supported by the community and the company behind it.