Best practice for Syncing DB between two computers with indexed folders from 3rd party cloud solution (own cloud)


I’m a litigator currently using DT3 on my laptop. Ive figured out how to index my active files which are located on my organization’s servers on OwnCloud. This way my assistant, who is on Windows, can access the folders and my index will update.

Now i want to add my imac at home to the mix. Ive put both DT3 and OwnCloud on the imac. What is best practice to keep everything in sync? Should I:

  1. Sync to the DB on the laptop and ignore OwnCloud on imac?

  2. Create a local DT3 DB that indexes own cloud locally?

  3. something else?

I’m worried that two instances of both DT and OwnCloud running together will get mixed up. Also not sure how to add DTTG to the mix.

many thanks for your advice.

Even it you sync the databases themselves, though I would turn off the “synchronized contents of indexed files” option in the sync store that you are using on the two machines.

With DEVONthink To Go in the equation, I would not suggest disabling this option.

Are you running WebDAV on the ownCloud server?

Thank you both for you replies - and on a Sunday at that!

Just to be clear. All my DT syncs are through the iCloud. I only want to access/index the OwnCloud folders on each of my machines.

My current setup is working okay. My assistant and I both access the OwnCloud throughout the day, and my DT database indexes the OwnCloud folders.

My concern is if I bring a second computer in the mix because with a new baby I want to work from home more. I can put DT on my desktop iMac at home and I can also put ownCloud on my iMac. I’m just concerned about where the “syncing” and “indexing” should occur with two computers having DT index folders on a cloud storage solution (like ownCloud) . My assumption was that in this situation ownCloud could be substituted for oneDrive, dropbox or whatever - the DT synced databases are not being stored here (they are in iCloud), I just want these folders in a cloud storage outside of DT so my assistant can add to them.

I did have a look at these, but their topics seem more specific than what I’m asking for. I want to know general best practices for syncing a DT DB between two computers where the DB is indexing folders on a cloud storage solution that both computers could theoretically also access.

Hmm, I would have to ask IT. They recently set up own Cloud across the company - All I know is I now have a company based cloud storage that works like ownCloud, oneDrive, etc.

Anyway, I hope this makes sense. I know its difficult to help if I don’t even know what I’m talking about. But really I just want to extend the functionality I have using one computer to two computers - but want to ensure things don’t mess up with dual syncing (in the DT sense of the word), indexing, and syncing (in the cloud storage sense of the word).

Many thanks,


So by coincidence I just saw this recent post by you, which is basically referring to what I’m asking here.
So if I get this right, if DTPO is indexing a folder on a cloud storage on one machine and I add a second machine, then DTPO will sync the DB and look to the same or similar file path to ensure the cloud folder and DTPO database look identical on the second machine?

If this is the case then I think I’ve got it figured out.

I was just worried that two DTPO syncying to two versions of the same cloud folder which is also syncing would lead to conflicts.



If I import a folder on my iMac into DT, I assume that the folder gets sync’d over to the MBP (meaning that the files in the folder are actually copied over to the MBP and look like they have been imported there. Is that the case?

Sync is a mirroring sync so the databases will be the same on each device.

The thing that I don’t understand: If I index a folder on my iMac, what happens on my MBP? Is the whole folder (which is large) copied over to the MBP? If so, does it appear indexed there or imported?

Again, since sync is a mirroring sync, the items would be indexed on the second machine.
Yes, the items would be synced to the new machine but in the same relative location, if possible. For example, if you indexed a folder on the desktop of machine A, sync would create a similar folder on the desktop of machine B and its database would be pointing to those files, not the files on machie A’s desktop.

If you were indexing files in a commonly accessible location, like a Dropbox folder connected to both machines, there is an option to not synchronize the contents of indexed items… BUT you should not use this if you are syncing with DEVONthink To Go as it would have no access to download the contents of files.

then DTPO will sync the DB and look to the same or similar file path to ensure the cloud folder and DTPO database look identical on the second machine?

Yes, BUT… the location must be the same on each machine. For example, the default Dropbox location is ~/Dropbox. If you have one machine set to ~/Documents/Dropbox, you will have a problem.

I’m in exactly the same situation, I plan the following:

  • two computers indexing exactly the same one SMB share
  • these two computers are syncing via iCloud (without contents of indexed files)
  • iPhone and iPad are syncing via iCloud, too (I think this doesn’t matter at all for the question here)

Just to be sure I did understand the information in this thread correclty: does this double-twice-sync-index work without any (known) issues? it would be a desaster if I start that scenario and destroying/confusing that shared SMB folder.

iPad/iPhone can’t download the contents of indexed files if no Mac synchronizes these contents.

OK, thanks for the quick response, that is the only “problem”?

At least the only one I’m aware of. But a good backup strategy is recommended as always for all of your data, including that on the SMB share.

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