How does syncing over Dropbox work?

I have a bit of a silly question. How does syncing a database over Dropbox work exactly?

I mean, I’m not allowed to put the database file itself in Dropbox so it just resides in my Documents folder. Having clicked ‘Sync Now’, a folder called DevonThink has been added to Dropbox/Apps, but I have excluded that folder from syncing as per the instructions.

If Dropbox doesn’t sync anything, then why would I need it to sync DevonThink?

You don’t! :smiley: In fact, the only reason you need the Dropbox application is to easily access the Preferences > Advanced > Selective Sync prefs to exclude the Apps/DEVONthink folder. (I don’t use Dropbox at all, yet I can still Sync to an account.)

DEVONSync is accomplished using Dropbox’s APIs for file transfers, etc. It’s all in the background.

hi - just picking up this old-ish thread – does that mean that the actual documents don’t reside on dropbox, but rather only `on the machines that are synced? and that the data on dropbox is just the book-keeping, so to speak?

Correct. You’re not going to go on your Dropbox account and see “smilingDog.jpg” that you just synced in your DEVONthink database. :mrgreen:

Great, thanks! You learn something new every day. :slight_smile:

My pleasure… and you certainly hope to! :^)

On a related note (perhaps this deserves a separate thread) — I’m finding the initial sync via dropbox of larger databases is taking quite some time. Is it possible to first physically copy the database, say by USB stick, to the other machine, and then run the sync, so that the documents don’t actually need to be copied (as they are already there)?

Thanks again for your advice.

Yes, that works.

Fantastic, that is really great to know, thank you! :smiley:

Hi again,

I have copied the databases to each machine, and then I am running sync to dropbox from my main machine.

Problem: unless I am doing something wrong, having a database on each machine does nothing to help the speed of the sync. It still wants to go through the motions of first “sending” all the documents to Dropbox from the first machine.

Am I misunderstanding something, or is this normal behaviour, regardless of already having the databases on each machine? I am assuming that only a “book-keeping record” is actually kept on Dropbox.


Sorry for the late reply. No, that won’t work as it’s not just a “bookkeeping record” on Dropbox. It is the raw Sync data for the database that is uploaded. It’s going to take as long as Dropbox and your network connection takes. (Subsequent Syncs would be faster obviously).

OK, thank you, I understand. :slight_smile: