shared vs private serving

Hello, I’m a long time user of DTPO, and have always used it for all my private docs. Have tried out the web server and synchronisation a year or so ago, but just to see what it is.

I’d like to set up a shared database and for public viewing and searching via the web, but modifiable only by a few people. It looks like this will work:

  • DTPO running on always-on server, with IP port redirected / exposed via nginx
  • frequent sync to my Mac, with changes going both ways
  • DT To Go on two iPad’s in internal LAN, with full read-write access

As I understand it, this means that a few people here can fill and edit the database, and that outside web access is wide open, but also safely read-only.

My questions: Is the above indeed providing the expected authorisation and security? What options would I have to give someone outside the LAN write access: would it have to be via a VPN or are there more options - now or planned?

That’s correct if the web server is enabled and sharing & read-only options of the desired database are enabled (see File > Database Properties). Sharing of all other databases should be disabled (the default setting).

One possibility would be to disable the read-only option and to enable the password protection (see Preferences > Server). Another possibility would be to enable sharing for a different database but without enabling the read-only option. Password protection would be useful in that case too.

Aha, nice tip - a second copy with password-protected access. It’ll show up in the web interface though, and might cause confusion. I suppose proper naming could address that.

One more Q, if I may: are 3-way syncs robust? Then that extra database would be maintenance-free.

Or perhaps a more manual option: an email- or web-based submission mechanism outside DT, with the current editors applying changes. But then a parallel forum with attachments would also work - and again require more effort from the editors.

Another approach, for people with a Mac and a copy of DT, might be to set up some kind of secure sync, or perhaps use Dropbox.

There’s probably overlap with a full-blown CMS (which I do not want to set up or manage), but DT’s search and browsing facilities seem more suited in this case, i.e. a site to mostly publish information from 2…3 people to many, supporting additions and corrections from others.

Thank you for your quick reply.

What kind of syncs do you have in mind, e.g. 3 different computers using Dropbox syncs?

Well, the setup you suggest, for one: two DT databases on the server and one on my laptop. But I suspect that the two server copies can’t be synced automatically, because they are not 100% identical: one has read-only sharing on, the other must have a password.

But it’s a more general issue (and no doubt a fiendishly hard problem to solve well): to what extent can people edit a local copy without having to worry much about sync conflicts, or worse: undetected loss or damage.

If the answer is: use the web interface, then more fine-grained permissions would help a lot.

The sharing permissions don’t matter but it’s only possible to synchronize the same database on different computers, it’s not possible to synchronize multiple databases on one computer.


I came across this thread and it describes EXACTLY the scenario I want to create. Currently I have lots of documents encrypted on OneDrive that I would really like to move off onto a Mac mini running DTPO, which I would sync with my laptop running DTPO as well, and then allow my partner who’s outside the network to have read-only access to these files in the unlikely event that he needs to see them.

Could someone please provide me with the steps I need to follow to create a setup like this?

Many thanks,

  1. Start the server via Preferences > Server and/or enable the option to start the server automatically on launch.
  2. Enable sharing of databases via File > Database Properties and also enable the read-only option.
  3. Add a direct connection to Preferences > Sync and enable synchronization for the shared databases