Synchronizing Evernote Sticky Notes with Yinxiang Biji – 印象笔记

Issue

In this article I will describe how users from China can use and synchronize Evernote Sticky Notes with their localized version of Evernote, called Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记). Evernote launched the Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记) service in May 2012 in order to make Evernote faster and more reliable for around a million of Chinese users, by using local data centers.

Using Evernote Sticky Notes with Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记)
Using Evernote Sticky Notes with Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记)

The idea for this came from one of the visitors of this blog, his name is Fan LU. After reading my article on resolving a “411 Length Required” error in Evernote Sticky Notes, he contacted me, asking if I could make it work with the Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记) service. Later on, he has also expedited the API key request process considerably by contacting the developer team at Yinxiang, explaining what we are trying to accomplish, in their native language. And at last, he has also tested the modified Evernote Sticky Notes application and provided the necessary feedback.

If you would like, you can skip technical writing and go straight to the solution

After reading the technical documentation and examining the Evernote web service over at yinxiang.com I have came up with the plan on how to modify the Evernote Sticky Notes to synchronize with Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记). International version of Evernote at evernote.com and the Chinese version at yinxiang.com use a different domain name and also have a bit different directory structure, but utilize similar API.

After de-compiling two library files of Evernote Sticky Notes – StickyNotes.Core.dll and StickyNotes.OAuth.dll and examining the source code, I modified all entries that pointed to the evernote.com to point to the app.yinxiang.com. StickyNotes.OAuth.dll is needed for authorization process to the server and StickyNotes.Core.dll for data manipulation – uploading and modifying notes on the remote server.

After I have successfully modified the mentioned dll files, I had to file an API key activation request with the Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记). The team at Yinxiang Biji examines every application and if it fulfills all of the safety and quality requirements, it is granted access to their server.

I would like to point out one important fact regarding the privacy of users data – it is governed by the country in which data servers are physically located; When using Evernote International service, users data is stored on servers located in California, which means US privacy laws apply. Whereas for the Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记) service, Chinese data privacy regulations apply, since the data is stored on servers located in China.

Solution

Below are instructions on how to replace the original library (DLL) files with a modified ones, that work with Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记) service. Modified DLL files are compatible with Evernote Sticky Notes v1.5.9, which is the latest available version of Sticky Notes. If Evernote Sticky Notes v1.5.9 application is not already installed on your computer, download and install it before following instructions below. You will also need to create user account over at yinxiang.com, if you don’t already have one. An account from evernote.com will not work on Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记) and vice-versa, since these are two separate services. If you would like to transfer all your notes from Evernote International to the Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记), please follow this instructions.

1. Download and unzip modified library files

Modified library files – StickyNotes.Core.dll and StickyNotes.OAuth.dll are compressed inside a .zip file. Click on the link below and download Evernote-Sticky-Notes-Modified-YINXIANG-GetGui.zip file to your computer. After the file is downloaded, you will need to unzip it in order to extract the mentioned files.

Unzipping modified DLL files
Unzipping modified DLL files

2. Close the Evernote Sticky Notes application

Evernote Sticky Notes application needs to be closed before following the next step. Make sure it is not running, by going to the taskbar and searching for the Evernote Sticky Notes icon. If the icon is present in the taskbar, right-click on it and click on “Exit”. Click “Yes” on the Exit application confirmation dialog.

Closing Evernote Sticky Notes application from taskbar
Closing Evernote Sticky Notes application from taskbar

3. Replace the library (DLL) files

Go to the folder to which you have extracted the StickyNotes.Core.dll and StickyNotes.OAuth.dll files and select both files. Right-click on them and choose “Copy”. Locate the folder in which your Evernote Sticky Notes is installed, by default that’s in “C:\Program Files\Evernote Sticky Notes\” or “C:\Program Files (x86)\Evernote Sticky Notes\” on 64 bit operating systems.
Right-click on the empty space inside the installation folder and choose “Paste”. The “file replacement” or “file overwrite” confirmation dialog should open, asking if you would like to replace both files in the destination. Choose to replace the files. Restart your computer.

Replacing DLL files
Replacing DLL files

4. Activate Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记) user account in Evernote Sticky Notes

Open Evernote Sticky Notes application. Go to “Settings” and make sure that under the “Please select the account type you want to synchronize your notes with” Evernote is selected. Click on the “Request activation link” button. A working activation link should now be displayed. Click on the link and follow directions on the Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记) website to authorize Evernote Sticky Notes to access your account for a period of 1 year.

Authorization process for Evernote Sticky Notes on Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记)
Authorization process for Evernote Sticky Notes on Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记)

Copy the received verification code and paste it inside the verification code window in the Evernote Sticky Notes application. Click on the “Complete activation” button.

Entering verification code into Evernote Sticky Notes
Entering verification code into Evernote Sticky Notes

You have now successfully linked Evernote Sticky Notes application to your Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记) user account and enabled the synchronization of your local notes to the Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记) server. Activation or authorization is valid for the period of 1 year and will need to be repeated after that.


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