OmniPresence document syncing ships this week

by Ken Case on May 20, 2013

I’m very pleased to announce that OmniPresence document syncing will ship on May 22!

For the last several years we’ve been hard at work bringing automatic syncing to our Mac, iPad, and iPhone apps, so our customers always have their latest work available on all their devices. We started by adding automatic syncing to OmniFocus in 2008, then to OmniPlan in 2011—and this week, on May 22, we will round out support for automatic syncing in OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, and OmniGraphSketcher by shipping “OmniPresence” document syncing.

Here is what OmniPresence looks like in action:

 

OmniPresence is designed to work well with any Mac app which supports OS X’s Auto Save and Versions. Using the same underlying document coordination as Versions, OmniPresence lets your app know when a document has been changed on another device, and double-checks to make sure it always syncs a current and complete copy of any documents currently being edited. OmniPresence can’t prevent conflicting edits from multiple devices—but when that happens it automatically saves both versions of conflicting edits so that no edits are lost.

OmniPresence is also designed to support document syncing within teams. By creating a shared sync account for your team, you can make sure that everyone on your team always has the latest copy of every document available on all their devices.

We believe in building solutions that will stand the test of time, and we believe that your data should be yours to control—whether you’re syncing your personal files or your company’s confidential information. So rather than use a proprietary syncing service which might not be available in five or ten years, OmniPresence is built on top of open web server technologies. This means you can sync documents using your own web server, such as the Apache server built into Mountain Lion Server. (We’ve posted instructions for setting up WebDAV file sharing on Mountain Lion Server on our support pages.)

We know that some customers would rather not have to set up their own service, so we’re currently scaling up our Omni Sync Server to support OmniPresence. We’re not quite sure how much additional traffic to expect from customers using OmniPresence, so we’re not opening the floodgates to all our customers just yet—but we are trying to make OmniPresence available to all accounts as quickly as possible. (Anyone who has checked the “I am brave” box at sync.omnigroup.com should already have access, and anyone else who checks that box will be given priority access.)

Finally, a quick note for any developers out there: we will be releasing the source code to OmniPresence as part of our open source frameworks on github, so you’ll be able to take our code and do whatever you want with it. OmniPresence is already compatible with other third party apps on Mac, but because of the sandbox on iOS it will require some integration work to support OmniPresence on iPad or iPhone apps. Our first goal was simply to use OmniPresence to sync documents in our own apps—but we’d love to see other apps start using it as well!

Thanks, everyone, for your patience as we’ve built automatic syncing into all of our apps. We hope you’ll enjoy OmniPresence as much as we do!