Method(s) of syncing DT databases across 2 (or more) machine

Hi all

Am just about to take delivery of a new 11" Macbook Air which I plan to use as a compliment to my 15" MBP.

Just wanted to see if I can solicit any ideas on how to keep my bundle of databases (7GB in total) in sync.

I have indeed had a search through the forums here on how people sync, and have come across a few ideas/limitations (e.g., dropbox, sneaker net using a portable HDD, etc.). I even see that the team are planning on a sync feature, which will be very welcome.

Just wanted to see if anyone had any experience with other methods, or even the existing ones for that matter.

Thanks in advance.


Am going to try doing a LAN sync using ChronoSync.

Macbook Air still en route so once I try things out, I’ll report back.

I use ChronoSync. I prefer not to use the setting to “dissect packages”. The setting can corrupt databases. Be sure to close a database before syncing it.

I’ve used Chronosync to sync desktop and laptop versions of DTP databases for 18 months or so.

I do use ‘dissect by packages’ - if you don’t, then of course the entire database is sync’d every time and this can be a lengthy process with large databases. I’ve never had a problem with corruption caused by the package dissection option.

The advice to shut down both databases first is vital, though. However, if you use the ‘trial sync’ feature, you can usually spot any potential conflicts and correct them in advance.

For me, the balance between having to wait for the sync to complete before I can do any work versus the need to check both databases are closed lies with the former - your balance may of course be different…


Original poster here: I can report that using Chronosync with “dissect packages” selected seems to work just fine.

Korm, can you describe how dissect packages can corrupt a database? If I understand DT correctly, it should work in the event there are no errors. Is it the error case that can leave the database corrupted?

I’m the sort of guy who wants to understand these things.

  • Barry

With dissect packages, I’ve had ChronoSync render databases unusable. I’ve also had Verify and Repair consistently report orphan files each time dissect packages is used.

“How” that happens is something Econ Technologies would have to answer. That it happens is enough for me to avoid dissect packages. So, I sync whole databases. It’s really not a bother.

At this time “brute force” copying of a (closed) database is the most reliable way to work with the database on more than one computer, and is recommended by Christian. Korm’s experience concurs. That’s what i do.

DEVONtechnologies plans to introduce a new Sync procedure later this year. It will allow sync of databases on more than one computer via LAN, WLAN, WebDAV and the use of, for example, MobileMe or DropBox. Stay tuned.

I am eagerly awaiting the details for the new syncing method. Finally trouble-free syncing? There’s hoping. Will there be deltas or do entire files need to be sent back and forth?

To the original poster:
I have for many years used Chronosync with a Firewire harddrive (option “dissect packages enabled”). After figuring out a workflow I did not run into a problem but nevertheless it was cumbersome. I lived in a constant state of fear to open an outdated version of the database because I’d forget to sync before starting work etc. One important thing if you decide to use Chronosync: You will run into all kinds of problems if you use a drive formatted as FAT or FAT32 as an intermediary, CS getting the daylight saving hours wrong twice a year and wanting to copy “everything” as a result was only one of them. Formatting the drive using HFS+ solved all these for me.

Just upgraded to version 2.3 and would like to know if this version implements the “new” sync method Bill mentioned in June 2011? I am starting a new database project and would like access via two computers, so would like to set things up correctly from the beginning. Thanks.

Not yet. :slight_smile:

Hi Bill and others,

I know I’ve made a mistake but…

I’ve been using DTP Office for a while now across macbook pro and macbook air and it has been brilliant…
…until… I was lecturing today and thought I’d closed the database at home and accessed it while away…
now have corrupt database - is there a simple way to restore my database backup from my macbook air back to the macbook pro?
i’ve searched and can’t seem to find where the backup.0 etc is stored…
all my files are fine in the dropbox - just the metadata screwed up… I’ve tried to rebuild the database on my macbook pro, but that just seemed to loose more files!

update… sorted the problem.

issue was in a corrupt Dropbox file - the dropbox had ceased sync
I closed dropbox, deleted the .dropbox sync files, restarted & reconnected and it has put everything back to normal…

for anyone with same problem see the Mac Advanced users box on this webpage: