ADAMSync in R2 - a new sync option

Welcome R2 RC0! As you might have heard, it’s hit the streets. With R2 comes the latest version of ADAM.

ADAM has been a download from since 2003. Since that time, based in part on customer feedback, the decision was made to bundle ADAM in to the OS as an optional install. For those of us that work on ADAM, we like this idea a lot. :) No longer will we have to point customers at a separate download package. R2 is the first release where ADAM is bundled. One can install ADAM via Add/Remove Programs.

In ADAM R2, we bundled a whole bunch of new features many of which are in the form of new tools. These are a direct result of customer feedback which we wanted to address. I’ll try and touch on many of them over the next few weeks. However, I think ADAMSync needs the first (and perhaps most) coverage because of what it is, what it does, and what you can do with it.

So anyway, let’s get to it. What is ADAMSync?

Since the release of ADAM, we’ve heard loud and clear that people wanted help in the synchronization space. We were told there was a strong desire for a “basic” one-way synchronization of data from AD in to ADAM. The ‘folks asking for this didn’t want complex implementation of business logic but rather just wanted data coalescing in to their ADAM environment with some configuration along the way.

Enter ADAMSync. ADAMSync provides just that: simple data synchronization from AD in to ADAM naming context. There is not complex customization available but rather it’s a very basic “move the data from point A to point B” approach. The upside of this simplicity is that setting up ADAMSync is a much easier operation that takes far less time than other options out there today. To put a number behind it: I recently traveled to a customer site and while there set up ADAMSync with them in under half an hour.

From a technical perspective, ADAMSync leverages DirSync to get the heavy lifting done. For the initial sync of a data set, this means sourcing all of the specified data and writing it in to ADAM. Going forward, when you do periodic synchronization, the cost of this operation is small, which is really where DirSync shines.

Over the next few posts I’ll take you through a tour of what ADAMSync can do, and how to set it up. Particular emphasis will be placed on how to set it up in a few different scenarios.

In preparation for these next few posts, I’d suggest you set up a small test environment in which you can tinker with some of this. The test environment I’m using in writing these posts is:
-         Windows Server 2003 SP1 RTM with R2 RC0 installed
-         Dcpromo’d in to a test domain. (Mine is erictest.local)
-         ADAM is installed with a single naming context having been created. (Mine is OU=SyncTarget)

If all goes according to plan, the configuration done in these examples will be able to be done to your test environment without modification.

And with that, we’re off!