View Single Post
Since April of 2010, we've been running an open beta test of the Omni Sync Server, a place where our customers can store their OmniFocus, OmniGraffle, or OmniGraphSketcher data.

When we introduced OmniFocus sync, we heard from a number of folks who wanted the utility and reliability of iDisk sync, but didn't feel like OmniFocus sync by itself justified a MobileMe subscription. (Before anyone gets worried: none of the existing sync options are going anywhere. This is an additional option we'll be supporting from here forward.)

Some customers were making do with Bonjour sync, but that means you can only sync when your devices are on the same network, and certain WiFi network setups can make it difficult to stay in sync. Bonjour sync also isn't an option for folks that only have the iOS editions of OmniFocus.

The Omni Sync Server represents our effort to provide something that's as reliable and easy to use as an iDisk, but doesn't require any additional expense for our customers.

The server is still in a beta test phase, but the project has been going really well so far. Five months in, we have several thousand accounts syncing their data to the server, we've had a grand total of 15 minutes of unplanned downtime, and we haven't gotten any reports of sync problems that were the server's fault. In fact, our sync server seems less likely to cause sync problems than some of the other free options folks have been using.

So, if you're be interested in accessing your OmniFocus, OmniGraffle, or OmniGraphSketcher information and are willing to store it on our server, we'd appreciate it if you could head over to and let us know your email address. The server will send out an invite right away.

Answers to a couple of questions I expect will be fairly common follow. Please post or email us if you have more questions!

What's this cost?
If all you need is something similar to an iDisk to store your data, it's not going to cost you a thing. One of the things we've learned since starting this project is that we don't need to charge anything to keep the server up and running.

We may add additional features at some point in the future; those may require a subscription, but you'll be able to use our server in the same way you are right now at no charge.

Is this thing going to blow up and eat my data?
We'll make every effort to prevent that from happening, and it hasn't happened yet, but it is a possibility. In case it helps: if something does ever happen, nobody knows more about how our applications work than the folks that run this server. :-)

How is my data protected? How private is it?
We value your privacy. Communication to and from the server is encrypted using secure HTTP, just like the traffic between your computer and your bank's online banking website. Additionally, the server is covered by all the security measures that we have in place to protect our online store.

We do preserve our ability to examine the data directly on the server, but we'll only do so when it's necessary to solve a problem, and we'll get the customers' permission before doing so if possible. (If someone is misusing the server, that's a different matter.)

However, if you do want maximum privacy for your data, you'll want to use a server you control rather than MobileMe or one that anyone else runs for you.

Can I sync OmniOutliner, OmniGraffle or OmniGraphSketcher for iPad using this server?
OmniOutliner, OmniGraffle, and OmniGraphSketcher for iPad don't sync in the same manner that OmniFocus does, but the current versions of all three applications can read documents from (and send them back to) the server if you set up an account. Again, no charge to use the server this way.

Last edited by Brian; 2011-11-15 at 02:43 PM.. Reason: add OmniOutliner to the final question