Unless I'm missing something, that doc says "File --> New, Open Synced File" is the only requirement to start using data on a new computer. I agree that document doesn't explicitly say you'll get ALL of your data but if true I personally would consider it to be a broken feature and broken documentation. That being said if I was 100% sure I wouldn't have posted this question. Any official answer IK?
Jenny on 18 Jul, 2017 01:13 PM
We're in the process of updating our entire knowledge base and structure - we hope this will be available either this week or next. The new articles will ensure the syncing information is much clearer, and the steps are outlined fully.
The .moneydancesync folder within Dropbox is used just for syncing your data between computers and devices, rather than operating as a backup or copy of your data set. While the sync file does contain your data, these sync files/folder are used for pushing the changes between the systems - rather than for retaining your financial information. Data cannot be retrieved from the sync files/folders to recreate your data set if your data was lost.
As Des has explained, you can setup automatic backups within Preferences --> Backups. You can choose for these .moneydancearchive backup files to be stored in the Dropbox location, without causing any issues.
Should you need to restore from these files, you can select File --> Restore from Backup - a new .moneydance data set will be created using the backup information.
I'll wait to see the new docs. I understand the distinction between a file and a log of mutations but I'll be curious to see how the hair is split of "you can set up a new computer based on only a sync" vs. "data cannot be retrieved from the sync files/folder to recreate your data set if your data was lost". It seems like there is a conflict there.
Jenny on 18 Jul, 2017 02:22 PM
Sorry for the confusion. I've not explained very clearly in my last reply. I've tested this and clarified with the team so I'll explain again below -
Provided syncing was setup previously, you would be able to recover the majority of your data using File --> New --> Open Synced File. Provided you can remember the sync encryption passphrase the file could be accessed again.
Any online passwords, and preferences would not be restored, but the majority of your other data could be recovered.
Should you wish to rely on the .moneydancesync folder as a backup, you should ensure this folder itself is backed up.
For example, if there was a problem with your data - any issues with the transactions would be pushed to the sync files. Restoring from the sync files would continue to show the incorrect transactions and information.
If you had a copy of the sync data from a few days prior, you could revert to these sync files and attempt to restore the correct information.
For this reason, I'd suggest that the sync folder could be used as a backup file to restore your data if necessary, if the file was lost, computer stopped working etc.
I wouldn't rely on these files to revert changes you've made in your current data set, and would instead advise creating and using the .moneydancearchive files for this.
Assuming I now understand how things work this means:
1.) a new computer that creates a new file from sync data will have all of the data but everything else about MD will be "factory default"
2.) changing a MD setting on any one of a pool of shared computers won't be reflected on any of the others
If true, my suggestion is to make this behavior painfully obvious as otherwise people will think it's a bug. Hopefully there is a future mechanism to add settings to the data sync?
I'm not sure replicating settings would be such a great idea.
Imagine a husband and wife scenario, each has their own computer, of course they share their data, but they also would set up their computers to suit themselves they may each have different reports, set their own preferences syncing and overwriting one or both's setups would not lead to marital bliss :)
For a single users with multiple machines it would be fine but in a family situation it would not.
Jenny on 19 Jul, 2017 11:46 AM
Thats exactly right - Thanks Des! The husband and wife scenario is a great example.
Although the preferences won't be synced, once you've set them on the other system they'll be retained.
I'll ensure we include this in the knowledge base article so that it's clear going forward.
Ok. I'm sure you've done the market research to support favoring the use case you described at the cost of behaving like a standard "cloud based" app (which I would have preferred, but can try work around).