Database bigger than expected


I have been using DTP for a while, experimenting to find the best way to use it, and I have to say I love how it works.

One thing is confusing me a bit, though: I have been mainly using a single database and shifting things around inside it, adding them, deleting etc. and I now have a database that is pretty much to my liking but it seems to be huge in comparison to the amount of data inside it.

The size of the .dtBase package is around 270MB with the preferences set to allow 3 backups. If I use “Export->Backup Archive…” the resulting zip file is around 150MB in size.

However, if I select all of the top level items in the data and choose Export Files and Folders, the total size of all the exported contents comes to around 17MB. If I then create a new database and import the freshly exported files and folders the resulting database has a package size that is just a little larger than the 17MB, as expected. Checking through the newly created database seems to confirm that everything is there as expected.

The thing that really confuses me is that if I use the DTPro “Rebuild database…” tool on the original large database it generates a database that is again very large, and produces a backup zip file again of around 150MB. I had thought that rebuilding the database would have performed the same steps that I did manually, but the resulting databases are very different in size.

I realise it is hard to daignose what is going on without having the databases in your hands, but is there something I am missing here that could explain the discrepancy?


The first step would be to use Tools > Backup & Optimize multiple times (in your case 4 times) so that both the database and the backups are optimized. If that shouldn’t decrease the size, then open the contents of the .dtBase database package and have a look at the “Files” folder inside of the package. How large are the contents of this folder?


Optimising didn’t reduce the database size, but when I looked inside the dtBase package the Files folder was huge (around 160MB).

The root of the Files folder contained a few PDFs that are current members of my database along with a stack of .jpg and .gif files from when I’ve played with the site download manager.

There were also a couple of sub-folders that corresponded to entire small sites I had tried downloading in the past and since deleted.

I next looked at the Files folder in the .dtBase package of the database that I manually created and it was 6.6MB and contained only current PDFs from my database, i.e. none of the ones that I had previously deleted.

So, it seems that the contents of the files folder is the culprit but that still leaves me with the same confusion: why is there a difference between manually exporting the database contents then re-importing and using the built in “Rebuild database”? It seems that rebuild database exports the entire files folder and sucks it back in, regardless of whether the files contained are stilll relevant to the database. Assuming I’m right, is anything getting lost through me manually recreating the database?

Many thanks for the fast response,

Rebuilding doesn’t modify the Files folder but the orphaned files are probably the result of bugs of the download manager of earlier versions.

Oh, OK. If the orphan files are the result of bugs that used to be present in the download manager, I will clean up the database that I created by manual exporting & importing, check that everything is present and correct, and use that as my master version from here on.

Thanks again for such fast responses.