I only use 1 computer (my laptop), and I routinely backup with Time Machine. But I also like to backup certain files to Dropbox as an additional protection. I have read the posts suggesting that using Dropbox to sync across multiple computers can be risky. However, if I am just backing up the Devonthink database to Dropbox but never syncing it to another computer, do I run the same risk of data corruption?
If you are storing a database in Dropbox and using it at the same time, you’ll increase the risk of corruption. Here is how that happens: DEVONthink databases are actually folders containing numerous subfolders, documents, and other files that control the database. When a database is open in DEVONthink, the software is continually modifying it. If that database is being synchronized with Dropbox at the same time then there will be contention between DEVONthink, Dropbox, and the filesystem – all of which might be attempting to modify the same files at the same time. This scenario dramatically increases the risk of corruption.
To avoid this, you’d want to keep your working copy of the database outside of Dropbox. Close the database (and, for added safety, quit DEVONthink). Copy the database over to Dropbox. Let Dropbox do its thing. And then open the working copy again when you want to use the database. To me, this seems like extra work … but it might be worthwhile to you.
In any case, you’ll want to experiment with the scenario for a few days with a test database and see if it’s working for you.
Thanks, Korm. That’s what I was afraid of. I will just continue to do a periodic archive and back those up to Dropbox.