Google Apps Outlook Sync Bug Fix Delayed


The issue was brought to light by Google earlier this month, though according to some Gmail and Outlook users the syncing issue first started in July 2009, just a month after Google launched Sync for Outlook.

Google had hoped to have a fix in place last week, but according to a recent Google blog post, the fix has been delayed and the bug persists.

"The fix we've been working on has been delayed," wrote a Google employee identified as Advisor Wesley in a blog post discussing the Gmail/Outlook syncing issue. "We now expect to release a change to Gmail on Wednesday [March 24] that will fix the problem, and we will follow that with a change to restore missing messages as soon as possible, which we predict will be [around March 29]."

Google could not be reached for additional comment Wednesday morning.

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The Sync for Microsoft Outlook feature, which is part of Google Apps Premier and Education editions, lets Google Apps users have messages sent to their Gmail in-boxes downloaded into their Microsoft Outlook clients.

The syncing bug, however, is forcing users to check Gmail as messages aren't making the leap from Gmail to Outlook, and messages are getting missed.

"We recently discovered a bug in Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook that can cause a small number of e-mail messages to not be downloaded to Outlook," Wesley and the Google Apps Sync Team wrote in a March 12 blog post. "It was introduced on our Gmail servers last week and should be fixed by early next week."

Google said that e-mails are not lost, they are just not copied to Outlook and are always available via the Gmail Web interface.

According to the blog post, the issue primarily impacts Google Apps users who have been away from Outlook for more than a few days, and daily Outlook users likely won't encounter the problem.

One user, who goes by the name Ramkrshna, however, disagrees.

"I use Outlook almost 20 hours a day and [am] experiencing this problem still. One notable thing is that I miss e-mails which arrive in those [four hours] of my absence in Outlook," that user wrote.

Google said once the fix is created it will be automatically pushed out.

"After we fix the server side problem, we will release an automatic update that will resynchronize your mailbox to help ensure that any mail that wasn't downloaded gets downloaded," the blog post continued.

Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook launched in June 2009 as a free Outlook plug-in that gives users the ability to use Outlook to view Gmail and Calendar applications. Upon its release, Google Apps Sync was seen as a threat to Microsoft Exchange and positioned as the first step in getting enterprises to transition from Exchange e-mail environments to Gmail. The Sync offering was also plagued by bugs at the offset, facing issues with Outlook-based search and some Outlook plug-ins.

The Google Apps Sync issues also come just a week after Google launched a free server-side tool, dubbed Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange, that lets companies move e-mail, calendar and contact data from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps. Google said the tool can migrate hundreds of users at once and lets users keep using Exchange during the migration. Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange is a free tool for Google Apps Premier and Education users and supports migrations from Exchange 2003 and 2007 and from on-premise hosted Exchange.