iData Pro provides two methods for
synchronizing datafiles on the Mac with datafiles on the iPhone,
iPod Touch, and iPad. (To keep things simple, we will just refer
to the iPhone below.)
If you need to synchronize when the iPhone is outside the range of
the WiFi network, you can subscribe to Dropbox
, which is a commercial
file storage service. iData Pro can synchronize to datafiles
stored in an iData folder in the Dropbox Apps folder. This option
is particularly useful when one individual is using iData Pro on
the Mac, while another is using iData Mobile Plus on the iPhone,
because it requires that actions be taken on both platforms.
: The old iData Mobile
app has been discontinued. It is recommended that users of iData
Mobile switch to iData Mobile Plus (which is free). To learn how
to convert existing .idm
datafiles to .id3
Things to Avoid When Beginning to
Use Dropbox with iData Pro
|There are a couple of factors that
need to be addressed for new users of Dropbox.
1. Dropbox places a Dropbox folder in the
Users folder of the Mac. After the first time
iData Pro is used to save a new sync file to
Dropbox, a iData folder will be added to
the Apps folder in the Dropbox
This Dropbox > Apps >
iData folder is a local representation of
files that are stored on a Dropbox server. So, if
you open a datafile that is in the Dropbox
> Apps > iData folder and attempt to
sync it through Dropbox, you are essentially
synchronizing it to itself.
In addition, because the
Dropbox sync process involves iData Mobile Plus
writing its copy of the datafile to Dropbox, there
is a danger that the iData Mobile Plus copy will
simply replace the iData Pro copy, or vice versa,
resulting in the loss of the changes that were
made to one datafile or the other.
2. The iData Pro synchronization process relies,
in part, on the addition of a Sync ID to a
datafile the first time it is written to Dropbox.
If you move a datafile directly to the Dropbox
> Apps > iData folder, this step will
be skipped, and the Synchronize Datafiles...
menu item will never become available. So:
a. Do not set the Dropbox
> Apps > iData folder as your regular
Datafiles folder. Instead, use something like Documents
> iData > iData Pro Datafiles.
b. Do not drag datafiles to the
Dropbox > Apps > iData folder.
c. When you create a new
datafile in iData Pro, do not save it to the Dropbox
> Apps > iData folder. Save it to your
regular Datafiles folder.
Creating a New Sync File on Dropbox
A datafile that was created on
the Mac must first be moved to the iPhone using the Save
As New Sync File function.
1. Open the datafile to be synced in iData Pro. If this
is a datafile that does not already contain a Sync ID, iData Pro
will assume that you want to create a sync file to match it.
Memory is extremely limited on the iPhone. We strongly recommend
that you do not try to use datafiles any larger than 5 MB in
size. If you start to create a sync file that is larger that 5
MB, you will see a warning notice, and will have a chance to
cancel the process. Then you can try to reduce the size of the
datafile. iData Pro provides a function to split a datafile into
two smaller datafiles, but if you are creating datafiles from
scratch, you are probably better off just being careful not to
exceed this file size.
Create A New Sync File... from the File menu, read the text in the
dialog sheet that comes up, and click the OK button.
Next you will be asked how you want to create the sync file.
When the following dialog appears, click the Sync Through Dropbox
button. When the
following dialog appears, you can enable the Always use this synchronization
method checkbox to avoid this dialog in the future.
(This option can be changed at any time in the Special tab of the iData Pro Preferences dialog.)
4. At this point, a "Synchronizing" progress sheet
will open at the top of the datafile window. When the sheet closes, your
datafile will appear in the iData folder within the Apps
folder in Dropbox.
NOTE: The first time you
do this, the Dropbox sign-in page will open in your Internet
browser, and you will be asked to sign in to Dropbox. Then the
following dialog will come up:
Click the Allow
button and the following dialog
will come up:
Click the Allow
button in this dialog and iData Pro will
come back to the front.
Synchronizing a Pair of Sync Files via Dropbox
When synchronizing a datafile
stored on Dropbox, iData Pro and iData Mobile Plus perform
different roles. If it is to be successful, careful coordination
between the Mac user and the iPhone user is required.
The workflow is as follows:
1. The iData Mobile Plus user must save the
datafile to Dropbox.
2. The iData Pro user then synchronizes the
Mac version of the datafile to the one on Dropbox.
3. Finally, the iData Mobile Plus user
downloads the synchronized version of the datafile from Dropbox.
Here are the steps involved.
1. If the iData Mobile Plus version of the
datafile has been changed since the last sync, save it to
Dropbox. See the iData Mobile Plus User Guide for instructions.
Open the Mac version of the
datafile in iData Pro.
If the current (frontmost) datafile does not have a
Sync ID, then both the Synchronize
items under the File
menu will be disabled.
Synchronize Datafiles... from the File menu. When the following dialog
appears, click the Sync
Through Dropbox button.
4. At this point, a "Downloading" progress
sheet will open at the top of the datafile window. The message
will briefly change to "Synchronizing". If there are no cases of
the same record having been modified in both datafiles, the
message will then change to "Uploading". When the sheet closes, the datafile
on the Mac and the one in Dropbox will be identical.
article on Manual Synchronization
to learn how iData Pro allows you to resolve those cases where
changes have been made to the same record in both datafiles.
5. Once the
synchronization process has been completed, the iData Mobile
Plus user must read the modified datafile from Dropbox. See the
iData Mobile Plus User Guide for instructions.