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-   -   Bonjour Sync Issue - Any Fix? (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=15215)

macdaddy 2010-02-03 03:48 PM

Bonjour Sync Issue - Any Fix?
 
I have the latest versions of OF for iphone 3.0 and Mac. I set up a local network on the Airport, have OF running in both places, and about 5-10% of the time, I get it to sync right away.

About 90% of the time, however, I have issues that require multiple, multiple attempts, only to keep getting:

"Unable to find sync server.
No server could be found that matches your sync settings.
Please make sure that your sync server is awake and that OmniFocus is open."


This will happen even when I've synced the previous hour and haven't changed a thing. The Mac shows up as the selected wifi.

Sometimes I'll do this 5-10 times, and the synch wheel at the bottom will spin around for 1 minute or so, and "sometimes" it will actually start to synch, but most of the time it stops and says:

"Unable to synchronize database with server.
can't find host
Cancel Retry"

Then I'll try it a few more times, and sometimes it will sync up after that. If not, then I go through the entire "send settings" drama to try and reestablish contact between the two.

Today I even had to reset everything and elect which database to wipe out in order to get them to synch. My iphone database had become disassociated from my sync database on my Mac, causing me to be unable to sync (I got mixed error msgs - "can't find server," and "need a password to enter secure site") and finally got to the question about which database I want to overwrite.

Any thoughts appreciated as to how to get consistent first-try synching.

whpalmer4 2010-02-03 04:03 PM

Have you tried working this out with the support ninjas? Sounds like a phone call might be in order. 1-800-315-OMNI or 1-206-523-4152

MacG5 2010-02-03 11:01 PM

Yes, me too. Same issue after updating to 3.1.3. This is complete new - and annoying, everything was fine under 3.1.2.
So far nothing helped, restart, reinstall, even restore of the iPod does not change anything.
When I re-setup the sync, the host was detected instantly - but sync take forever and then the timeout-message.
I sent feedback to apple, and the OF support, they replied soon, but suggest the common things to check: firewall etc.
But I think because of other users like macdaddy report these errors it must be the update to 3.1.3 causing the problems.
Hope it will be fixed soon...

macdaddy 2010-02-04 08:33 AM

[QUOTE=whpalmer4;72690]Have you tried working this out with the support ninjas? Sounds like a phone call might be in order. 1-800-315-OMNI or 1-206-523-4152[/QUOTE]

In response to the Sticky saying an email was preferred, I first relayed the issue via email and got the following response, so apparently a ninja will get back to me. Just checking with the forum to see if anyone else had run into this issue and had a fix. Also, based on other Bonjour issues, I assumed a canned fix was already in place that could quickly be emailed to me without my taking additional time for a call, walk-through of issue, try this, try that, etc. I'm not a beta tester and I just don't have that kind of time in my day (hence the need for a syncing todo program). The response:

Thanks for sending us mail - we appreciate the time you've taken to
contact us! This particular email was sent by a machine, but please
do take the time to read this.

OmniFocus for iPhone 1.6 was approved for the App Store on
Jan 9, 2010; we would like to make a strong recommendation that
customers update to that version as soon as it's convenient. It fixes
some important sync issues we discovered in earlier builds.

Release notes and an App Store link are available here:
<http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=14952>

Our Support Ninjas will read your mail and get another mail out to
you as soon as they possibly can. Usually, we send a response by
the end of the next business day; if we receive an overwhelming
amount of email in a short period of time, it can take longer.

If you're having a problem that needs a rapid response, please
forward this message to <urgent@omnigroup.com> and we'll get
back to you as soon as possible. Or you can telephone our
Support Ninjas at 1-800-315-OMNI (US Toll Free) or
+1 206-523-4152 (International) between 10am and 5pm Pacific Time.

There is no need to reply to this message right now. Your message
has been assigned an ID of [OG #508067].

In the meantime, you might want to check the OmniFocus for iPhone
frequently asked questions list. You just might find the answer to
your question there, without having to wait for our response! It's
located here:

<http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=8442>

Last but not least, we think customer service is very important to
our success; if you have any feedback at all about this or any other
interaction with us, please send email to
<customerservice@omnigroup.com> and we'll be happy to help.

Thanks again for contacting us!
-- The Omni Group

macdaddy 2010-02-04 09:00 AM

This morning's sync effort (after adding 2 items to iphone OF):

"Unable to find sync server.
No server could be found that matches your sync settings.
Please make sure that your sync server is awake and that OmniFocus is open."

Hit "cancel" and retried to synch several times, kept getting the same message. No settings changed from yesterday's last successful sync.

Went to iphone Settings and verified wifi connection to Mac. Went to OF on iphone Settings, then down to Synchronization, then to "Get Settings from Mac. "Searching" - after 20-30 seconds I get "No Wi Fi Connection." Re-verify valid wifi connection with Mac via iphone Settings, try again, same reult.

iphone OF/Settings/Get Settings From Mac = "if you don't see your Mac in the line below, resend settings from OF on Mac." I do this - "searching", then the Mac network shows up on the line, BUT

After getting "Synch currently in progress" (and progressive sync line appears, but no advancement), I then get
"Unable to synchronize database with server.
can't find host
Cancel Retry"

No matter what I tried for 15 minutes, I couldn't sync the iphone OF with the Mac OF. Maybe I am a beta tester, after all.

macdaddy 2010-02-04 09:05 AM

After typing the post above, I hit Retry in response to the last error message and, Eureka, it sync'd successfully. Nothing else was changed from the prior efforts, including the locations of the iphone and Mac.

Again, any thoughts re: consistent first-try synching appreciated.

whpalmer4 2010-02-04 09:45 AM

Again, I think your best bet to get this resolved quickly is going to be to call them. The suggestion to send email is in contrast to posting on the forum, where there's no guarantee an Omni staffer is going to see your message in a timely manner (or even perhaps at all), and that the debugging information they will want may not be "forum friendly" (read: lots of apparent gibberish). Also, a problem of this sort (the program not working as intended) is clearly a bigger hindrance to your using the product successfully than an issue where some of the columns don't sort the way you want, for example, and you should not feel shy about calling them to speed the resolution.

I think you should be prepared to discuss the specifics of your networking setup when you call; this sounds to me like there is a reasonable possibility that Omni's code may not be at fault. I wonder if your phone isn't sometimes connecting via WiFi and sometimes via cellular data, which would probably cause similar symptoms (not able to find the server because Bonjour won't find the server if you are on separate networks as would be the case if using the cellular link). What happens if you turn off the cellular data connection? Do you get solid connectivity and sync behavior? I have an iPod Touch, not an iPhone, so I'm not 100% sure off the top of my head that you can even do that, but if you can, it might shed some light on the situation.

macdaddy 2010-02-04 10:08 AM

[QUOTE=whpalmer4;72704]Again, I think your best bet to get this resolved quickly is going to be to call them. The suggestion to send email is in contrast to posting on the forum, where there's no guarantee an Omni staffer is going to see your message in a timely manner (or even perhaps at all), and that the debugging information they will want may not be "forum friendly" (read: lots of apparent gibberish). Also, a problem of this sort (the program not working as intended) is clearly a bigger hindrance to your using the product successfully than an issue where some of the columns don't sort the way you want, for example, and you should not feel shy about calling them to speed the resolution.

I think you should be prepared to discuss the specifics of your networking setup when you call; this sounds to me like there is a reasonable possibility that Omni's code may not be at fault. I wonder if your phone isn't sometimes connecting via WiFi and sometimes via cellular data, which would probably cause similar symptoms (not able to find the server because Bonjour won't find the server if you are on separate networks as would be the case if using the cellular link). What happens if you turn off the cellular data connection? Do you get solid connectivity and sync behavior? I have an iPod Touch, not an iPhone, so I'm not 100% sure off the top of my head that you can even do that, but if you can, it might shed some light on the situation.[/QUOTE]

I don't doubt the connectivity issue could be on the iphone side of things. I've heard of some kind of bug like that, back in May when I got the phone, but at least one other developer (Appigo, I believe - I recall I ran into similar problems with that program and stopped using it for that reason, among others) was aware of the issue then and was working on an iphone software fix with Apple (I believe). If, in fact, the problem was universal to the iphone 3.0 system/hardward, I figured by now all of the developers would have worked with Apple to get to the bottom of the issue, write around it, etc.

As far as cutting the non-wifi connection, the only option I have is Airplane mode, but that kills all communications, including the wifi, so I can't isolate the wifi from the data connection.

It could well be a hardware/software problem limited to the iphone. If that's the case, so be it - just let me know and I'll stop asking OF and its users for help with the issue.

macdaddy 2010-02-04 10:34 AM

Apparently, iphone wifi is the likely culprit: [url]http://www.google.com/search?q=iphone+drops+wifi+connection&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a[/url]

I was able to disable edge by going into Airplane mode, then turning wifi (only) back on. After that, I noticed the wifi fan was sporadically appearing and not appearing on various screens (Home), including OF. When the wifi fan wasn't on the OF screen, no sync, but when it was, no problem. I reset the "lease" on the wifi to try for a better connection, but don't know if that fixed anything.

I'll keep an eye on things re: the presence/absence of the wifi fan, but thanks to the wifi connection tip, it appears the problem may not be with OF, but with the iphone (hard/firm/software). See: [url]http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2044754&start=0&tstart=0[/url]

In my case, the iphone "Wi-Fi Networks" screen shows wifi IS activated, but the reality is that edge is still "in control," and OF doesn't "see" the wifi connection (hence, the error messages). The wifi fan also does not appear at the top of the iphone screen (note - this wifi drill/issue only appears when syncing with Bonjour network - regular wifi web surfing, etc., works fine). Not sure why OF synch works sometimes, but not others.

For consistent syncing on my particular iphone, I've determined I must:

1. Mac - Activate Bonjour/Mac network
2. Iphone - Settings - Airplane Mode to "On" (this kills everything, including Edge and wifi)
3. Iphone - Settings - Wi-Fi Networks - Wifi to "On" -(make sure Mac network is selected - usually is)
4. Iphone - exit Wi-Fi Networks back to Home screen (button on bottom/front of iphone)
5. Wait for wifi fan to show up on Home screen. Once it does -
6. Launch OF - make sure wifi fan remains visible on OF screen at top, near picture of airplane (which indicates Airplane Mode is "On")
7. Hit "synch" button at bottom of OF screen - it should sync fine now.

8. Once sync'd, exit OF by pushing button on front/bottom of iphone, returning to Home screen
9. Go to Settings - Turn Airplane Mode "Off" - iphone will search for Edge, and, once found, you'll see edge and wifi fan at top. If you want wifi "Off," simply hit Wi-Fi while in Settings, which takes you to Wi-Fi Networks screen, and turn Wi-Fi "Off."

10. Iphone - press button on bottom/front to return to Home screen.

11. Mac - turn off Bonjour network, if desired.

Thanks for the help. Couldn't have gotten it to work without it.

macdaddy 2010-04-27 08:15 AM

Problem Continues
 
Once I've not synched for several days and have received the warning box to that effect, and try to sync using the above strategy, OF activates, the wheel at the bottom spins for a long time, then it times out saying it can't reach my server (bonjour mac). Wifi local network is intact, wifi fan is on, etc. Looking at OF Settings, no sync is occurring. Re-send server settings, etc., no relief.

Go to OF Settings, Synchronization - Get Settings From Mac, then go to OF desktop to Send settings, and my Mac shows up - hit synch button - spins - then after 30 seconds or so Mac disappears and "Searching" resumes, followed by "Unable to Synchronize Database with Server". Wifi fan intact, and iphone shows wifi server is the Mac.

Restart iphone OF and it attempts to auto-synch, spins, after a minute+ it stops and displays (!) telling me it can't synch database with server.

From past experience, I know that if I reset everything and establish a "new" relationship between the iphone and Mac, it will ultimately work, but that's not practical. What appears to be happening is that if the mac and iphone aren't synced for a while and you get the message, then the link between the two is broken as to the then-current settings and must be reestablished. At least that's the way it appears to me.

EDIT: Downloaded new update from iTunes (.3), synched update to iphone, same result. Quit OF on mac and restarted, then it synced on its own. Quite possible the update fixed the problem, but time will tell.

Edit: Nope - still episodic syncing. Seems to be a firewall problem - only "allow all incoming connections" works, even though OF (mac app) is in the "except" list when limiting access.

Edit: 4/30 - Now syncing fine, even w/o allowing "all access" at firewall, and without having to put iphone into Airplane Mode.

Edit 5/5 - Once again, no sync until allowed "all access" at firewall, then sync'd fine.

phatuser 2010-07-06 05:17 PM

was there any resolution to this problem as I am having the same thing...

ChewingPencils 2010-07-07 09:19 PM

I've been having the same issue ... I first noticed that the sync error would occur only when I had previously closed OmniFocus on my Mac. In my case, I can get sync working again on the iPhone (iOS 4) by activating the 'recently used apps' and closing OmniFocus. When I launch the app again, sync works fine. Seems to me the issue was introduced with Fast App Switching support. Maybe OmniFocus on the iPhone needs to check for any changes to the sync server when it is launched.

For what it's worth, I also tried syncing with the Cellular Data option turned on and off, but neither option allowed OmniFocus to resolve the sync server.

Brian 2010-07-09 02:17 PM

We do think that the application is holding onto some old or outdated information about the wireless network you're last synced over. If the wireless environment changes at all, we may lose our connection to the server.

We'll fix this in an update - don't have a release date for it yet - but in the meantime, folks can work around the problem with the following steps:

Double tap the round "home" button on your phone.
When the App Switcher tray appears, tap and hold on OmniFocus' icon until a red badge with a minus symbol appears.

Tap the red badge; OmniFocus will quit.
If you press the home button one more time and re-launch OmniFocus, that will force the application to re-connect to your wireless network. Sync should work now, but you may have to repeat this process later.

We're really sorry for the inconvenience this causes!

sylvaticus 2010-08-07 01:27 PM

OK, I was afraid that I could no longer sync and was experiencing whatever new issue everyone is discussing, but for me, it turned out to be a firewall issue:

I had Firewall ON and under Advanced had checked Block all incoming connections. The prevented me from synching OF with my iPhone. I turned it off and I could sync. Then, I turned on the firewall, but unchecked Block all incoming connections. Instead, I added OF to the list to Automatically allow signed software to receive incoming connections. Now I can sync.

This has never been a problem for me because till recently, I synched all my devices (laptop, iPhone, iPad) to my Mac Pro, but I then realized it made more sense to sync to my MacBook Pro since I would always have that with me at home or when I travelled. So, I switched where I kept the DB.

I hope this might help others. Let me know if I was too wordy and unclear. I could repost and add screenshots.

Happy Synching!

Keith

calumma 2010-08-23 01:15 AM

MacDaddy

OmniFocus on iPhone also causing my wireless connection to fail during syncs. Followed your suggestion re airplane mode and manual reconnection of wireless. I can confirm that this method allows my OmniFocus on my iPhone to successfully sync. As soon as I turn airplane mode off, the iPhone drops wireless during sync and the sync fails.

mark_pope 2010-08-29 04:03 PM

Similar problems here. OmniFocus iPhone 1.7.2, OmniFocus desktop 1.7.5, OS X 10.6.4, Mac cabled into WiFi router.

First sync works fine but WiFi is dropped on the iPhone after. I can see this by the '3G' symbol instead of the 'WiFi Fan'. If I go into settings and reattach to my WiFi the next sync works fine, but, WiFi is dropped afterwards.

One strange thing for me though is that when I sync by pressing the sync button at the bottom of the iPhone screen it rarely drops the WiFi connection. It will do it every time when automatically syncing after a change.

I'm keenly looking for a fix.

Brian 2010-09-01 04:23 PM

I suspect this is just an issue of timing. We've observed that iOS tries to preserve battery life by shutting down wifi connections a little while after the phone goes idle - even if info is being sent. (This is not something OmniFocus is doing on purpose, in other words.)

Since OmniFocus' auto-sync behavior is also tied to the phone being idle, it's going to start closer to that "and now it's time to turn off WiFi" point. (Tapping the sync button resets the timer iOS is using to decide when to turn off the WiFi, so it gives you the maximum amount of time before that happens.)

We originally discovered this in iOS 3; it's possible that iOS 4 changed the behavior, but I haven't seen anything to suggest that it has.

mark_pope 2010-09-01 06:04 PM

Hi Brian,

Ok, I can see that if iOS drops the WiFi connection while OmniFocus is trying to sync, then the OmniFocus sync will fail. What still isn't clear to me is why the WiFi connection isn't re-established again when the phone is brought out of the idle state. The WiFi is re-established every other time the phone is brought out of idle, just not after OmniFocus sync has failed.

For me, I'm happy to turn of automatic sync and manually sync for now if means that I don't have to go into settings all the time to re-establish my WiFi connection before syncing. That is a suitable work around for me for the moment.

I'll keep an eye on this thread and I hope you can find a way through this because it's very frustrating and from a customer point of view my WiFi is being dropped ONLY when OmniFocus auto syncs.

Cheers,
Mark

TheSophist87 2010-09-08 10:59 PM

Hello all!

I am experiencing a similar issue except I am running OF on an old 1st gen iPhone running iOS 3.1.3. I was syncing perfectly until today I attempted to sync after three days of not syncing. In an attempt to fix the problem I reset my database on my iPhone and was brought to the original splash screen asking me if I would like to "Set Up Sync" or "Make New Database." I have tried setting up sync just as I have done the first time and I have tried the work-around posted in the FAQ's page.

If I try to straight sync the device, it will recognize my Mac after clicking the "Share Settings" button, but when I tap on my username, it goes to the "Preparing to synchronize" screen and stays there for about five minutes with the gears spinning at the bottom. After the five minutes, it returns me to the "Sync with Mac" screen that I was at previously.

If I attempt to do the work around, it allows me to crate a new database, and it will detect the setting from my mac when shared, but when I leave settings and it attempts to sync I get the spinning gears at the bottom for another five minutes before a notification appears stating "Unable to synchronize database with server. timed out." Clicking retry leads to the same results.

Now, I have tried turning the iPhone airport off then on again. I have tried restarting both the iPhone and my Mac. I have uninstalled the app from my phone, restarted the phone, then reinstalled the app. I have reset all sync settings on my Mac and I have tried every combination of firewall allowances I could think of. None of this helped. Hopefully one of you can! Bellow is a list of what I am running. Thanks in advance!

Machine: Unibody MB Pro running Mac OS 10.6.4 and iTunes 10
OF for Mac: Version 1.7.5
iPhone 1: iOS 3.1.3
OF for iPhone: Version 1.7.2

Brian 2010-09-09 03:34 PM

Welcome to the forums, TheSophist!

These symptoms - the iPhone can see your Mac but can't actually sync with it - generally mean that the firewall on the Mac is letting OmniFocus send information, but is blocking incoming connections from the phone.

If you take a look at [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=13380"]this thread[/URL] in the [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/forumdisplay.php?f=55"]Bonjour Sync forum[/URL], there are several tips which may help; if they don't, contact us via [EMAIL="omnifocus-iphone@omnigroup.com"]email[/EMAIL] or phone (800.315.6664) and we're happy to provide further assistance!

TheSophist87 2010-09-09 05:11 PM

I tried the solutions from that thread previously and they did not work, lol. I ended up calling the support ninjas this morning and they were able to provide an alternate solution that works just as well, if not better, than my previous method. Thanks for you help though!

--
Sent from my BlackBerry

macdaddy 2010-12-09 09:12 AM

After several more months of episodic success with Bonjour synching and finding I wasn't synching any more, I gave up, bit the bullet, and got the bargain-priced Mobile Me acct from Amazon. Works great every time. I hate to give up, but sometimes it's just not worth the effort to keep fighting.

Brian 2010-12-09 05:30 PM

Macdaddy, it sounds like you're only using MobileMe to sync your data? If that's the case, and just in case you can cancel the MobileMe membership, I wanted to make sure you knew we started offering free accounts on an [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=18092"]Omni-hosted sync server[/URL] a few months back...

Brian 2010-12-09 05:34 PM

In case other folks having sync trouble run across this - one useful diagnosis tool if you're trying to stick with Bonjour syncing would be to download Apple's free iTunes Remote application for your iOS device.

It also uses Bonjour to communicate with the Mac - if [I]both[/I] applications are unable to talk to the Mac, that tends to indicate that something about the network configuration is preventing communication between the two devices...


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