Syncing you iPhone with Google Calendar (and Lotus Notes)

BTW: The post below is in conjunction with, what I thought was, a novel way to keep my iPhone, Lotus Notes (work, blah), and Google Calendar all in sync. Using Companionlink, you could (in theory) sync up Notes with your Google Calendar. Syncing your Google calendar with your iPhone is simple, quick, easy, good, real-time, awesome, and fun using

http://www.nuevasync.com/

Now that is how sofware should be written. It turns the Google calendar into a MS Exchange server that is natively supported by the iPhone.

My friends experience with Companionlink for Google

This is my friends experience with Companionlink
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I heard about CompanionLink from a friend who was evaluating the software ‘CompanionLink for Google’ to synchronize Lotus Notes calendar with Google calendar.  He has been evaluating the software for two weeks and commented positive on his experience. I went purchased the software couple of days ago and I wish I could say that the experience was good.  Soon after the installation, I ran into the following issues –

  • First synchronization, nothing was copied to Google. 2nd attempt synced some more entries, 3rd attempt synced some more but not complete.
  • It does not capture the room and/or the resource field of Lotus Notes.  So, if your location field is empty (Which is 70% of the time), your google calendar will not have any room information about the meeting.
  • Some meetings that are not in Notes showed up in my Google calendar. Those meetings were cancelled/deleted from Notes long time ago.
  • Some recurring meetings do not show up at all not matter how many times I synced.

After experiencing the above issues I call the customer service and my experience with them follows –

  1. I call their customer service number and I get through within 3 mins (not bad) and in the middle of my conversation stating the problem I was disconnected. Not sure if the service agent hung up on me intentionally or not.
  2. I call again and I get through in about 5 min. (not so bad) and she was very courteous and listened to my issues. She suggested I ‘purge and reload’ and these problems should go away. I asked her that I have a ton of personal calendar entries in Google calendar and I don’t want anything(deleted) to happen to them. She confirmed that the software would only purge entries synced from Lotus Notes. I asked again to reconfirm and she reconfirmed again. She told me that it would take a while and disconnected. In fact it took about 2 mins or less and I discovered that all my calendar entries from Google are gone, deleted, destroyed, gone from the face of the earth. You can probably feel some frustration here. 
  3. I hastily call again and this time Jason on the phone in 3 min. He said that he knew about purge and reload would delete all records. He acknowledged that they are aware of the location field issue but the others need to be investigated. He walked me through the software to collect some logs.

This note is an attempt to show my frustration towards the software and not so knowledgeable customer service. This experience made me loose years worth valuable calendar entries. Not sure how I will fill all the future/recurring entries that I always depend on. I think, beside updating and QA the software before marketing it, CompanionLink should also return my money that is charged to the least.


Michael