Question Contacts is out of beta... but I'm wondering about a few things

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Question Contacts is out of beta... but I'm wondering about a few things

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For the intrepid souls who are using the official release... some questions.

I'm using Synology CardDAV to sync contacts across my devices. Due to its poor coding, I cannot use it for contact editing without breaking the vCard data fields. I'm curious if Contacts is a standalone package that can be synced with Synology's CardDAV database. I know it can import, but does it edit the CardDAV content, either directly, or by syncing.

If it syncs edits with CardDAV, does CardDAV no preserve the individual address fields, or are they all moved to a common field (i.e., street).

Similar question with phone numbers... Are edited phone numbers preserved on phones/tablets/PCs which are synced to CardDAV?

Finally... if I wanted to uninstall Contacts, does that make the CardDAV database inaccessible to client devices?

Maybe one day this will be added to the demo, or I'll have a VM to play with, but since rollback is such a struggle on DSM machines, I don't want to load a package that will corrupt my contacts database.

Thanks all!
 
Wait what?

I haven't tried Contacts yet, but if I read this correctly it doesn't have it's own CardDAV service? So after you installed Contacts you need to keep the CardDAV server package installed on the NAS?
Not what I had to do when I was testing Contacts while back.
 
I haven't tried Contacts yet, but if I read this correctly it doesn't have it's own CardDAV service? So after you installed Contacts you need to keep the CardDAV server package installed on the NAS?

That's my question too. Does it have an inbuilt CardDAV server or does it use the CardDAV package? How does it sync with other devices? Are the flaws and limitations that the standalone CardDAV package has, resolved? Or is it just a simple addressbook that can't communicate with other devices?
 
I've learned that Contacts has its own CardDAV server, discrete from the Synology CardDAV package. So I'm wondering if I can sync them both ... meaning... do they have separate CardDAV links/ports?

If so, I can trial Contacts with a test dataset, while maintaining my contacts data.
 
When I tried Contacts (Beta)* it has its own CardDAV server that is separate from the Synology's original CardDAV Server.

It was Contacts that condensed address field items into the one field (Street): any edit/save of a card within the Contacts web interface would cause this collapse of fields, but ignoring the web interface and edits using a CardDAV client app would still preserve the separate fields.

I didn't see where Contacts web could select a different CardDAV server for syncing, but it could (or claimed to) import card data from other CardDAV servers into its own backend server.


*I don't see Contacts out of beta.
 
It was Contacts that condensed address field items into the one field (Street): any edit/save of a card within the Contacts web interface would cause this collapse of fields
This (address munging) is the same behavior that occurs when editing contacts using the CardDAV server package interface. Additionally, the CardDAV server shuffles phone number categories, such that they "disappear" when synced to other clients.

It sounds as though Synology Contacts reused the buggy CardDAV code that was already in place. So Synology Contacts is best left as a "read-only" tool, which does me no good.
I don't see Contacts out of beta.
Yes it's out, but not everyone has received it
Release Notes
Download for manual installation
 
You know, I never realised CardDAV Server was able to edit contact cards and I've only ever used a separate app (Apple's on Mac and iOS). However, I still use iCloud contacts as the primary server and DSM's as a test/manual backup.

I raised the address munging (TM) issue with the Contacts dev manager, via a Support ticket, and was told they've look into it. So would seem not, or decided not to change it.



Yes it's out, but not everyone has received it
Yeah I found it and tried a manual install. It needs Python 3.8.2 as another manual install, so I decided to wait in case if that would impact other packages. Haven't time to go through all release notes to check for other updates: I wish Synology would publish a summary of recent updates.
 
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Since I already have a filled CardDav server, I'm going to create a test environment for myself on vDSM. See what hapens if I install contacts while I already have CardDAV server installed with 1 or 2 entries..

EDIT: So Indeed Contacts has it's own CardDAV server and functions as a complete seperate entity. This is gonna be a little hassle to migrate users... Well one good thing is that for everyone on my environment who've I've setup CardDav syncing is that they are all using https://carddav.mydomain.com (no port number), which is picked up by Reverse Proxy. Still, this can be a little tricky...

EDIT2:
This application is also added in Settings -> Application Portal -> Applications

1600377060565.png


So we've got the flexibility to easily play around with aliases, domains and ports.
 
Some cautions when editing contacts in Synology Contacts (or Synology CardDAV) interface...

1. Never edit an address in Synology Contacts (or CardDAV). Only do so on a synced client (PC/phone/tablet...). Otherwise, the individual address files will be merged into a single field ("Street").
2. When editing phone numbers in Synology Contacts (or CardDAV), never use the generalized fields such as "Telephone" or "Preferred". Use only specific fields (Home/Work/Mobile). This applies to synced clients as well. Do not use phone designations such as "Primary" or "Other". Some sync, some don't, and some trade field designations when synced, and resynced.

Synology developers are deaf to our pleadings, so these workarounds will minimize the corruption of your contacts database.
 
In other words: don't edit anything in the Syno interface.
You can test that in your VM. I'm just documenting my experience, and what others have reported. I was looking forward to installing Contacts. But until there's a major fix with the vCard system, I continue my edits elsewhere. I have too many years of accumulated contacts, and too many family devices syncing on CardDAV to make a transition to just another pretty interface.

But please... prove me wrong with your VM.
 
In other words: don't edit anything in the Syno interface. Only do edits in synced clients...?
Might as well don't bother with Synology Contacts at all and stick with the Carddav server package...
That's the conclusion I made. Unless your users are happy with collapsing address fields into one field, and there's only a [space] added not a comma. And this will happen when you open and save a card in the web UI, not just when editing the address.

Telos reports there're similar issues when using CardDAV Server in DSM web UI to edit cards but this is something I guess many never realised was possible so have just used client apps.
 
Well none of my users edit directly in my current CardDAV server. They only do it on their phones, or on their PC's with Outlook (With a Carddav & CalDAV plugin) and this works fine. I'm aware of what you guys are mentioning, but I was kinda expecting that this would be solved with the new Contacts package.

For what I see now, it's just a recycled package with a more updated interface over it.
 
I'm curious if Contacts is a standalone package that can be synced with Synology's CardDAV database.

Well apparently this is also an option. But for me, it's no good...

1600459280222.png


1600459308156.png


1600459324067.png

Just using the CardDAV I have installed on this same VM to test with.

It works, but it creates a completely separate address book:
1600459392851.png


My test contact is right there, but you have to manually go to that addressbook al the time. Cuz if you looking from a fresh session, you still see this:

1600459586036.png


While I have a contact right there in that CardDAV synced addressbook!!!

And tweaking these (slim amount of) settings doesn't help:
1600459696144.png


Disappointing package....
 
So Synology can sync with itself? Amazing...

I suppose that the same paths are available selecting "Import Address Book"... so you could do a one-time import from the CardDAV package contacts to "seed" Synology Contacts. But give the lackluster database integrity issues, while I'm glad to know importing is doable, I'll just stay with the CardDAV package for now, and edit entries from my devices.

Thanks for your efforts to better define the capabilities and nuances of the Contacts package. 🍪
 
I finally gave in and manually updated to the out-of-beta Contacts package. It needed Python3 to be updated first which meant the Office package then needed updating too.

Firstly, I can't get the import or sync with a cardDAV server to import any cards (not even CardDAV Server). So I exported my iCloud contacts as a VCF and imported it.

I now see that address fields are multi-item and editing in Contacts web interface retains this too. What I notice is that Mac Contacts only has a single street item so I used <return> for multi-line building/street/district 'streets'. The <return> is displayed in Contacts' card view and survives saving, the only niggle is in edit view the <return> isn't visible and the two text line run together.
 
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With this Docker container I've managed to setup a successful sync between my Synology CardDAV server and Synology Contacts (running on vDSM still) (it goes per account).

So this means I may be able to go forward with this new Contacts package without having to reconfigure the CardDAV settings on a few dozen client devices...... :)

EDIT: I discovered that apparently even with an account with admin priviliges it's getting access denied when trying to access a users's Synology CardDAV repo. This means to sync entries to Synology Contacts I have to write a config file for that docker container containing the password of every account I want it to sync.... That obviously does not have my preference....
 

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