Certain databases not syncing

Hi all,

Struggling with this one.

What might prevent an existing database from syncing to DTTG but a freshly created database will sync just fine to DTTG?

Details: the existing, non-syncing database pre-dates version 3, and just kept syncing, I thought, using the existing dropbox-based syncstore. As it turns out, it has not been syncing for several months.

When I create a new database in DTPO3 (and use the same syncstore as the non-syncing database), however, it shows up in DTTG and changes are reflected bi-directionally without any trouble.

There has to be something really obvious I’m missing. :slight_smile:



This seems to be specific to one specific pre-V3 database. Further investigation reveals that two other pre-V3 databases (as in they were workhorses under version 2 and ported over when v3 was released) are syncing across to DTTG using the same syncstore as above. So, I’m left with one funky database that is misbehaving.

Open to suggestions, if anyone has any.

We are unable to reproduce any issue so far and we have also not changed any of the code regarding Dropbox sync in a long time.

Select the sync location in DEVONthink’s Preferences > Sync, control-click the problematic database in the Databases list, hold the Option key, then choose Verify Database Thoroughly.
What is reported in DEVONthink’s Window > Log?

If it verifies successfully… In DEVONthink’s Preferences > Sync, click the plus button under the Locations list and choose Add Dropbox Sync Store. Give it a new name and enter an optional encryption key, if desired. Choose the smallest database and sync to this new location.

Then add the location to DEVONthink To Go’s Settings > Sync: Edit Locations and/or the sync locations in DEVONthink on other Macs. Disable the old sync location but don’t delete it yet. Sync to the new location, then make some minor changes, like changing a label color on some files to see if it syncs correctly between the Mac and mobile.

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I had an issue last month where all of my databases on macOS stopped syncing with Dropbox even though they had worked for months. @cgrunenberg helped me isolated this down to an issue with the final verification step of Dropbox sync but he could not reproduce it despite much effort.

We concluded this may be some isolated issue with the Dropbox servers. I gave up on Dropbox sync and switched to CloudMe, which has been flawless in operation.

I suspect there is some issue lurking out there which is not widespread but not isolated to just one or two people either.

Thanks, Jim. Appreciate the reply. Since my last post, some digging around revealed that there were some pending files trying to sync that seemed corrupted or missing, so I deleted those thinking that might kick start the sync process again (which I also found to have stopped approx two weeks ago).

When that didn’t work, I archived a full copy of the database in question for safekeeping (it’s one I’ve been using for over ten years) and set to work cleaning and rebuilding. That didn’t seem to work either.

I then set up a new syncstore using iCloud to do some testing. My thinking was that a fresh start ought to reveal similar problems to the dropbox syncstore. The good news is that the iCloud syncstore seems to work just fine: I’m getting stable and fast syncing between DTTG and DT3 on the problematic database.

So it was not all in vain, I’ll take what you’ve written above and play around this weekend with the problematic database on dropbox. I’ve still got the dropbox syncstore holding quite a few other mission-critical databases. Those seem fine from what I can tell, but hopefully this thread will be useful for anyone else going forward.

Trust you had a relaxing (and well earned) holiday break, old friend. 2019 was a big year for you folks. :slight_smile:


Glad to hear you made some good progress!

The Dropbox issue is especially perplexing as it is very sporadic and there’s nothing obvious that could cause it. It happened for a period of time a few years ago, same issue with no culprit, then just stopped happening for people. Very strange stuff.

And thanks for the longstanding support and kind comments. It was indeed a banner year for us, but we’re also glad to have shifted into a lower gear… for a little bit anyways. A safe and prosperous 202 to you and yours! :slight_smile:

I have huge problems with DTG sync just stopping for no apparent reason, on iCloud. I understand that you have not been able to reproduce but I was wondering if it would be possible to have some indication of the sync version number, if such a thing exists. That way I don’t have to create dummy files just to check if the sync has stalled.

Is there a write up of how sync works anywhere, I would very much like to understand what is taking place under the hood.

It’s not our sync that stalls; it’s iCloud. iCloud stalling is a known issue and not just regarding our sync but other applications and even just iCloud itself. And you are correct, it’s not something we can reproduce at will.

Yes Jim. I am aware of that, I worded my comment badly. My problem is that I don’t have confidence in sync because of the iCloud issue, I would like to switch to Dropbox really but can’t for various reasons.

I don’t know enough about the inner workings of sync to know if there is some kind of version (like git) which identified the complete state of the database. If such a thing exists it would be useful to expose it somewhere so we can see at a glance if the database has synched.

Also, is the sync algorithm secret? I would love to know how sync stores work, it is interesting technology.

Jim … your guys have created an amazing set of software. I utterly rely on DTG and D3 for pretty much managing my whole life. I absolutely love it in spite of the problems caused by Apple.

Stay safe!

No worries!

iCloud is definitely a mixed-bag nowadays. Some people have no issues; others do. Even the reports I’ve read regarding other apps with iCloud, including Apple’s own, seem like there’s no rhyme or reason to the cause(s).

I would ask this: Do you need a remote sync location? If you don’t, I would opt for a Bonjour sync on your local network. Potentially you could run a WebDAV server, though it may require some more technical fiddling about.

Development would have to comment on any technical details of sync. It is amazing indeed.

Thanks for the nice comments.
You and yours stay safe and healthy too!