Please do not misunderstand what the Sync Plugin is for. It is for keeping a DEVONthink database MIRRORED on multiple accounts or machines. Dropping files into DropBox will NOT add them to a DEVONthink database. It is also NOT for allowing other access to the contents of a DEVONthink database outside of using DEVONthink.
You really should not keep your database in a DropBox folder. I have more than a handful of tickets of data loss from doing exactly that, and from people who have “closed it and only had it opened on one machine at a time”.
You cannot have two people accessing the same exact database at the same time. You can’t even do this with DropBox alone. Even with DropBox alone you are working on a local copy and syncing to a shared location. The second User works on their local copy, syncing to the common location. This is what the Sync plugin is doing with the DEVONthink database but safely and correctly for your database.
The tutorial video should show the basic setup for DropBox sync.
@Ray: Yes you can both have a synced copy of a database but remember, it is for mirroring, so if you and your wife are making changes to a common database, you could run into collisions. (This is a familiar situation with any shared resource like this.) The way I think of it is this…
You have a database called Rays Stuff.
She has a database called Rays Wifes Stuff.
You both share a database called Our Stuff (…awww, cute ).
You both would add and remove things to this common database and draw things of interest into your own individual databases as you see fit.
This is NOT the only way to do this but it’s a nice, low impact way to do this without causing unintended grief because someone deleted something out of the database that’s “mine”. Plus this way you can have individual, non-mirrored databases for yourselves and still share resources you’ve gathered independently. Again, this is ONE way to deal with it (and one I happen to like personally). Cheers!
Check the Activity log (Window > Activity). Prior to initiating sync, the Sync procedure will check for errors in the database and stop if errors are present, leaving a message about database validation. If that happens, use an appropriate procedure to eliminate the error(s), such as Tools > Restore Backup, Tools > Rebuild Database, or replace the damaged database copy (while the database is closed) with an undamaged backup copy, e.g., from Time Machine or a Database Archive.
Please be aware that the video contains a serious error where it recommends to deselected /Apps in the advanced syncing preferences of DropBox. This might cause problems with other apps (other than DEVONThink I mean) and even data loss. Instead deselect /Apps/DevonThink/.
A disadvantage of your method is that the original dropbox sync is disabled before DEVONThink’ s dropbox sync works. This means that if something goes wrong with setting up DEVONThink’s sync your databases do not sync anymore. For that reason, I would in step 1 create a new DT database folder in the Documents folder and copy the database from the Dropbox folder to that folder (on relevant computers) and remove the original databases from Dropbox only after the DevonThink sync works fine.
Furthermore, it is my experience that databases on Dropbox get easily corrupted. For that reason I recommend that:
(1) clean up your database before you copy it out of dropbox on your first computer (or, better but more work, after clean up the copies after copying on all your computers) by opening the database package in the Finder (control-click on the database and choose ‘show package content’) and removing all the .dtMeta files that have ‘conflicted copy’ in their name).
(2) before you sync the database for the first time do a ‘verify and repair’ followed by ‘back up and optimize’ (both are in the tools menu) (this should be done on each computer, before the first sync on that computer)
I have another question about synching … what is the benefit of/difference between synching to DropBox vs. WebDav? I’ve been wanting to move away from using DropBox for security reasons and I’m wondering if synching DevonThink via webdav essentially does the same thing as DropBox synching (let’s you synch databases when you’re in different locations, not on the same local netowork, etc), and whether it’s more secure (encrypted, etc) than DropBox synching?
Just trying to figure out what Dropbox synching does that webdav synching doesn’t.
WebDAV and DropBox (and all Syncs) are essentially the same but the details vary greatly under-the-hood. The benefit of DropBox is the ease of setup. WebDAV is a bit nerdier and may need some tweaks from you (if it’s your server) or more info from your provider if not.
I watched the Sync Tutorial first and followed it first before seeing this thread. I thought the Sync Tutorial was saying that you could put your DT database on Dropbox.
No such deal. You need to keep all instances of the same DT databases on the local computer and use Dropbox as a “store” of changes. These are what at synced.
Read all the posts here. Otherwise, you’ll do what I’ve done: spend three days trying to sort it out.
Pay attention to arnow » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:07 am. His suggestion to clean up the conflicted files via opening the database package in the finder can save you an hour or two.
DEVONthink: You need to change your tutorial. Or do a tinyurl link to this thread on the support page that describes the video. The info from the DT experts below is not in the tutorial and it should be.