How Do I Recognize a Two-way Sync?

There are a ton of automation solutions out there claiming to offer a two-way sync. Here's how you can tell the difference between them and Unito's true two-way sync.

To determine whether you're dealing with a true two-way sync or a simple automation solution, you can ask yourself these questions.

How long does it take to set up?

A two-way sync solution can support any number of work items between your tools with a single setup. An automation solution will ask that you build multiple automations to make this happen. You’ll need one per operation (e.g. creating a new work item in one tool or updating a specific field). And if you want things to update in both directions, you’ll need to double that number. That can add up to dozens of automations.

Is there a risk of an infinite loop?

With an automation solution, you run the risk of creating work items endlessly until someone spots the mistake. A true two-way sync solution has ways of automatically detecting these loops and keeping them from happening — rather than expecting you to do it yourself.

Can it handle hierarchy?

Individual automations stop at a single work item or, at best, a single field in that work item. For example, a new lead in one platform might create a new task in a project management tool. But that’s where it ends. A two-way sync solution works across all levels of your work item, natively, and automatically. That includes comments, subtasks, attachments, custom fields, and more.

Does it need constant management?

When your “two-way sync” operates on a foundation of a dozen automations, it’s easy for something to go wrong. Unless you have someone keeping an eye on your workflow, you might start seeing more missed deadlines and more requests for updates before realizing your automation went bust.

Who's doing the work?

Two-way sync involves technical work to match up work items from both tools and prevent issues. In a true two-way sync solution, that work is happening behind the scenes. In an imitator, you’re expected to do that work yourself. That can take setup time from minutes to months.

Does it have features specific to a two-way sync?

A true two-way sync solution will be built from the ground up to handle conflicts, prevent infinite loops, and more. Here are just a few features that makes Unito a true two-way sync solution.

  • Loop detection and resolution, without adding any special custom fields in the tool you're syncing.
  • Automatic conflict resolution: Merging concurrent changes at both the field and sub-field level.
  • Rich text: The ability to convert rich text across markup and markdown languages, in both directions, without loss of data or formatting.
  • Many-to-many sync: A true two-way solution needs to carry information from tool, to tool, to tool. For instance, if you're syncing an Asana task with work items from three other tools, a true two-way sync can handle all changes across these tools.
  • Object hierarchies: Sync comments, activity, and subtasks. For example, Jira's epic-story-task hierarchy.
  • Automatic user matching: A true two-way sync solution maps users to each other across tools. That way, Asana assignees will automatically match the same Trello members, for example.
  • Multi-value mapping: This mapping handles fields with multiple options, like tags, labels, and statuses.
  • Setting default values: Some fields are compulsory, meaning your two-way sync solution has to automatically set them to something when they're empty.
  • Data-type translation

Questions? Don't hesitate to reach out to us!