Need help understanding how sync plugin works

I’m not entirely clear on how the sync plugin works, and I can’t find the answer in the documentation. Let’s say my databases are currently on my Mac Pro, but I want to sync them with my MacBook Pro (using Dropbox). Here’s my understanding of the steps; please correct me if I’m wrong.

  1. Sync databases with Dropbox on Mac Pro.
  2. Import databases to MacBook Pro using the “Import Databases” command in the sync preference pane.
  3. Configure sync settings on the imported databases.

Is this correct? I’ve already done #1, but I’m having problems with #2. I’m not able to import databases successfully. The import window appears, along with my Dropbox account, but when I click “Next”, it hangs on the “fetching databases” window. One time it did display my databases, but when I tried to import one of them, it failed.

As an alternative, can I simply copy the databases to a thumb drive, transfer them to the MacBook Pro, and then set them up to sync with Dropbox the same way I did on the Mac Pro?

I am also unclear on the Sync plugin functionality. Can you perhaps document some typical usage scenarios? I have searched for better documentation but haven’t found any. To compound this, the interface is highly unintuitive for first-time users.

For example, what if I simply want to synchronize the databases I have stored on my external hard-drives? Am I better off just using say, rsync, for this, or is the Sync plug-in meant for this as well? It’s not clear. Is there an offline, or local mode? I assumed this is what Direct Connection meant.

Yet when I click “Add Direct Connection”, it asks me for a Server and a Port. What are my options, what am I supposed to type in? file:///Users/path/to/my/db, localhost, etc.? It doesn’t give any examples.

Another problem is I can type any value I want in there (eg. “als;dkfjaowetiu”), then it proceeds to show a little DTPro icon, suggesting (at least to me) that this is a valid location and there is a database there. When I tried to sync my db with ‘localhost’, on a whim, I got this error message:

“The remote database seems to be a copy of a local database. Synchronizing will merge the remote and local changes and keep them in sync in the future (which is probably what you intended). If you do not want to merge them, for whatever reason, please cancel now and transfer the content to a new database.”

It’s confusing because it doesn’t tell me what the name of the remote database is. What am I sync’ing with? Sounds risky, but I clicked it anyway. Then it tells me “Could not fetch the transaction because no such transaction could be found.” Ok, but why not tell me before?

Sorry, I don’t get it. What’s a Sync Store? It’s not defined. At least for offline sync, I was expecting a standard file-browser to pop up, enabling me to select a dtbase2 file and click go.

I’ve figured it out – at least enough to get it working for me.

I was having trouble importing the databases I wanted to sync from Dropbox to my MacBook Pro, so I simply copied them over using a thumb drive. Once they were there, I set up a sync with them to Dropbox as well. A dialog box popped up saying something to the effect of “If you choose to do this, the databases on this machine will be synced with Dropbox as well as the copies of this database on other machines. We assume this is what you wanted, so click ‘okay’ if that’s the case.”

I clicked okay and now my databases are in sync. Heaven.