Mac OS X includes some amazing sync technology called "Sync Services". Sync Services coordinates all sync activity on your computer by keeping a master database called the "Truth". The Truth is supposed to be what Sync Services considers an accurate representation of all your data. An example might help. Consider your address book data. The Truth contains a record for every contact in your address book. There are lots of clients, including applications and devices like your iPhone, that synchronize their contact data with the Truth. For example, if you update a contact in the Address Book application, that change will be synced to the Truth using Sync Services. When this sync occurs, Sync Services will ask other clients like your iPhone via iTunes or other applications like SOHO Organizer if they also have changes that need to be synced. Each client will tell Sync Services about all of their changes. Sync Services will then process all of these changes to determine if there are any conflicts. If it detects a conflict, Sync Services will ask the user which change to keep. Once it finishes processing changes, it will update its master Truth database with all of the changes from all of the clients. This becomes the new Truth. Sync Services then tells each client what changes the client needs to make to be in harmony with the Truth.

Common Problems

Syncing is really complicated for developers, including Apple, to get right. Just ask anyone who has ever tried to write reliable and fast syncing software. If you're still unconvinced, just look at the discussion forums of the world's major software companies and you'll find discussion after discussion detailing syncing problems. That said, syncing is continually getting better and more reliable, but even with Apple's amazing Sync Services, there are a few common problems that users run into. See if any of these sound familiar:

• Duplicate records
• Duplicate fields within records
• Record updates, additions, deletions that refuse to sync to other clients
• Records that disappear (are deleted) from some clients but not others

What causes these types of problems? The easiest answer is: who knows? Because many of these problems develop over time, it's difficult, if not impossible to pinpoint exactly what went wrong. Sometimes it might be a data corruption to the Truth database or a client's database due to crash. Other times, it might be caused by a bug in a client's sync code or in Sync Services itself. The challenge for all parties involved is narrowing down and fixing problems. It's a challenge for developers including Apple and Chronos because many parties are involved in a sync as explained above.

Start From Scratch — Reset Sync Services

When syncing problems occur, sometimes the best thing to do is simply start from scratch. This basically means you need to reset Sync Service's Truth database on your computer. This is necessary because the Truth may have become corrupted or grossly out of sync with reality. If you don't reset the Truth database then any corrupt data (or data that doesn't match reality) will quickly spread to all of your clients the next time they sync. It's therefore really important to do a thorough reset. The below steps explain how.

STEP 1. Back up your database on your computer

The old adage, "better safe than sorry" definitely applies here. It's smart to always back up your data on your computer before proceeding.

a) Launch SOHO Notes or SOHO Organizer
b) Choose File > Back Up Database and save the backup someplace safe (your Desktop, an external hard disk, a USB thumbdrive, etc.)
c) Quit SOHO Notes or SOHO Organizer

STEP 2. Turn OFF syncing in SOHO Notes or SOHO Organizer

It's important to make sure that SOHO Notes and/or SOHO Organizer isn't going to sync any data while we reset everything. Follow the below steps to turn OFF syncing in these applications.

a) Launch SOHO Notes or SOHO Organizer
b) Choose SOHO Notes > Preferences or SOHO Organizer > Preferences
c) Select the Sync preference pane
d) The preference pane will indicate if a sync is currently in progress. If one is, then wait for it to complete. If it doesn't complete in a reasonable amount of time, click the Cancel Sync button.
e) Uncheck the Contacts, Calendars, Notes, and Tags check boxes if any of them are checked.

f) Quit SOHO Notes or SOHO Organizer

STEP 3. Quit the background helper applications

SOHO Notes and SOHO Organizer use background helper applications to help them perform certain tasks when the main application isn't running. You'll need to quit all of these background helper applications. Here's how:

a) Launch SOHO Notes or SOHO Organizer
b) Choose SOHO Notes > Helper Application or SOHO Organizer > Helper Applications
c) Click Quit Helper Applications
d) Quit SOHO Notes or SOHO Organizer

You can also use the Activity Monitor application included with OS X to quit the background helper applications as described in this article:

STEP 4. Reset Sync Services

Now it's time to actually reset Sync Services. This effectively clears the Truth database and make it possible to start from scratch as far as syncing goes.

a) Quit all running applications on your computer
b) Follow the steps in Apple's article to reset Sync Services. Be sure to follow the steps in the appropriate section for the version of OS X that you're using. Be sure to do all steps Apple outlines including those that involve the Terminal.

STEP 5. Sync your computer

It's now time to sync your computer to Sync Services.

a) Launch SOHO Notes or SOHO Organizer
b) Choose SOHO Notes > Preferences or SOHO Organizer > Preferences
c) Select the Sync preference pane
d) Check the Contacts, Calendars, Notes, and Tags check boxes
e) Click the Synchronize Now button
f) Wait for the sync to complete by watching the indicator in this Sync preference pane
g) Check to make sure that all of your data looks correct in SOHO Notes and SOHO Organizer

Further Troubleshooting

If resetting Sync Services does not seem to solve your problems, then we recommend that you try the above steps again and then follow the steps in Apple's "Sync Services: Advanced troubleshooting for contact and calendar syncing" article:

before you complete STEP 5. If you end up with duplicates, you can also choose File > Find Duplicates and then click the Synchronize Now button in the Sync preference pane to sync again.