Synchronization Service Definition

About This Document

This document provides a definition of the synchronization services provided by UF Exchange to mobile devices.  Recommendations for modifications to this document should be sent to the UF Exchange Team for consideration by the UF Exchange Advisory Committee.  Decisions regarding modifications to services described here are made by university leadership.

Three Services

UF Exchange provides three synchronization services:

  • Active Synch.  This is the native Microsoft technology for synchronizing calendar, contacts, to do lists and email to and from UF Exchange and Windows Mobile Phones, Windows Pocket PCs and other devices supporting Active Synch.
  • Blackberry.  Blackberry is a product of RIM.  Each Blackberry user must have a Blackberry license and pay annual fees to maintain the license.  Blackberry protocol is used to communicate with Blackberry devices which are available from a variety of mobile providers.
  • Good Link.  Good Link is a product of Good, Inc.  Each Good user must have a license and pay annual license fees to maintain the license.  Good protocol is used to communicate with Palm OS devices including the Treeo series.

UF Exchange manages these three services and users may choose which is appropriate for them.  Note that two of the services – Blackberry and Good – require the payment of annual fees.  UF Exchange has implemented mobile device policies in a consistent manner across the three services.
All three services are operated according to the following service levels:

  • 24 by 7, 365 day a year service with planned and unplanned downtime target of 8 hours total per year.
  • UF Exchange will deliver synchronization messages to your provider within 30 minutes of event.  Delivery of messages from your service provider to your mobile device involves your mobile service provider and cannot be guaranteed by the university. In most cases, synchronization occurs within minutes of receipt from UF Exchange.

Note that the above service levels are dependent on outside service providers not covered by this Service Level Agreement. In rare cases, there may be occasions where services will fail due to external outages.

Additional Mobile Access

In addition to the three synchronization services described above, UF Exchange also offers IMAP access for devices which do not support one of these three.  IMAP does not provide synchronization – users will not receive updates sent to their phone.  IMAP does not support calendar, to do and contact update.

Security for University Data

To secure university data in the event of a misplaced mobile device, all mobile devices receiving service through one of the aforementioned services are subject to the following:

  • A four digit “PIN” must be in place on the device.
  • The PIN must be entered to come in contact with university data – through email, files stored on the device, etc.  The PIN need not be entered to make or receive phone calls.
  • The timeout for the PIN is 15 minutes. Some devices may have a default timeout that is less than 15 minutes. They can be adjusted up to 15 minutes. See Blackberry security settings to change the timeout on the Blackberry.
  • The retry count for the PIN is 5.  Failure to enter the PIN correctly in 5 tries will result in resetting the mobile device to “factory settings.”

These precautions are required to help secure data access through mobile devices accessing UF Exchange.


Recommendations regarding the content of this service definition are made by the UF Exchange Advisory Committee. See


The following are recommendations from UF Exchange and the UF Advisory Committee.  They do not represent part of the service definition.  They are placed here to improve support for people using synchronization services.

  • It is strongly suggested that all users of mobile devices adopt one of the three supported synchronization services when they are able to do so.
  • Talk to your local IT support person regarding the use of your mobile device to make sure that it is set up properly and that synchronization is working as expected.

Questions and Answers

These questions and answers are not part of the service definition.  They are placed here to improve support for people using synchronization services.

1.  Does UF Exchange synchronize to personally owned devices or just to UF-owned devices?
UF Exchange provides synchronization services to all users of UF Exchange regardless of who owns the user’s device.  The device may be owned by the University or by the user.

2. What synchronization service is recommended?
UF Exchange does not recommend a service.  Three services are provided to ensure that most university users can find a service that fits their needs.  All services appear to work well.  Blackberry and Good require additional license fees upfront and annually.  Blackberry communications go through servers operated by RIM incorporated.  These services have had outages in the past.  Active Synch and Good deliver direct from UF Exchange trough your mobile provider to your device.

3.  Why do we have to have a PIN?
Mobile devices provide access to email and other university data sources that contain restricted and sensitive information.  It is important that all access to restricted and sensitive data be controlled.

4.  Can the timeout of the PIN be lengthened from 15 minutes?
Such a change is discussed using the normal university governance processes.  ITAC Security, UF Exchange Advisory and the UF Privacy Office would all be involved in reviewing a recommendation regarding the timeout.

5.  Will UF Exchange support additional synchronization protocols in the future?
This is possible.  Providing services typically involves non-zero costs to the university.  Decisions regarding future services will be made in the context of cost/benefit.