Using Dropbox with 'Don't sync' selected on both pcs

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12 Jan, 2018 12:09 PM

Follow up to previous unanswered post...
Would the above be possible? No .txn files produced and no Dropbox Sync folder created. Just have to make sure only one user was accessing the data at any point in time and that dropbox had updated before other user accessed the data.

  1. 1 Posted by dwg on 12 Jan, 2018 08:38 PM

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    Your basic hypothesis is incorrect.

    Irrespective if Syncing is turned off or on TXN files are created. The basic way that Moneydance has structured its file usage is the same whether syncing is enabled or disabled, the way being used just facilitates the syncing process, you do not change the underlying methodology, you design it to handle either situation and by designing it to handle syncing it does not matter if syncing is not used.

    The primary problem is you have Moneydance reading and writing its data files in ways that suits its operation and with the expectation that it is the only software reading and writing these files and to this location. When you place your data into Dropbox however the dropbox client is also reading and writing to the files in this location, so you have created potential conflicts irrespective if another user is accessing the data or not.

    Previous versions of Moneydance did not have to allow for the possibility of syncing so were able to read/write files in a different way, thus had a lower potential for any conflict - although there would always have been some risk, and it has been acknowledge that here have been some problems in the past although rare.

  2. 2 Posted by tonyt on 13 Jan, 2018 10:18 AM

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    Many thanks, clear now! So is there ANY way of using a shared folder, be it iCloud, local network,...
    Or is it that because of the way MD has gone with ite sync method that the only way is as described?

  3. 3 Posted by dwg on 13 Jan, 2018 11:11 AM

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    Short answer is no.

    You can see the problems that solutions like dropbox can cause, but even your basic file shares can present problems in other areas. Moneydance does a lot of reads and writes and often small ones at that, think of things like the small txn files and how Moneydance saves data very frequently. This type of activity is not network friendly and it manifests itself in the form of slow performance, some no doubt would classify it as bad performance.

    The solution design that Sean has come up with it really quite good, it is not a particularly complex system design yet it implements a multi-directional syncing mechanism, something you don't see very often, most business solutions are uni-directional. I'm sure further incremental improvements will be made as we move through new versions but I think the basic approach is pretty sound.

  4. 4 Posted by tonyt on 13 Jan, 2018 11:57 AM

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    Many thanks for clearing that up for me. Do you happen to know if all the .txn files are ever pruned, or does the file size just keep increasing?

  5. 5 Posted by dwg on 13 Jan, 2018 09:14 PM

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    My test systems do not stay constant enough for me to tell with any certainty. I have noticed that the trunk file seems to be getting more frequently updated than in older builds of Moneydance, that I think is a good thing. I suspect that either no pruning is occurring or if it is it is only of really old files.

    A problem the developers will face in this are is with rarely used devices, with no pruning they could always update with pruning they could not and this would require some action, With business type solutions when a device falls too far behind it initiates a full recopy, I do not see Moneydance currently having the ability to do this and this is a problem as I think the device would just show a hole in the data, something that would no doubt panic many.

  6. System closed this discussion on 14 Apr, 2018 09:20 PM.

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