Sync (to become a killer app)

I think DT is amazing.
AI is something unbelievable.

Ok, learning curve is very high, but the power is uncontrollable… :slight_smile:

DT just miss one thing to become a killer app, a real killer app:

  • an easy sync, as Apple teaches. Easy as it should be.

The same easy sync that an app, as Evernote, has.

Abrazo from Italy,

Please make a sync in DT!

We’re already working on synchronization via LAN/WLAN, MobileMe/WebDAV or Dropbox. Stay tuned :slight_smile:

here we are! :slight_smile:

Another vote for Dropbox or similar sync… this is the biggest (and for me, only) hole in DT atm to my mind.


Another vote for Dropbox or similar sync… this is the biggest (and for me, only) hole in DT atm to my mind.
Dropbox doesn’t use a true sync procedure.

Dropbox doesn’t use a true sync procedure.<<

True, but it does manage the basic tasks of shuttling files to and fro between multiple computers pretty well, though i’d never trust it with “live” files.

With all the stuff happening in EN and iCloud, sync is now a must-have however. I love DT except that it’s lock on one computer is crippling my workflows compared to (say) EN (which is, apart from sync, inferior to DT in every way).


I agree.

A sw in 2011 cannot be without real sync.
It’s something necessary.

A real sync would be great. But what about encryption when using a service like Dropbox?

Right now I have my database in a TrueCrypt volume, because I store sensitive data. It’s not ideal with Dropbox, but it works. Will there be an option to actually encrypt the whole database AND sync it with the new-and-awesome sync function? Otherwise it’s not very useful for users with security concerns.

I assume a lot of the DT users are geeky enough to encrypt their stuff before sending it to remote servers :wink:

We’re planning encryption support, but as I’m sure you can appreciate, the problem isn’t so much that it’s hard to do encryption right as that it’s easy to do it wrong. I don’t want to leave anyone’s data open to side-channel attacks, and I don’t want to leave a hole open like Dropbox themselves did, so making sure I haven’t broken this is kind of important.

Just as a quick example, modern cryptography is theoretically pretty solid even if you know the rough format of the data and/or have some cribs to go from. Even so, if an attacker sees an encrypted “.xml” file, they know a lot more about the data’s formatting than I, as a paranoid sort myself, want them to know.

For this and related reasons, and just due to the sheer workload, we are not currently planning on having encryption support in the first version, and I’d recommend that you use Truecrypt or an encrypted .dmg file (made with Disk Utility) in the meantime. However, it is something that we intend to support eventually, in one form or another.

Thanks for your interest!

I agree with the synch comments, but then I have done many times before!

However, it seems to me that icloud is a must for DT not least because we are all going to have access to it for free!

I suspect that there is a very substantial number of DEVONthink users that will not be able to use iCloud or Dropbox for free due to database size. As Apple has not yet announced what additional storage will cost, the feasibility of iCloud with DEVONthink is something of an unknown for now.

5GB is pitifully small.

The ability of iCloud to protect against file corruption when syncing complex packages like DevonThink databases is completely unknown. Since such packages are known to cause problems for services like DropBox, I’m skeptical.


The new Sync procedure planned for DEVONthink later this year is intended to provide a number of options for syncing databases among multiple computers, including MobileMe and Dropbox, as well as local wired or wireless networks.

I don’t use Dropbox myself. One must carefully follow precautions to avoid database damage, and for many (including me) the free size limit is much too small. Currently I simply transfer databases from one computer to the other, or – if I’m going to move frequently among different Macs – I run my self-contained databases on a portable drive that can be mounted on the computer that I’m using at the moment.

Many Dropbox users are very concerned about security issues, as it has turned out that the advertised security features were not necessarily comforting in their implementation. Worse, a password protection failure resulted (very recently) in the potential that people logged in could have access to other people’s files.

Apple’s MobileMe is being phased out and iCloud will be fully implemented later this year. Apple has not yet made public all the details about iCloud and how it will be available to users, for example for DEVONthink databases - if at all, or if so, what the limits of storage space would be and whether additional space would be available for a fee.

Regardless, there will be cloud hosts that can support database syncing.

And perhaps another alternative as well. For example, at least two companies have introduced storage hardware that can upload/download files via it’s own local WiFi. The obvious target is iOS devices, as this allows extension of storage space using drives that can hold 500GB or more of data files. As these storage devices are small enough to be carried around (although not currently battery-powered) they constitute a kind of local ‘cloud’ that remains totally under the control of the user.

Wireless synch is really the thing that I am looking for but the cloud stuff is interesting. As for size, we are back to the old question of one database v. Smaller databases for particular projects (which I tend to use).

Concerning the DropBox, do we have to understand that it is a “DropBox only sync”, or that it is a “sync based on a system that keep synchronised folders, such as Dropbox, SugarSync, SpiderOak,, …” ?

The second solution would be interesting because it could let us use other sync providers (such as SpiderOak for instance, which provides real encryption and “zero knowledge” concerning the data uploaded) that better fit with privacy needs of some users of DT.

I too regard a sync feature essential for DevonThinks future.
Evernote could become a major challenge. It is multiplatform too!

But i do prefer a sync between different computers p2p as first step.


I strongly second this I think once p2p sync is stable getting that to work on " the clownd " < (on purpose) would be next then or w/crpyt

The former. I’m programming against DropBox’s API.

Others may be doable (indirectly) by syncing with a folder inside the other services’ syncing folder, but I would be very, very careful about making sure all the data had been copied by the service before syncing DEVONthink with it on the other side. Since it’s basically syncing DEVONthink’s data without DEVONthink having any control over that, caution is advised, as are backups—as always!