To Go using iCloud

Any experiences with using iCloud.

Apart from the searching showing don’t use any Cloud to store DB’s. Looking for current status of this use of iCloud… especially as the potential future moves to less need for laptops/desktops.

Hi Cletus,
(A familiar face from another community!)
Storing Databases
Indeed you are correct, the DT folks advise against (and the DEVONthink application attempts to prevent) users from storing databases directly in synchronized folders (e.g., iCloud Drive, Documents (if iCloud is set up to sync Documents/Desktop), Dropbox, etc).

The correct way to synchronize your DEVONthink content is to store the databases somewhere in Finder other than those synchronized folders and use DEVONthink’s sync system in their their application.

iCloud and DTTG
While you can use iCloud to synchronize DEVONthink database content between Macs, if you want access from DEVONthink To Go, you cannot use iCloud. This is a limitation on the iOS APIs for iCloud Drive that prevents DEVONthink To GO the kind of access it needs.

If you want to synchronize your content between MacOS and iOS in DEVONthink, you’ll need to use Dropbox, Bonjour, or roll your own WebDAV. You CANNOT use iCloud Drive.

I suspect that if/when the iCLoud Drive APIs are suitable for DEVONthink’s needs, then this capability will be brought over to iOS, but for now you’ll need to use one of the other options.

And once again, to reiterate, please, please, please do not save the database files themselves in any synchronized locations. I keep my databases in a folder in my ~/ home directory.

Thank you Scott… appreciate the information!

take care.

Just an additional point - you can use iCloud drive for folders that you want to index in DT (as opposed to directly contained in the database.

Does “to go“ Index also From ICloud?

No. DTTG2 cannot index files outside its own sandbox, iCloud or otherwise.

That’s too bad. I have been moving documents out of DTPO into iCloud and indexing. At least with the Files app I can see them.

iOS ≠ macOS
Always keep that in mind.

I also use iCloud Drive to store a large quanatity of files that are indexed by DTPO. That works great, and if you use the “Upload Indexed files” setting in the Sync preferences for DTPO, the contents of those indexed files will be available from within DTTG.

So while DTTG cannot itself index, you can get DTPO on the desktop to sync indexed files. This is a bit confusing so hang onto your hats:

  1. As you know, indexing means that the DEVONthink database stores only the metadata and the reference to the file where it lays on disk, rather than moving it into a location within the database itself, which is what Importing does.
  2. DTTG cannot “index” per se since it cannot arbitrarily access files on iOS devices.
  3. However, when you set up your syncing on the DTPO, you can tell it to “Upload Index Files”. What this will do is add those indexed files to the “Sync store” (this is the package that DEVONthink uses to facilitate sync on whatever sync service you use), without actually importing the files into the database. The database and what is/is not indexed remains exactly the same. The only difference is that not the Sync engine will add the contents of indexed files to the sync store to make them available to any other devices that are sipping from that sync store.

So now on iOS, you can access any of those indexed files in DTTG, OR in iCloud Drive. Files in DTTG are available in iOS 10’s document provider (and via a slightly quirky fallback in iOS 11 where the Files app shows the iOS 10 document provider - it’s a bit buggy as to be expected).

In general you should probably be able to stop reading here.

—Beware, edge-case nitty gritty details below—
The only thing to be aware of is that, while you can access the file in DTTG (or in DTTG via the document provider) AND also access the file in iCloud Drive, you have to remember that this is not actually the same file. You should try and be disciplined about access that files either in DTTG or in iCloud Drive, and avoid rapidly switching between the two in quick succession. Why?
Because if you access it from:

DTTG>Group X>Group Y>file.pdf (either directly in DTTG or via the document provider)

And make a bunch of changes. Then you immediately access it at
iCloud Drive>My PDF Files>file.pdf (either directly in DTTG or via the document provider)

You will not see the changes you just made in DTTG when you open and modify the file in iCloud Drive and vice versa. This is because the changes made in DTTG need to sync to the Sync Store, then down DTPO on the desktop, before everything is aligned.

(An analogy: think about turning OFF Dropbox on your computer, editing myFancyDoc.docx in your Dropbox folder using Microsoft Word on your desktop, then going to [remember, Dropbox sync is currently off!] and making some changes to myFancyDoc.docx using Dropbox’s docx editing features right in the browser. The changes you make on your Desktop are not visible on and vice versa because you’re actually editing two different copies of the same file. If you were to find yourself in this situation for a problonged period of time, you need to pick editing either in the browser, or on the desktop, but you can’t switch Willy-nilly between the two without doing a full-blown sync in between!)

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