We've been receiving a lot of requests from Now Software customers about the best way to transition from Now X and/or Now Up-to-Date & Contact to SOHO Organizer ever since Now Software "suspended its day-to-day operations." This article will address this question as best we can given our limited experience with Now Software products. We will update this article as we receive more information from current Now Software users.
1) Single-User Plus Cloud. SOHO Organizer is a single-user product in the traditional sense and thus does not have a server component for hosting shared calendars and contacts. SOHO Organizer does, however, support the popular CalDAV standard for shared calendars in the cloud. This means you can use SOHO Organizer to access popular (and often free) CalDAV services like iCloud, Google Calendar or Apple's open source iCal Server (comes with Mac OS X Server) so multiple users can share one or more calendars. SOHO Organizer also supports the CardDAV standard which allows SOHO Organizer to access shared contact repositories. It is safe to say that Chronos has no plans for writing its own server since it thinks open source servers like CalDAV and CardDAV are the future.
2) Sync Services. SOHO Organizer was one of the first third-party applications to sync with Apple's Sync Services technology that is built into Mac OS X. This means SOHO Organizer can sync seamlessly with Apple's Address Book and Calendar (formerly iCal) applications. This also means that your local calendar and contact data in SOHO Organizer will sync to your iPhone/iPad and other devices that sync with Sync Services.
3) Sync Migration. The easiest way to migrate your calendar and contact data to SOHO Organizer is via Sync Services syncing. Now X can be set up to sync with Sync Services, so if you sync your Now X data with Sync Services and then turn on syncing in SOHO Organizer, your data from Now X will automatically flow into SOHO Organizer.
4) iCal File Imports. SOHO Organizer can import calendar data in the industry-standard iCal file format. Simply export your calendar data from Now X or Now Up-to-Date in this format and you can then import it into SOHO Organizer by choosing File > Import.
5) vCard File Imports. SOHO Organizer can import contact data in the industry-standard vCard file format. Simply export your contacts from Now X or Now Up-to-Date in this format and you can then import it into SOHO Organizer by choosing File > Import.
6) Notes. The iCal specification that SOHO Organizer supports includes a single plain text note field in each event and task record. Likewise, the vCard specification that SOHO Organizer supports also includes a single plain text note field in each contact record. When you import an iCal or vCard file, any notes found in this note field will be imported into SOHO Organizer. However, products like Now X and Now Up-to-Date & Contact also let you link other notes to events, tasks, and contacts. These other linked notes are not part of the iCal or vCard specification and thus aren't exported or imported. There isn't an easy way to migrate these note records other than manually copying and pasting their contents. If the Now Software products let you export these notes in a standard format like plain text, rich text, or Word format, then you can import them into SOHO Notes (the note manager application included with SOHO Organizer) in one big batch or several smaller batches.
7) Links. Now X and Now Up-to-Date & Contact, like SOHO Organizer, lets you link contacts to events, notes to contacts, etc. Unfortunately, these links are not preserved through the importing/exporting process of iCal files or vCard files. Nor are they preserved when syncing via Sync Services unless Now X supports the "attendees" field when syncing (Chronos has not been able to confirm whether or not it does). If Now X does save linked contact email addresses in the "attendees" field when syncing, then SOHO Organizer will recognize this field and create the contact links.
8) Categories & Groups. Now X and Now Up-to-Date & Contact let you organizer your contacts by category. SOHO Organizer does not support categories. The reason SOHO Organizer does not support categories is because we wanted seamless syncing with Apple's Sync Services and it doesn't support categories. Instead, SOHO Organizer, Apple's Sync Services, and Apple's Address Book application support "groups" for organizing contacts. Unfortunately, categories aren't exported in the vCard format. Nor are they synced to Sync Services, so there is no way to translate categories to groups. This means you'll likely need to re-organize your contacts into groups once you have them into SOHO Organizer.
9) Categories & Calendars. Now X and Now Up-to-Date & Contact let you organizer your events and tasks by category. SOHO Organizer does not support categories. The reason SOHO Organizer does not support categories is because we wanted seamless syncing with Apple's Sync Services and it doesn't support categories. Instead, SOHO Organizer, Apple's Sync Services, and Apple's iCal application support "calendars" for organizing events and tasks. Unfortunately, categories aren't exported in the iCal format. Nor are they synced to Sync Services so there is no way to translate categories to calendars. This means you'll likely need to re-organize your events and tasks into calendars once you have them into SOHO Organizer.
10) Sets. Now X and Now Up-to-Date & Contact let you organize your categories into filters called Sets. SOHO Organizer does not support Sets. Likewise, Sets are also not supported by Apple's Sync Services, Apple's iCal application, Apple's Address Book application, the vCard standard, or the iCal standard so Sets will not migrate.
11) Perfect Migration. Achieving a perfect migration of data between the Now Software products and SOHO Organizer will be next to impossible for a couple of reasons. First, it would require that Chronos have access to Now Software's database formats so we could read the data directly and try and preserve everything. In the absence of the ability to read the data directly, we would need Now Software to export their data in an xml format that preserves all fields including link fields. Second, the data in SOHO Organizer and the Now Software products do not match up perfectly. When the data fields don't match up perfectly, it means data either is lost or stuffed somewhere that doesn't make perfect sense. Chronos chose from the beginning to make our data model match Apple's so users wouldn't have to deal with syncing ambiguities. Now Software did not adopt this philosophy so there will be problems with data matching up to Apple's data models and consequently SOHO Organizer's data model.