iCloud Drive Local Sync Store


I’d like to sync DEVONthink using the built-in iCloud Drive. Is there a way to make that work?


You should not put a DEVONthink database or a local syncStore on any automatically cloud-synced location or you could irreparably damage it.

Hi. The short answer is yes. Kind of. You can use iCloud by indexing your stuff.


The long answer is: be careful with it. I had great success with this method when using a single device. However, when I added a second computer into the mix, things got messy very quickly, and I am no longer doing this. The problem is that there was a lag while my cloud service (SpiderOak) synced files. It was sometimes only a tiny lag, but enough to cause trouble. At least, that is my understanding of what went wrong. Groups and files were duplicated, data went missing (newly updated files overwritten by older ones?), and DT was throwing errors. This isn’t a problem with DT – it was working fine before the second computer came along, and it is working fine now that I import/put my local sync store on a thumb drive. But, the more complexity you put into a workflow, I guess the more things can go wrong.

As mentioned already, do not put your database or local sync store into the cloud. I recommend exporting your files there occasionally, though, to keep a backup on hand and have the files available through another method (from iOS or Windows, for example).

Ok, thanks guys! I know iCloud sync has had issues in the past, but I’m hoping the worst of it is behind us. Great idea to just index the documents, but I think it’ll just be safer to keep it local for now.

Thanks again!

That’s probably a good idea! Ideally, we’d have DT syncing through every cloud service, but I wouldn’t envy the developers who would be devoting (I imagine) huge chunks of their time to designing and maintaining compatibility. Certainly, I’ve heard some developers complain about Dropbox and iCloud in the past. Personally, I’m just thrilled that everything works! DT works on my computers and it works on my iPad. It might seem like an easy feat, but hardly anyone else is able to pull it off, so kudos to the DT team for doing it. Now, they just have to figure out a way to protect me from myself :slight_smile:

You know, I love ya Frobgoblin but I gotta disagree with you on this.
Ideally we would have a small, small contingent of cloud services that work and are used appropriately. Cloud services, like their namesakes, appear and disappear, seemingly with the same frequency as their rain-filled counterparts in the sky! :mrgreen: What happens to all the development hours that go into developing for those services? Worse, what happens to your data when the service terminates?!?

Cloud services are not the panacea people think they are and they are also fraught with philosophical issues like data availability (and this is where the myth of network persistence comes to light)and data privacy. If people want to use the cloud, that’s their choice. But people should be realistic and informed about the choice.

We’re working on it, we’re working on it!! :mrgreen:

i’m not so sure we disagree! i actually don’t use the cloud much for precisely those reasons, and i really appreciate that dt gives me control over syncing without the cloud so that the ipad and my computers all work smoothly together.

the op mentioned icloud, and i simply expanded it to talk about cloud services in general. i guess users would like to choose whatever cloud service they like and, in an ideal world, dt would just work perfectly with everything, everywhere. perhaps the cloud services would stabilize, standardize, and supply developers with some identical apis to make this happen. while i’m talking fantasies, let’s throw in zero-knowledge encryption as well. it won’t happen, but it doesn’t hurt to imagine what could be.

as it stands, everything is in a state of flux, policies change, and no one can tell from one day to the next where this is all headed. as for me, i like spideroak, because of the security, but it seems to only work quickly with small files, and when there is big stuff, it sometimes doesn’t sync properly for a long while, which messes up everything in dt. it’s a headache, and i don’t know if there will ever be a good solution for using it together with dt.

my point was (buried in the earlier post) that i want developers at dt to prioritize other stuff besides compatibility with everything. the time spent fiddling with various cloudy sites could be better spent perfecting the app. we do need compatibility with one or two, though, to keep dt in business. users kind of expect it these days. if dt could get the dropbox security beefed up, that would be a huge benefit, i imagine.


And this is what we are doing too. :smiley: Thanks for the always good discussion.