Can I keep MoneyDance data file in Apple iCloud if intend to sync?

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10 Nov, 2018 11:58 PM

I want to be able to sync my MacBook with my iMac and possibly my iPhone.

Can I keep the .moneydance data file in my document folder in the iCloud OR do I need to specifically keep it on the local hard drive of my primary computer?

I understand that you can't keep the file in DropBox any longer but wondering if iCloud was OK. I want to make sure I have it in the correct location before I set up the sync options.

Also, which option is best for syncing across multiple Mac devices? Dropbox connection or Dropbox Folder or Shared Folder?

Many Thanks, Diane

  1. 1 Posted by dwg on 11 Nov, 2018 02:57 AM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    Do not put the data files on iCloud.

    Each machine maintains a local copy of the data set with new transactions and changes being passed between the machines so that each machine updates its own local copy.

    If you ever intend using a mobile device, like an iPhone you will need to use Dropbox in one of its supported forms, this is because the mobile device is using the Dropbox API.

    The full systems (desktops/laptops) are more flexible but if you consider that you would or may like to use Moneydance while you are offline on the device then Dropbox Folder is the choice to make.

    Shared folder is for LAN usage and some specific non-standard dropbox configurations, it is probably the least used option.

  2. 2 Posted by derekkent23 on 11 Nov, 2018 08:40 AM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.

    Just to add you should use Dropbox for manual FILE EXPORT BACKUP and automatic backup, auto backup set under FILE - PREFERENCES - BACKUPS in case your hard drive fails.

    Hope this helps.

  3. 3 Posted by newss on 13 Nov, 2018 04:32 AM

    newss's Avatar

    Thanks so much for your help, dwg. Your explanation helped. I used dropbox folder as the sync option. I haven't set up my iPhone yet but it is up and running and syncing on my MacBook.

     derekkent23, I have a hard drive and cloud back up service and time capsule back up so I'm pretty covered for backups. :-) Thanks, anyway.

  4. 4 Posted by derekkent23 on 13 Nov, 2018 09:09 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.
    Hi newss

    Make absolutely sure your data set is being backup. I have read of a number of Mac user who have found that when disaster has struck that time capsule has not backup up their data set. This also applies to some cloud backup services. First check your data set is really being backup. Also check to see it can be restored and how old the data is.
    If you are syncing there is an even more important factor to take into account. Moneydance backups not only backup your data set but also turn off syncing. This is important if the reason you want to use a backup to overcome a corruption created during syncing. Using a backup that has not had syncing turned off during its creation will simply sync when opened and corrupt your data set.
    This is how Moneydance backup works. It has a lot of advantages over just backing up your data set.
    Moneydance has two methods for making a backup.
    The default backup location can be found under HELP – SHOW ARCHIVE FOLDER. This location is on your hard drive. In both cases you can select the backup location and as such it is good practice to set the location on a cloud server such as Dropbox, in case your hard drive fails.
    Manual backup. A manual backup can be made under FILE – BACKUP EXPORT. The file naming convention is yourdatasetname-yyyymmdd-tttt.moneydancearchive
    Automatic backup is set under FILE – PREFERENCES – BACKUPS. Auto backup makes a backup every time you close Moneydance. Moneydance only keep the last auto backup of the day, overwriting any previous auto backups for that day. You can set the number of backups to be kept. When this number is exceeded the oldest backup is deleted. The file naming convention is yourdatasetname.yyyy-mm-dd.moneydancearchive
    When a backup is made, if you were syncing, the syncing method is set to don’t sync. Your password is not reset, you still need it to do a restore from backup. A moneydancearchive file is a compressed data set.
    The contents of a backup file is AES256 encrypted and provided you have set a password under FILE – PASSWORDS can only be opened by Moneydance by entering your password after using FILE – RESTORE FROM BACKUP.
    When you FILE – RESTORE FROM BACKUP you do not overwrite your existing data set, a new data set is created with the naming convention – from manual backup yourdatasetname-yyyymmdd-tttt.moneydance the date time code taken from the backup file - from auto backup yourdatasetname (plus at number) e.g. yourdatasetname 2.moneydance The default data set location can be found under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER. You can rename a restored data set with Moneydance closed as you would any other folder provided you retain “.moneydance” extension. A data set is a folder not a file containing other folders and files. When you open Moneydance it will open in the “Welcome to Moneydance” window with the data set name listed on the right.

    Hope this helps.

  5. 5 Posted by sprimost on 13 Nov, 2018 03:50 PM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.

    I would definitely recommend File-> Export Backup as the most reliable
    method for backing up your data. There have been occasions (not many,
    but you only need one!) where the dataset for MD gets corrupted or
    moving to a new version "finds" some error. I do this on a daily basis,
    so that I only lose a day's work. It is also helpful when I move to one
    of my backup computers (like taking a trip).


  6. 6 Posted by dwg on 13 Nov, 2018 08:00 PM

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    In practical terms there are two levels of backup.

    The first is at the system level, generally using some software and it backs up to some external location. This is a good backup for general failures e.g. hard disk failure, specifically for moneydance it may not always be good choice for recovering from corruption type problems - due the the way Moneydance replicates data.

    The moneydance backups strip out a lot of the replication information thus making it into a standalone system when restored, this is good for dealing with corruption type problems. The Moneydance backup needs to be able to be used to recover form any type of problem so the restore is to the most basic level.

    The best type of approach in my view is to use the automatic backup when exiting option in moneydance to produce a "moneydance" backup, Then using the system level backup to backup both these files and the moneydance data tree. This should put your data externally to your system and allow for recover from any type of problem. You have the data to recover from hardware failures, software problems or simply someone deleting a file they should not have. All basis are covered.

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