DEVONthink, Dropbox and MobileMe

I’m in a trial period, and have found DEVONthink Pro Office databases easy to move, but have hit a barrier.

I need a database kept current for my laptop (portable office) and my desktop. I only use one machine at a time; that isn’t the issue. While syncing my harddrives (ChronoSync) works well, I wanted something more instant.

Currently I have a database in Dropbox and that works wonderfully. Since I have more space available on my MobileMe account, I thought I would move the database there. This is where I’m stuck. When I move the database to my iDisk, DEVONthink doesn’t like it. I get an error saying that database is already in use. If I click the “Ignore” button, nothing happens.

I’ve tried creating a new database and saving it to my iDisk immediately, but it still is not recognized. Since I don’t have this problem with Dropbox, I’m wondering if there is a problem with iDisk and MobileMe.

Any helps and suggestions would be happily received.

iDisk and Dropbox are two different beasts.

iDisk= a WebDAV connection that must be made and maintained to transfer data. For this reason it is not transparent to all apps unless they have explicit support is my understanding.

Dropbox- With Dropbox you’re always working with a local file yet the nifty part is that it syncs any delta changes to the internet store. Thus your local apps are happy because they always see the local store and there’s no connection to be made or dropped.

The only thing to do here reliably is ante up for a bigger Dropbox account assuming you’re hitting the 2GB ceiling for free accounts.

Apple’s implementation of WebDAV isn’t sufficiently reliable for trusting database integrity to MobileMe.

Although I haven’t tried DropBox, a number of users report this is working for them.

In any case, ALWAYS close a database after using it on one computer, before moving to a different computer to open the same database. If the database had not been closed on the first computer, opening it on the second computer by clicking the ‘Ignore’ button can result in damage to the database. A DEVONthink application is a single-user database. If it senses that a second user is attempting to open an already open database, it will attempt to prevent that. There may be unsaved data in memory, and in any case the housekeeping chores performed at database closing have not been performed.

That’s a wise caution for many other applications, as well. Example: you’ve been editing an image using GraphicConverter, but have not saved the edit changes before switching to your second computer. Your editing work on the first computer will not be recognized by the second computer. If you had edited an image on the first computer, then grabbed your laptop to go to a meeting at which the image may be important, you’ve made a mistake.

Thanks for both replies. I didn’t realize/think about iDisk being WebDav.

While I haven’t had a problem during my trial syncing through Dropbox, I’ve only being closing the program and not closing the databases first. Thanks for the heads-up with that caution before I experience a problem.


Quitting the DEVONthink application closes the databases, so that’s OK.

Personally, I’m not yet ready to trust my databases to the “cloud”, and have no immediate need to do so. A laptop is my primary computer, and I keep everything backed up to external drives. But I’m watching the experience of DropBox users with interest. :slight_smile: