No, multiple users cannot directly access a database. DEVONthink databases are single-user.
However, the Server in DT Pro Office may meet your needs. In your case, the database(s) would be housed on a single Mac running DT Pro Office. Multiple remote users can browse and search the database(s), download files and upload notes and files to the Global Inbox of the host Mac. Remote access is via a network (e.g., WiFi) using a Web browser (very convenient in the Bonjour mode of Safari). The remote users cannot directly modify the database. They cannot view files uploaded to the Global Inbox until the administrator of the database files the added content into one of the ‘broadcast’ databases. The remote users do not need to have DT Pro Office installed on their computers.
The Extras link on the Download page will lead you to a downloadable user documentation PDF.
Note: The current release of DT Pro Office 2.0 will expire on 28 February, 2010, but a new release will be posted prior to that date. As the expiration date approaches, you might click on the application name in the menu bar and choose ‘Check for Updates’. When one is found, you will be notified and given the opportunity to have it automatically downloaded and installed for you.
What if the database’s (we will probably have at least 3 or 4 key databases), are held on a central NAS, could they be used by one user at a time? Ie only one user accessing the one database at a time from the NAS?
I imagine our assistant do the pre filing (ie scanning), and general filing, say each morning or ket sessions. Then 2 of us would be using and adding to the databases (emails, notes, etc) at different times.
Would this work?
Would we need one or 3 licenses? (ie one user at a time, but accessible from 3 different machines).
If all of the three persons are accessing databases at different times from the same computer, one license is all that’s needed. Perhaps a bit clumsy as an operating procedure, but it’s cheaper and avoids risks of database damage resulting from simultaneous access by multiple users. The databases can be hosted on that computer. Other people could send files and emails to the administrator of that computer so that they can be added to the database.
If you were to try the approach you suggested (running the databases on a central server), each computer that’s accessing the databases will need to have at least DT Pro 2.x installed (DT Pro Office 2.x is necessary for the computer performing scan/OCR). So three licenses, one for DT Pro Office, 2 for DT Pro (although if email archiving is important, all three should have DT Pro Office).
And here’s the problem: If two people try to access a database simultaneously from different computers, the database will likely be damaged. That’s risky. Unless you can develop a procedure that guarantees that only one person at a time can have access to a certain database (such as passing around a flag or other object that designates the user permitted to access a certain database), you will have lots of headaches. (All three computers should have Preferences > General - Startup set for ‘Open New Window’ AND no database should be designated as default in ‘File > Database Properties’ AND the user must select in ‘File > Open Database’ ONLY the permitted database(s) AND each user must properly close the database before its flag is passed to another user.) Frequent backups would be advisable, in case someone makes a mistake.
Note that during intervals in which a person doesn’t hold a flag permitting access to one of the databases, the Global Inbox would still be available and could be used as a repository for new content to be added to a database when permission is obtained to open and use it.
Sounds like a potential management nightmare (personnel fighting for possession of a flag), but that’s the best approach I can come up with to adapt single-user databases into a quasi-multiuser environment.
I am kinda of new to Mac, by flag you mean a file is marked as non shareable and can only be opened/accessed by one Mac at a time? Or maybe, i think on PC’s you have the option where the file can only be opened as read only, if another machine has already opening for R/W, ie you cant update the database only look at it, would that work?
No, I meant an actual physical object, such as a flag, that means that the holder of that object has permission to access a specific database (and doesn’t have permission if someone else is holding that object).
I’ll confess that I wrote that with tongue in cheek (a bit of a joke), especially about the management problems that could result if personnel start fighting over possession of a flag.
But with a single-user database available on a central server, some such procedure would have to be in place (and strictly followed) to prevent database problems resulting from simultaneous access attempts by two or more users.