RSS for Synchronization

Microsoft’s Ray Ozzie spearheads the effort to make RSS work equally between systems for a two-way synchronization. This will be great for getting those PDAs to sync against multiple locations and calendars without duplicate entries killing its usefulness. Contacts, calendar entries – I’ve used them all and at one time or another I’ve had the syncing software screw it up and pollute my lists. The idea of using this like RSS feeds means that each person can have a feed for each category: Vendor Contacts, Family Appointments, Work Dev Notes, etc.

I don’t see security addressed in any of this, though. Ozzie talks about how this needs to stay simple, but by just mentioning “sharing” a real can of worms is opened. How do I keep people from seeing my Family Appointments, and only let my department see the Work Dev Notes?

Worst yet, now that we are talking about having a remote end sync to my info store, we are talking about read/write permissions. In order to stay simple, one must have a user list that is either itself synchronized between sites that plan to share the same permission information, or uses a monolithic user database. Microsoft already has that in .NET, but just mentioning that in some circles is enough to leave a bad taste in some people’s mouths, keeping from being universally adopted across the web.