Full Support for Document Provider Extensions for Improved Integration with Files App

Dear DEVONthink Team,

I am reaching out to express a feature request that I believe would greatly enhance the functionality and user experience of DEVONthink, especially for those of us integrating it with iOS workflows.

As an avid user of DEVONthink and a participant in the TestFlight for Simple Scan, an app developed by Greg Pierce (developer of Drafts), I’ve encountered a limitation that affects the integration between DEVONthink databases and the Files app on iOS. In the latest beta of Simple Scan, there is an exciting feature that allows users to bookmark favorite folders for quick access. Unfortunately, when trying to bookmark DEVONthink databases within the Files app, they appear greyed out and inaccessible.

Upon reaching out to Greg Pierce for insight, here was his reply:

I do not believe DEVONThink implements the full support for document provider extensions necessary for folder integrations. That would be something they have to add at their end to make folders available for other apps to bookmark.

I strongly believe that the DEVONthink community, many of whom are likely to embrace Simple Scan and similar apps, would greatly benefit from this enhancement.

Would the DEVONthink team consider adding or expanding the support for document provider extensions to allow for full folder bookmarking capabilities in third-party apps?

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The request is noted, with no promises, of course. But also bear in mind, our apps don’t merely use folders. The groups you see are a convenience item without a physical representation in the filesystem. So what you’re asking for may not be feasible or not easily accomplished. Development would have to comment on the topic, if they’d like to chime in.


As pointed out by @BLUEFROG the problem here is that Apple’s way how they implemented folder integration relies on a concept where inside the app’s document storage have to be real folders. DEVONthink (To Go) however is a database with a completely different storage model. So what we currently do is use the other modus operandi of the file provider extension mechanism that creates a virtual file system but does not offer this kind of folder integration.

Now, Apple has indeed thrown a few new toys into the sandbox in iOS 16 and we will explore what we can do with it and whether they allow folder integration even though there are no real folders in DEVONthink To Go.