Is a database sync store considered a 'master'?

I have some questions about DevonThink databases and syncing. I currently have a Mac Mini with 2 databases that are synced via iCloud to my MacBook Pro.

  1. Are the databases on the Mac Mini considered ‘master’ databases or can the Sync store in iCloud act as the master? (see next question)
  2. If I had a data loss on my Mac Mini, would the synced versions of the databases on my Macbook Pro still be independently usable or would I need to restore the databases on the Mac Mini? Can I just resync from iCloud to a replacement Mac?**. For clarity, I initially created the databases on the Mac Mini and synced them to my Macbook.

I am using DevonThink 3.6.1 and I also have DevonThink To Go on 2 iOS devices.

**None of this has happened. I’m just planning ahead.

Local databases are the masters, sync stores are only intended for synchronizing and not for backups. Although you can of course import a database from a sync store, additional backups are highly recommended.

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If local databases are the masters, how do you control versioning when several local databases are accessing the same sync store…and they aren’t the same? This could happen if, say, one of the locals hadn’t updated in a while, and perhaps had some items added or deleted in the meantime. Or (as recently happened to me) I had to perform a Time Machine restore from two weeks ago…on a machine with one of the local databases. Somehow (perhaps the database on this machine was corrupted), this ended up wiping out most of the files on the sync store…which then propagated to delete all of the same files on the other machines as well! As opposed to a far more desirable behavior: that the intact machines would restore the sync store and the machine with thousands of lost files.

Fortunately, I have multiply redundant backups…but I am concerned that, without a clear master-slave relationship, there’s no guarantee that the files will propagate in the right direction, right? It seems like my only option is to completely erase all the local databases except the one I have backed up…and repropagate it through the sync store all over again (just as I had to do when first setting up a multiple-machine sync).

Do I understand this correctly?

That’s not the case, each local database knows what has been synchronized to a sync location already. You could call the sync store the “master” if you would like.

Can you expand on “not for backups” and “import a database from a sync store”
I have a choice for installing the database on a new machine
. Sync Store
. Time Machine
. Database Backups (Archive)

Is there anything missing if the database is installed from the sync store?

The sync store (if valid) is of course the easiest possibility and usually the most recent one.