I write this post after my first successful synchronization of one Access database and two PDAs with SQL Mobile (an iPAQ 2210 and an i-mate K-Jam). The sync code now recognizes each client through a GUID value that is stored by the client PDA. IDENTITY space partitioning is working and all PDAs are generating non-conflicting negative IDENTITY values where the Access database generates positive ones. All of this can be configured by the user or consuming application.
My final hurdles are to implement conflict rules and constraint-directed updates. Right now, there is only one conflict rule: if both the PC and the PDA have updated the same row (as identified by a GUID), the PC wins. As for constraint-directed updates (this is a pompous term that means "insert, update and delete in foreign key order") I have already devised a means to calculate an "INSERT order", the order by which it should be safe to insert new rows without FK clashes. It so happens that it is the reverse order for DELETE.
Lots of tests ahead...
Adventures in Desktop App Conversion
1 week ago