How to have a cloud based backup of my database

I have a time machine which backs up my computer but I want to have a cloud based backup of my database. Apparently it is not good to put your whole database in dropbox. I guess I could sign up to a service like Backblaze but I don’t really want to pay for it especially when I only want to backup my 1.6gb database.

Is it ok to keep my database in dropbox if I don’t access it from another computer. I only use DEVONthink on my MacBook Pro.

Do you have any ideas of how I could keep a cloud version of my database backed up?

No. Never. Do NOT do it. :smiley: (No, seriously. Don’t.)

Just use File > Export > Database Archive occasionally to create a cloud-safe ZIP file you can upload to Dropbox.

I think I might use Hazel to do this. is it ok to just zip my database file or is it best to do it through DT

Why not just use File > Export > Database Archive? That has the advantage that it will check for errors and stop and notify you if an error is found.

Another possibility is to use the synchronization, e.g. to create a dedicated sync store for backups. Sync stores can be also verified. But that’s an additional possibility, this shouldn’t be the only backup.

Interesting idea.

  1. If I set up a sync store and I lost my database on my computer how would I restore my database from the sync store?

2.You mentioned that this shouldn’t be my only backup. What are the disadvantages to using it as a backup.

You can import databases from sync stores via Preferences > Sync (e.g. via the contextual menu).

The sync of version 2.9.x is a relatively new technology and primarily intended for synchronizing. E.g. a broken sync store used only for synchronizing doesn’t cause much troubles, in the worst case nothing’s synchronized anymore. But if the sync store is broken and it’s your only backup, then you’re in trouble.

That’s a regular problem of Time Machine that many users have no additional backups anymore and never tested the restore procedure (a good backup strategy should be tested!). Some day they need their backup and notice that the Time Machine backups are broken too.

But contrary to Time Machine sync stores can at least be verified.

To add to Criss’ comment: DEVONthink’s Sync is raw, DEVONthink-specific data, only used by devices running DEVONthink. This really negates it as a backup, as a proper backup would have files that are useful to more than one application.

We strongly advocate proper primary backups using TimeMachine (or similar application) and local external drives. And yes, redundancy in backups is a very good thing.

When I try to export my database DT tells me that I have to use .zip at the end of the file. When I do that it then says that the verification failed. Any ideas about what is happening?

Are you trying to remove the extension?

Where are you trying to save the archive to?

Have you been doing your routine maintenance on the database (see: … -database/)?

I had the same issue with failed verification - but only with one of my databases.

Rebuilding the database did the trick, and now I do have a zipped backup.

Is there any way to automate such a back-up process? Not within DT per se, maybe with some other tools. I know there is a preference setting to schedule a back up of the index, but I’d like to have my databases backed up on the regular.

Your best bet is to use a tool that will make scheduled backups to copy the folder(s) containing your .dtBase2 databases to a cloud location, such as Carbon Copy Cloner (which can copy individual files and/or folders in addition to whole drives) or ChronoSync. ChronoSync recently added features** to backup to Amazon or Google cloud services, or you could back up to a WebDAV location with either product. Other services such as CrashPlan (which I use) are an option. Joe Kissell (author of a great book on DEVONthink) also has a Take Control book devoted to backup methods.

And, then, of course, there is the expedient and easy solution of getting a USB SSD drive and storing your backups there – Carbon Copy Cloner is good for this and can update your backup automatically whenever the drive is attache.

[size=85]**Caveat, while these features are powerful and reliable, they are very difficult to configure for new users. If you have a lot of data and / or it is highly valuable to you, then consider AWS or Google, otherwise, don’t.[/size]

Thanks. I guess I’ll go for an offline automated back up. I’ll look into that.

A final question: do I understand correctly that I can just copy the *.dtBase2 files themselves (currently in my Home folder)? Or is it advised to make a back-up file via Export > Database Archive?
From what I gather from the manual, it should be the same, no?

They are they same. The only difference is that Export > Database Archive also zips (compresses) the .dtBase2 package for you. It’s the “faster” of the two options.

There are a number of backup systems, some storing backups on external drives locally, others storing backups in the cloud. I’m an advocate of Apple’s free Time Machine backups. I’ve been using this for years, have periodically tested my backups by restoring them, and they have served me well.

But Time Machine, like other backup systems mentioned in this thread such as Carbon Copy Cloner, ChronoSync or CrashPlan, will happily backup databases that are corrupted by errors. That’s not the fault of the backup system, which is faithfully capturing the state of data on the user’s computer. Instead, corrupted backups are the fault of the user for not carrying out some simple housekeeping chores to detect and correct potential database problems.

I make it a practice to periodically, at least every few days, run the Verify & Repair tool on databases that I have recently used. If errors are reported I will run the Rebuild Database tool. That goes a long way towards mitigating the potential of corrupted backups.

The Database Archive procedure has the virtue that it will first check database integrity and stop and notify the user if errors are found in a database. But a database archive is a one-time snapshot of the database. I use Time Machine because it does incremental backups, so that I can go back to a previous state in time, perhaps three months ago, to recover a file that had been inadvertently deleted. Or quickly revert to the state of the database a couple of hours ago, before I screwed it up while attempting a major reorganization of the database.

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I have been using Arq to back up my database. It can make its backups to any cloud service of your choice. I use Onedrive and you can choose what folders on your computer it backs up.

And you can set the frequency in Arq for doing auto backups.

Korm said: “Other services such as CrashPlan (which I use) are an option.”

So you are saying that backing up a DT database with something like Crashplan (I use SpideroakOne) will not harm the database and is an acceptable way of backing up data.

I was wondering because I don’t want to sync the database I just want to back it up to SpideroakOne.

Thanks for your support.

Crashplan, BackBlaze or similar (Used both, currently BackBlaze) cloud backup services can handle bundles (like the DEVONthink Database files) safely.


For the past few years I’ve uploaded periodic snapshots of key databases to my S3 account. I create a copy the database, compress it (often zip, but sometimes Bzip2) and then upload it to a specific bucket.