Identical Databases on a laptop and Imac

Is this possible?

Can I move an Imac database to the laptop?

Yes, certainly. Just copy the database from one computer to another. CAUTION! Always close a database before making a copy in the Finder.

If you search the forum for the term ‘sync’ or ‘synchronize’ you will find many discussions about how to update changes from one copy of a database to another. That can be done by copying the one that was changed to the other computer, by using Dropbox, etc.

You will also find comments from DEVONtechnologies noting that later in 2011 a Sync procedure will be provided in DEVONthink applications to provide several options for doing this.


I have read this advice more than once here. Talking about the use of synchronisation software: Is it really that critical or more a precautionary advice?

I use Synchronize Pro X and have scheduled incremental back ups of my home folder running every two hours. DtPO is open all the time and I never had problems to open back ups of DtP databases though they were not closed at the time of backing up.

I could let Synchronize Pro X start a script, that closes DtP before the back up begins and another that starts DtP again, when the back up has finished, if you recommend-

Kind regards,

Precautionary, but with reason. If there’s still data in memory that hasn’t yet been written to disk, the copy will be incomplete. If data is in the process of being written to disk (including the database’s own files describing the state of the database), the database could be damaged.

Thank you, Bill.

Ok, I assume that when DtP is open but idle I can continue as I did before with my back ups. I always notice when SPX starts and in addition I have a countdown to the back up in SPX, so I stop activity with DtP and in my FileMaker databases anyway for the short time the back up takes.

Kind regards,

Be very careful when synchronizing pen databases. As Bill has said, the problem is that a database consists of many fields with many values most of which you never get to see and most are very short-lived, too. They only make sure that the fields turn up in the right places and point to the right resources. A database therefore has to keep many balls in the air and to speed things up many are never written to the hard disk but kept in memory. Your synchronization program only sees the state of the database on the harddrive and will only back up that part. It may still be functional but will not represent what you are seeing NOW. In the worst case, the portion of the database that is kept in memory only (i.e. not on disk) is vital which results in copies missing data or being dysfunctional.
Closing down a database is just about the only way to force the program to save a functional state of the database on disk that’s why you are advised to do so.



thank you! I have appended a script now, that tells DtP to quit before the backup begins.

Kind regards,

It took me a while to figure out why I wasn’t seeing the same thing on my desktop as I was on my laptop.

I have almost everything in the Global Inbox. It synchs with my iPad without any extra effort if I do that. But that doesn’t show up on my laptop.

Am I going to have to learn how to use the Database better and move things out of the Inbox, or is there a way to have the Inbox’ contents show up on both machines?