Switching sync from Dropbox to iCloud

Setting up a new sync without removing the old one is a great idea. I often clip to DTTG while away from home, so not sure Bonjour will work for me?

I’m not sure, but I’d love to know your answer. I’m a fieldworker and I often clip important materials to DTTG while away from home/my MacBook. They don’t need to get in my database immediately, but they do need to get there at some point. Would Bonjour be a better option for me?

The basic questions here is does the file need to reach another device before I get home? Of course there are cases when that is in fact the case - but there are a number of use cases where it isn’t necessary. Bonjour will sync your device almost immediately if DT is open on your primary device (e.g. Mac) and you open DT whilst in the logged into the same network.

I do both Bonjour and Dropbox for the same reasons you say. When I’m in the local network, it just works. And fast due to Bonjour. When I’m away from the local network and rely on WiFi or phone data connection … yep, it just works. Due to Dropbox (and no Bonjour, of course). Why chose? No reason I know of. Use both. Don’t over-think it.

It doesn’t. This is great to know. It sounds like I have been unnecessarily complicating things with Dropbox. To transition to Bonjour, is it as simple as making that my preferred sync in DTTG and DT3 and then cleaning/removing the Dropbox sync?

is it as simple as making that my preferred sync in DTTG and DT3 and then cleaning/removing the Dropbox sync?

Mostly, yes.

Bonjour can be used to Sync between devices, IF:

  1. The devices are on the same network
  2. The network is private or one that allows Bonjour connections or non-standard ports. (Public and corporate WiFi sometimes disallow these.)
  3. Your firewall or an application like Little Snitch is Off or has exceptions added for DEVONthink’s traffic.
  4. Both devices are On and running DEVONthink / DEVONthink To Go 2 (and DEVOnthink To Go must be active, regardless of the Sync method).

Note: In situations where Bonjour traffic may be disallowed, you can connect an iOS device to your Mac via a standard Lightning cable to create an ad-hoc network for Bonjour syncing.

Here are the basic steps for a Bonjour setup (also covered in Help > Documentation > In & Out > Sync)

On the server Mac…

In DEVONthink on the Mac acting as the server…

  1. Preferences > Sync > Bonjour Options
    • Check Enable Incoming Connections.
    • Leave the Port blank unless you have a known port to assign.
    • Enter a mandatory Password. You will use this when connecting on the other devices.
  2. Leave DEVONthink running.

On a client Mac…

In DEVONthink on the Mac acting as the client…

  1. In Preferences > Sync you should see the server Mac available.
  2. Check the checkbox to enable the connection and enter the Bonjour password you specified on the server Mac.
  3. Databases that are open on both Mac will be shown in the Local section. Enable ones you want to merge and sync.
    Databases that aren’t open or are importable are shown in the Remote section. Double-click databases to import them, saving them to the ~/Databases folder in your Home directory.

On mobile…

In DEVONthink To Go…

  1. Go into Settings > Sync: Locations
  2. You should see a sync location for the Mac. Click the green plus button next to it.
  3. Set the options per your choice and touch Save.
  4. Enter the password you entered on the Mac.
  5. When it has connected, touch the sync location to show the databases list and flip the switch next to databases you want to import.
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Wonderful, thanks as always @BLUEFROG. I followed your instructions and the global inbox is up and running again. As @rmschne suggested, I’ll go ahead and keep the Dropbox sync for an additional channel/backup as there doesn’t seem to be any disadvantages to that. Thanks again all!!

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You’re welcome.
Have a good weekend.

iCloud has been very broken for me. Not just for devonthink sync but for pretty much anything. Sync taking forever, sometimes it just doesn’t work. So I’d say give it a shot. It might work or it might not… Dropbox has actually worked a lot better for me than iCloud but I was getting very slow syncs sometimes.

I switched from Dropbox to CloudMe a few weeks ago and things have been running incredibly smooth and fast ever since. Based on those two weeks I can definitely recommend that as the best cloud sync option for devonthink.

In fact CloudMe works a lot better than Bonjour in my experience. With Bonjour I often get “database busy” errors and also a bunch of errors when I’m on a different network to my other devices. I’m always connected to the internet though, so a cloud solution clearly > * IMO.

I’m curious. Why are you bothered by “database busy” notices? My understanding is that the syncing checks if the database is busy doing other things which interferes with a synch, so it’s quite normal? Or do you think that’s an error and a problem? Just curious.

This would prevent multiple users from editing the database in collaboration - something I do regularly.

But if DEVONthink is protecting itself from such a thing (simultaneous edits), why is this a problem?

I don’t mind that the database is busy, I understand that’s natural, which is exactly why it’s so annoying being presented with an error message evertime it happens. :slight_smile:

The triangle indicates an error (in this case a “Database busy.” error which appeared as soon as I turned on Bonjour sync to my local laptop). It blocks out the normal “dot” showing if changed are queued to be synced, and in order to clear the triangle I have to click the sync button and press another “Clear” button, only for the triangle to pop up again soon. This just feel like unnecessary work for removing an unnecessary “error” that blocks (even if just slightly) my normal workflow in the app.

So I prefer whatever sync option that’s reasonably quick, reliable and does not throw errors as soon as I turn it on. In this case CloudMe is the only sync option I’ve found that ticks all those boxes. But I realize this is totally a personal experience and preference. :slight_smile:

Edit: Just want to note that even if I called the message an error in the text above, which it might not technically be (I actually can’t tell what the purpose of the message is), the argument is the same whether you call it a message, notification, or something else.

So basically, you are disappointed it doesn’t work as you expect it to work for something (multi-user access) it wasn’t ever designed to be. Am I missing anything?

You must be as I’m not using this with multiple users. The database can be busy for various reasons, including syncing to a separate client or cloud provider.

My point is that if you only have one user at a time then Bonjour sync is fine.

If you do have multiple simultaneous users, then some other solution is needed such as a cloud sync store.

that seems reasonable. so it is not that “database busy” is a problem which some people (not me) think is a problem. Is it just that Bonjour does not help the use case of many users (people) and /or devices hitting the machine that has “accept incoming” frequently and simultaneously for a “long-running” sync?

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Hi all.

Maybe a sidestep from the original question but nevertheless maybe interesting for ya all: I use pCloud webDAV connection to sync a ca. 25GB database with photos. Is works very fast. I recently switched from their USA servers to their servers in Europe, and syncing is now even faster. Up to now had no single issue or error.

Their pricing is very resonable. For what it is worth to you all: https://www.pcloud.com/eu for more info.

Regards, Peter.

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The lifetime plan is going cheap today, too - is pCloud webdav compatible with pCloud Encryption? I can’t find any details on webdav use on their site.

To be honest: I don’t know. What I know is that a sync is first put in local Disk Cache, and then synced. So I presume pCloud Encryption is working there too.

Also of interest is that pCloud supports LAN-sync, which means your sync is almost immediatly visible in DEVONthink in the second local Mac (I use iMac and MacBook Pro both localy). Kind of win-win :-).

However: to be sure about your question, I recommend to contact their support. They nomally answer quickly.

Regards, Peter.