Decoupling index from source: have all my pdf in one common location (Drive) without duplicate them on DT

Hi Everyone,

I’m totally new to DT and trying to understand if it fits my workflow requirements before committing to it.
I’ve tried to reading the forum first, but either I don’t find it or I don’t completely get it. Apologies if this has been already discussed (as I suspect anw, don’t think my case is so unique, at all).

My ideal workflow scenario is the following:
I’ve tons of documents collected over the year, stored on my Google Drive because I need to be able to access them anytime, anywhere from any device. Whether I’m working from home, from my office or on the bus/train/flight travelling somewhere. I need to work on those docs in all the above cases.
I would ideally use apps like PDFExpert and/or LiquidText to read and annotate them, but was considering DT as overrall documents manager.

I understood that I must not use Drive Folder as location to store the DT database, because size and syncing. However, I think I’ve understood from different posts that people do point DT to specific folder for its content to be indexed. Does this mean that I can point DT to a (Google Drive) folder where I store my pdfs, and DT will index it, save all DT metadata on its database on a local machine, which I can later sync between my devices via Bonjour, but without basically duplicating all my pdfs to both DT folders and Drive original source folder?

Hope all the above makes some sense and haven’t been too chaotic.
Thank youP.

Welcome @Paco

Does this mean that I can point DT to a (Google Drive) folder where I store my pdfs,

The local Google Drive folder, yes.
An online only folder, no.

and DT will index it, save all DT metadata on its database on a local machine,

Yes. The info will be stored in the internals of the database on your machine.

which I can later sync between my devices via Bonjour, but without basically duplicating all my pdfs to both DT folders and Drive original source folder?

Not necessarily.

If you have two Macs with the local Google Drive folder in the same relative location, you can maintain an indexed database on each machine since the indexed files are still local to each machine but stored in the same relative location.

If DEVONthink To Go is in the mix, it does not support indexed files, i.e., it can’t point to files on other filesystems.

In DEVONthink To Go, you have two options for syncing an entire database: Contents and metadata or Metadata only.

Metadata only (which we call a “shallow Sync”) is only available with an in-app purchase of the Pro Pack (see DEVONthink To Go 2’s Settings > Manage ). You set can Download Files to Always (a full Sync) or On demand (a shallow Sync) for a sync location, an entire database, or individual groups in a database.

However, if you are using a Bonjour sync, you could only download the contents when the Mac and mobile devices are on the same network, one allowing Bonjour traffic.

Alternately, some people have chosen to create smaller databases, just for syncing.

Thanks, I don’t know how I managed to miss the indexing folder option. It works indeed.

No DTTG in the mix at the moment, as I’m still evaluating the product and DTTG is only for purchase.

I’m now using my local Drive folder as actual repository of the original source pdf files, while DT does all the rest. However, a question about sync between two mac systems, using Bonjour on local WiFi network.

I’ve followed all instructions and set my main mac (let’s call it MacA) as “server” accepting incoming connections. Then I’ve opened the sync setting on my second mac (MacB), did not set to accept incoming connection (as advised everywhere) and synced with MacA.

My Question/Problem:
If I then create a new Database on MacB, this is not synced back to MacA. This is strange to me since also in the book is written that sync is bidirectional. Am I doing something wrong again or new databases can only be created on the main device (MacA) if I want them to be synced on all other devices?

Thanks

If I then create a new Database on MacB, this is not synced back to MacA.

What do you mean by this?

Probably I’m not doing it right, but I’m creating one database for each major project I have.

With that, I mean that in the second mac system, not the one accepting incoming connections, I created a new database on DT where I then add new pdfs. However, when I sync the two systems, the database I created on the second mac is not synced on the first mac, the one acting as server which is set to accept incoming connections. Does that make sense?

Probably I’m not doing it right, but I’m creating one database for each major project I have.

That is perfectly fine if it makes sense to you organizationally.

I created a new database on DT where I then add new pdfs. However, when I sync the two systems, the database I created on the second mac is not synced on the first mac, the one acting as server which is set to accept incoming connections. Does that make sense?

Yes, but Bonjour will not push a database to another machine.

I’m curious why didn’t you make the new database on the machine acting as the server?

Well, to my understanding in my book “bidirectional sync” means that does not matter if I change/create something on system A or B, it will get synced in the other one. I was testing that, but it seems I was wrong.

So, if I get it correctly, I must create new databases only on the server machine, while any other change I make to my documents (metadata, moving from one folder/database to another, etc.) will get synced between the different systems. Correct?

So, if I get it correctly, I must create new databases only on the server machine, while any other change I make to my documents (metadata, moving from one folder/database to another, etc.) will get synced between the different systems. Correct?

Not necessarily… but, as I said, Bonjour will not push a database to another machine. To import a database via Bonjour, you need to be connected as a client to the machine with the database and pull it.

So… if you create a database on machine B, you’d need to enable Bonjour on it. Then machine A would need to connect to machine B as a client and import the database. Machine B would be acting as a server for that particular database.

Once the import is done, you actually could disable Bonjour on machine B and let machine A serve the database, but you never want both machines trying to serve the same database.