How best to access my database from 2 computers?

I need to have my database available from several computers. I’d never have them open simultaneously, but I need to work on it at work, and then see my latest data when I get home and have my laptop. I need to be able to make full use of the database (all functions) on the Apple OS X machines, and I’d like to see the database items (not necessarily to edit them) from my iOS (iPhone, iPad). I see on the Devonthink website 2 possibilities:


I do have a Dropbox account and use it extensively, so that sounds reasonable to me. But otherwise I don't really understand the functional difference between these 2 methods. Can someone give me an overview of what happens, and the pros/cons of each method? I can imagine storing my database on Dropbox (but then, what does the sync plugin do? how do I move the database, and how/when do I run the plugin)?  Also I can imagine running a server, but then I'm accessing it via web interface, right? What port should I use once I start the server - what do I put in the browser URL?

Unless you want your database destroyed, do not store .dtBase2 files in Dropbox or any cloud service. Putting the database into Dropbox is not the same as synchronizing using Dropbox. Two different things.

Have you looked at the Tutorials about the Server and about Sync? The Server is a light-weight, limited features, web client for sharing your data with others. Sync is synchronizing the entire database between computers that are running the full DEVONthink program.

nope, that would be great, where do I find the tutorial about Sync?
Sounds like I need the Sync, for access via computers. For iOS (phone/tablet), do they use Sync also, or do I also need the server so that the device can see my data? Or can they sync via wifi?

For iOS there’s an app, DEVONthink to Go, that syncs with a single desktop’s version of the database. At present, it is a single-user solution. A new version of DTTG is in the works – features TBA.

But, several iPad users can access the DEVONthink Pro Office web server simultaneously.

Be aware that DEVONthink to Go, the DEVONthink Pro Office Server, and Sync between desktops and with DEVONthink to Go are not mutually exclusive – they all have a role and you can call all of them into play. Many users do that.

The Sync tutorial is with all the tutorials in Help > Tutorials

I’m definitely not looking to have multiple users (no simultaneous sharing), just me, needing to access the same database from various places. I don’t really want to sync with a wire, but wifi sync would be ok, if it was automatic. I’ll check out the tutorial, thanks. Although I see that they were made in 2012 - has not much of significance changed since then?

Wi-Fi sync with DEVONthink to Go is not automatic.

OTOH, the DEVONthink Pro Office server is accessible on your iPad as long as the machine it’s running on is accessible on your network / the Internet.

Don’t know enough about your use case to say much more.

For the last 8 years or so, I have used DT on three computers. My main data base is stored on my iMac at home (with several backups) and each morning and afternoon I sync it with a mobile harddisk (now SSD), to take it to the office or on the road, when I am away. There, I only work on/with the SSD.
Apart from the DT-database, I also sync all the files I am currently working on. I use a rather dated sync-software (Synchronize X plus), but for now I never had any problems. You must be very strict with the syncing, of course, otherwise you will loose data.



ok. I would love to avoid this :slight_smile: I’m looking for a solution that syncs automatically, and keeps track of that for me without needing to carry a physical drive or similar. I will be watching the Sync tutorial to see if that does the trick.

If you review DEVONthink > Preferences > Sync you’ll notice that Sync between computers (this does not include DEVONthink to Go) can be scheduled.

The point is: “automatic” is possible but for this to work you have to make sure machines are running and not asleep, networks are available, DEVONthink is operating, etc.

Also, be aware that the physical drive / direct connection Syncs will always provide faster, more reliable, and more controllable Syncs than any remote Sync.

Carrying a drive is no different than carrying your purse/wallet/car keys/ or wearing pants. :mrgreen:

I am in a somewhat similar situation. I have a MacMini server and would like to have my DEVONthink database on it. The server has a VPN and I would use the Web interface to connect to it on the road on my phone for read only. I also have a MacBook Air and would like to actually read/write to the database on the server thru a share. The copy of DEVONthink on the server is only there to provide the web server and will never be used to write to the database. I know I could use sync…but since the copy on the server will never by used to write to it…will I have problems?


If an instance of DEVONthink has a given database open (for whatever reason), that database cannot be safely accessed by another copy of DEVONthink. (Obviously, a web browser is not DEVONthink, so the Web Sharing UI is fine.)

I tried and came to the conclusion a 32GB USB 3 Stick is by far the best. Encrypt it with Apples disk utilities and give it a password.

Not a big fan of communicating my confidential information through a cloud or public WiFi.

Now I only have one computer so no problem.

That is a nice option indeed. And not only is a Local syncStore fast, with USB 3, it’s FAST!! :smiley:

I have a 64GB thumbdrive that’s about the size of the last joint of my pinky finger, and it’s a rocketship, even compared to USB 2.

And they work great for multiple computers too. I typically carry around 256GB in miscellaneous thumbdrives at any given time (and several terabytes of pocket-sized portable drives!). :mrgreen:

If I set it to Sync on a daily or hourly basis, does it only do this if DevonThink Pro is running, or does it schedule a background task (cron or similar) on the OS that will execute a sync whether or not the GUI application is active and open?

DEVONthink must be open and the machine awaken for Sync to initiate.

I checked out Sync and it works great for what I’m trying to do. The copy on my server is always open and only there so my phone can connect to the web server via my VPN. The copy on my MacBook Air is where I really do all my work and now have it Direct Sync to the copy on my server. So for works greats.

Great to hear it. Direct Connection Syncs are fast and I personally use them more than the others since I usually have two machines on and running DEVONthink on the same network (though I actually advocate Local syncStores for best general purpose Syncing). :smiley:

I have been working with multiple computers for many years. Using DROPBOX and the sync process worked well to keep my data accessible everywhere. However, recently I was forced to switch to a PC at the office - so syncing was no longer going to work.

I have installed LogMeIn Pro on my iMac and can now access my DT Pro databases seemlessly from my PC. This solution is working so well that I think I will install LogMeIn on my personal MacBook and rely on LogMeIn instead of sync going forward.

[BTW - I did try the free version of TeamViewer- my opinion is that LogMeIn Pro (paid) works better]