Last week, I covered the basics of Funambol and told you

about my adventures getting it installed. Let’s move on to configuration

issues. I will walk you the example of configuring my own phone, but you should

be able to adapt this for different cell phones.

After installing the Funambol application server, you should

check to see if the server is running as it should be. From the Start menu,

select Start > Programs > Funambol > Data Synchronization Server >

Start. A DOS command box should open and you will see the services being

started. Once the box has disappeared, open up a Web browser and point it to: http://localhost:8080/.

This should display the Apache Tomcat default display page. Next, head to http://localhost:8080/pimweb

where you should see the Funambol demo page if everything has been installed


Once you’ve established that the install went without a

hitch, it’s time to configure the server and SyncSources. To fire up the server

administration interface, select the Administration tool from Start >

Programs > Funambol > Administration Tool, if you’re running the Linux

version then execute <FUNAMBOL_HOME>/admin/bin/funamboladmin with

<FUNAMBOL_HOME> being the directory in which you installed the Funambol

package. Once the application is running, select File > Login. The default

username is admin and the default

password sa. Leave the port as 8080

and the hostname as that of your server.

Now that the administration tool has logged in, open up the

server tree and double-click on Server Settings. There are only two things you

need to change here before you move on. The first thing you need to change is

the Server URI, which should be set to the address of the data synchronisation

server as seen by a mobile device. In the example, this would be;

of course, substituting

for your own Internet address. The second setting which you need to change in

this section is the Pipeline Manager. The pipeline manager handles input and

output for the data synchronisation server—it modifies data before entering and

after exiting the synchronisation engine. In order to have the synchronisation

engine interface with mobile devices while keeping the context of the data in

relation to the devices’ identity, you should modify Pipeline Manager to read com/funambol/server/engine/pipeline/PipelineManagerGeneric.xml.

Save the configuration by selecting the Save button at the bottom of the screen

and wait for a verification message in the Output – Messages window. It may be

a good idea to expand the Server Settings > Logging branch and select

funambol. This is where the log level can be changed. If you set the level to

ALL, browsing through the logs after synchronising a device can help explain

what’s going on within the data engine.

Moving on from the server settings, you now need to create yourself

as a user. Double-click on the User icon and then click on Add. I’m entering

the following information:


Username: justin

Password: password

First Name: Justin

Second Name: Fielding


Roles: User

After clicking on Add, go back to the users menu and click

on Search; the new user should be displayed in the results. I’m going to jump a

few steps ahead now, as it will save time later on—don’t worry I’ll pick up

right where I left off.


Configuring a mobile

I’m using a Sony Ericsson W500i to test out Funambol. There

is no particular reason for this other than the fact that I only have Sony

Ericsson mobile phones (check out

to see why); if you are using a SyncML-compatible handset made by another

manufacturer and the details given here don’t seem to relate, then consult the

manual for help.

From the standby screen, enter the main menu and select the

Organizer submenu (it’s the one with a calendar and bell). From this menu

select Synchronization and then New Account. Give the account a name—in my case,

I’m just using ‘Home’. The first field to edit is the server address; this

should be the same as the address previously specified in the administration

tool. The Server URI was

Username and password are required next—in the last server configuration step,

I allocated ‘justin’ and ‘password’. A connection can now be chosen, and GPRS

is preferable over WAP or dial-up. If there are options for Sync Interval and

Remote Initiation, leave them as default for now. Applications should be

picked; I am synchronising Contacts and Calendar but have not yet managed to

get Tasks running due to a lack of a SyncSource for them. My phone also has a

section called App. Settings. In here,

I need to specify a database name, username, and password for each application

I want to synchronise. The database name for contacts is ‘card’ and the

database for calendar information is called ‘cal’—the username and password for

both of these would be the same as specified in the previous menu. Save the

profile and return to the synchronisation menu, select the ‘Home’ account which

has just been created, and then hit ‘Start’. It’s a good sign if you notice

some disk activity on your data server, but this synchronisation will fail as

we haven’t created a user or configured the devices yet. By attempting to

connect to the server, we have created a device entry in the synchronisation

server, this means we can skip back to the server configuration.

Back to the server

Now let’s go back to the Funambol administration tool in

order to finish configuring the server. Select the Devices icon and click on

Search. The device that I just tried to connect with should show in the form

‘IMEI:NNNNNNNNNNNNNNN’ where each N represents a number, the IMEI number is

unique to each mobile telephone, and on a Sony Ericsson handset can be viewed

by entering: *#06#.  I selected the

device and modified the following details:

Type: Phone

Msisdn: 00447111111111                               #
This is the phone number

Description: Justin Mobile: W550i

Click Save and wait for a “Device correctly updated”
message before moving on to the Principals configuration area, and click Add.

A device may have multiple users and a user may have

multiple devices. A principal quite simply creates a link between devices and

users, allowing them to intertwine and avoid having data locked to one device. To

allow my mobile phone to interact with the synchronisation server, I need to

create a principal. Clicking on both search buttons will return lists of users

and devices. Select the user and devices previously created and then click Add

Principal, waiting for a “Principal correctly added” result.

That’s almost all of the configuration done; only the

SyncSources need to be configured, which I’ll look at next week. I’ll also

synchronise my mobile phone’s data with that in my Outlook and on my iPod.