Please critique my plan for DEVONthink server for home office usage

To give some context:

  • I am in a mixed Mac and Windows home. My stationary and primary computer runs Windows. I also own a 2016 MacBook 12” and a 2012 MacBook Air 13”. The MacBook is my primary portable for on-site work, and my MacBook Air is gathering dust.
  • I own a license for DEVONthink Pro Office 2 (the preceding version before 3).

Looking at the feature list again, I am reminded that Pro Office has a web server feature. As a result, I am thinking about repurposing my MacBook Air by turning it into a 24/7 DT server.

I want to easily add website scrapes, downloaded documents and other files to my DT databases from any compatible device in my home, all without having to directly interface with my MacBook. I do not have a lot of physical space in my home; I cannot feasibly have two laptops open at the same time, hence the server idea. Also, access from outside my home is not needed, so port forwarding or other relevant issues are not a concern.

I am also fully aware that the DT server is NOT the same as using the application directly on the Mac. The idea here is to keep the MacBook running in clamshell mode, and when I need to take advantage of DT’s features, either remotely access it, or physically use my Mac, and then put it away again.

As for backing up my databases, I am considering an automated weekly ONE-WAY copy of my DT databases to a) my iCloud folder and b) my NAS. I would be using FreeFileSync and following these directions.. The NAS is currently connected to a BackBlaze backup account for offsite backups.

Is this feasible? Do I have my steps down right? Please critique.

Here are a few thoughts without going into details.

  • You’ll be using an out-of-date version of DEVONthink.
  • iCloud synced folder not a backup … any flaw on Mac or Apple’s server get’s synced and poof, your backup gone
  • Have you tried it? If not, give it a shot. Might find other gotcha’s with your setup not anticipated here.

Edit: consider using TimeMachine to backup to the NAS?

Edit: why use DEVONthink at all? As you are Windows-based, just use the Windows tools (Explorer, Edge, screen shots, … or other useful doc mgmt app) and save into the NAS file server? Not clear to me you are benefiting from DEVONthink but for the capabilities of out-of-date server software.

  1. While you theoretically could continue using it, DEVONthink 2.x has been out of development for almost 4 years now.
  2. You should never put a DEVONthink database in any cloud-synced folder or you could irreparably damage it.
  3. You need to determine if the backup application is package-aware. Why not using something actually Mac based?

As the software works right now, I don’t feel the need to update to version 3. The features of version 2 are still working for my uses.

Regarding cloud, this is why I explicitly mentioned the one-way copying. The databases stay in the default locations. Those are the primary versions.

I am aware that in order to use DEVONthink, my primary computer should be a Mac. This is a work in progress right now. There are other solutions I need to find a Mac version for before I migrate again to a Mac.

Once again, I am aware this isn’t an ideal solution. But judging by the responses so far, I’m guessing it’s going to work.

The one-way copying will not benefit you when you later find out those databases are corrupted.