Syncing engine not working properly

Luca's Avatar

Luca

03 Jan, 2018 09:10 AM

I working with moneydance and multiple computers using a shared folder I set up. However at some point different computers (never opened moneydance at the same time) started to have a different view on different computers. When I do changes on one of the computers the changes do not get saved. Moreover when I use a new computer and use the synced folder from moneydance it does show even other account balances. When I close and reopen it (after waiting long time for syncing) moneydance run into error state where all account balances change constantly and do not show up. I bought moneydance and I think it is not acceptable for a accountant software to have such a inconsistent behaviour.

  1. 1 Posted by derekkent23 on 03 Jan, 2018 09:27 AM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.

    What version and build of Moneydance are you running. See under HELP – ABOUT MONEYDANCE. for example, I am running 2017.7(1659).
    What operating system are your computers running.
    If you are running 2017 what syncing method have you set on your primary computer under FILE – SYNCING – SYNCING METHOD.
    Can you confirm on your primary computer that your data set is located on your its hard drive.
    With this basic information it should be possible for support or others to construct a answer to your problem.

  2. 2 Posted by Luca on 03 Jan, 2018 09:43 AM

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    Thanks for the fast answer. Both computers run the newest moneydance version from the internet (2017.6). However, one computer is running on macOS whereas the other is running Windows 10 also the newest version from the internet. The syncing method 'shared folder' is used. Yes I can confirm the data is on the primary computer.
    I do not understand how moneydance can result in a inconsistent state, this is the worst scenario that can happen. Are there versions which can not be used together? In my opinion moneydance should prevent such behaviour.

  3. 3 Posted by Luca on 03 Jan, 2018 09:46 AM

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    Is it possible to restore the moneydance from a previous backup (I manually backed up the syncing files), so I could use a older version and sync with that?

  4. 4 Posted by derekkent23 on 03 Jan, 2018 10:50 AM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.

    It should be no problem to have your computers on different operating systems. The important thing is the build of the 2017 should be the same on both computers. The latest release build is 1656 from https://infinitekind.com/download-moneydance-personal-finance-software make show you are using at least this build or as I am the preview build from https://infinitekind.com/preview
    When Moneydance makes a backup manual or automatically it not only makes a backup but it set syncing to don’t sync thus prevention connection to a shared folder and possible corrupting your data when you open the backup. Trying to restore data backed up using any other method won’t do this.
    It a good idea when you are facing problem to understand how something is mean to work so I have written an overview. I have tried syncing using the shared folder method using OneDrive but have more confidence using the free client from Dropbox. If you prefer to continue to use the share folder option rather than Dropbox folder, the method I would recommend, then post again and I will see if I can put together a sync reset procedure for the shared folder method.

    Overview
    Moneydance 2017 has an inbuilt sync engine which allows you to work on the same data set on two computers and on mobile devices at different or even at the same time.

    You have a number of options regarding the syncing method. The syncing method “Shared Folder” is not discussed here. The other two syncing methods need a Dropbox Account, at least the free version. The best and most flexible option is called “Dropbox Folder”. Dropbox Folder requires you to download and install Dropbox Client on all your computers.
    The following is an explanation given by Sean the software developer regarding these two syncing methods, Dropbox Folder and Dropbox Connection.
    “With "Dropbox Connection" Moneydance uses the Dropbox API to talk to the Dropbox service directly. So, you don't need to have Dropbox client actually installed on your computer, but you do need to be online when Moneydance is running in order for changes to be synced. With "Drobox Folder" Moneydance will just read and write files to your Dropbox folder on your computer, which means that you need to have Dropbox client installed and running, but you don't need to be online in order for Moneydance to read and write the changes.”

    When syncing with 2017 you have a primary and a secondary computer. The data set is stored in the default location on the hard drive of your primary computer. See under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER. Your data set is a folder not a file. It contains other folders and files. The data set folder is named yourdatasetname.moneydance. In later build of 2017 you are prompted to allow Moneydance to automatically move your data set to the default location if Moneydance detects you have your data set in Dropbox or on another cloud server. If you don’t allow your data to be moved it may become corrupted! DON’T STORE YOUR DATA SET IN DROPBOX or any other shared drive.

    Your second computer does not have the same data set as the primary computer. Its data set is created from data synced via Dropbox folder “.moneydancsync” created automatically by the primary computer. If you are using “Dropbox Connect” and don’t have Dropbox Client installed you can only view the folder Moneydance creates as part of syncing by logging into your Dropbox account.
    The folder “.moneydancesync” may be hidden, so if you are looking for it set whatever your file explorer is called to show hidden File/Folders. The data set has the same naming convention as the primary data set and is stored in the default location on the secondary computer’s hard drive, but it’s not a duplicate of the primary data set. They are not interchangeable. In normal operation Moneydance on your devices reads and writes to the Dropbox folder “.moneydancesync”, creating small transaction files (mdtxn files) in such a way that there should never be any conflicts (at least not to any important files). Filenames are unique and the data is encrypted using your sync key (“Encryption Passphrase”). All changes are recorded in this folder and if any of the changes cause conflicts then they are resolved by checking timestamps that are internal to the file (i.e. not the file modification date).
    To set up syncing using Dropbox folder.

    1. On your primary computer use FILE – EXPORT BACKUP to save a backup in case something goes wrong.

    2. On your primary computer under FILE - SYNCING, set your “Encryption Passphrase”, set “Sync Method” to “Dropbox Folder”, click OK.

    3. Wait for Dropbox folder “.moneydancesync” and its contents to be created. Check the Dropbox icon states “Up to Date”.

    4. Wait until the same Dropbox folder appears on your second computer, again watch the Dropbox icon this time on your second computer and wait till it states “Up to Date”.

    5. On your second computer starting Moneydance should open it in the welcome window and click on “Create a new account set” or in the summary page in which case click FILE – NEW.

    6. Select “Open Synced File” and use dropdown to select “Dropbox Folder” then click NEXT.

    7. You should see a search screen headed “Select a synced document to open”

    8. After a short search delay, it should then list your data set name used on your primary computer.

    9. Highlight your data set name and click NEXT.

    10. Enter the encryption password, the “Encryption Passphrase” you set on your primary computer under FILE – SYNCING.

    11. Then click on FINISH.

    Wait for your data to be synced.

    If in any step you don’t get things how I describe, detail what you are seeing, including screen shots.

    You may find a lot of old, maybe closed accounts or other accounts you have removed from the side bar reappearing in the second computers side bar. Use the “+” sign at bottom of side bar then ADVANCED to tidy up the side bar.

    Hope this helps

  5. 5 Posted by Luca on 03 Jan, 2018 08:59 PM

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    Thanks for your fast and complete answer, but I actually stuck at another point at the moment. I checked that both computers use the same build. But I do not know what got changed during the last syncing so I decided to got to a clean backup of the data which Moneydance did on regular basis. However when I use a backup from Moneydance I am fully able to restore the backup, but I can not change the syncing method for the restored backup. How can this be resolved? How can it be that a program doing backups is not able to fully restore and reuse backups? Honestly I am pretty frustrated with Moneydance as program for which I also spent money and it takes me hours to figure out how things work and restoring form backups does not work properly.

  6. 6 Posted by dwg on 03 Jan, 2018 09:13 PM

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    A restored Moneydance backup should have no syncing information in it.

    The position taken is that if it did have this information it would immediately try to update what data it has and given you may be doing a restore because of data problems this would not be a wise thing to do hence it brings it back as a standalone data set. You then need to setup syncing from scratch thus ensuring you have a clean start.

  7. 7 Posted by derekkent23 on 03 Jan, 2018 09:27 PM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.

    It is normal for the restored backup from the second computer for the syncing method not to be changeable.
    If, however it’s the primary computer that you can’t change the syncing method then there is an issue. Support have developed a method to clear this problem. See post post 5 of http://help.infinitekind.com/discussions/general-questions/39212-ca...
    Make sure you do another EXPORT BACKUP for both your computer first. If the process provided by support works then on the second computer click on HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER to open a file finder. Close Moneydance on the second computer and deleted your data set folder.
    You can now start the sync process as I described in post 4.

    Hope this helps.

  8. 8 Posted by Luca on 03 Jan, 2018 09:40 PM

    Luca's Avatar

    Thanks for the fast response. Unfortunately the computer that has a non corrupted backup is the secondary computer. How do I proceed to still use the backup made by this computer? I the design of the backup is useless when the secondary computer can not create full backups, since they are useless in many cases.

  9. 9 Posted by derekkent23 on 03 Jan, 2018 09:51 PM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.

    I am not certain about this but I think the same process provided by support should correct the issue on the second computer turning that data set into a primary data set. If it does not work you still have the backups.

    Hope this helps.

  10. 10 Posted by Luca on 03 Jan, 2018 10:03 PM

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    The modification from secondary to primary works as described. However I still cannot specify the shared folder location which I want to use to sync the files. How do I proceed? Do you have any experience with syncing engine of Moneydance? I do not want to waste my time for things that do not work in the end.

  11. 11 Posted by derekkent23 on 03 Jan, 2018 10:21 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    I have extensive experience in using 2017 internal syncing engine. I use Dropbox Folder which required each computer to have at least the free version of the Dropbox client installed. Dropbox folder is the most flexible method for syncing. I sync between two computers and an Android phone. I have been using this method for over eight months without problems.
    I have outlined how to set up Dropbox syncing in post 4 above.
    I have tested shared folder and it worked, but for better flexibility I went back to Dropbox Folder.

    Hope this helps.

  12. 12 Posted by Luca on 03 Jan, 2018 10:25 PM

    Luca's Avatar

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Dropbox is not a option for me so I will stick to shared folder when. I need a way to folder where the shared synching goes. Any suggestions how to do so?

  13. 13 Posted by derekkent23 on 03 Jan, 2018 10:34 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    Sorry to here you don't wont to use the best option available Dropbox Folder..
    In which case I can only share with you the document I produced when I tested Shared folder.

    Moneydance Setting up Sync Method Shared Folder to another PC.
    With "Shared Folder" Moneydance syncs using a folder that is shared across computers. This could be cloud servers such as OneDrive, iCloud or Google Drive. Remember you cannot use this sync method if you won’t to sync to mobile devices (phones etc) that use the Moneydance APP.

    1. Use your file browser to create a new folder in the shared drive you intend to use to sync Moneydance to other computers. Name this folder for example “Moneydance Shared Folder”.
    2. Open Moneydance on your primary computer under FILE - SYNCING, set your “Encryption Passphrase”, set “Sync Method” to “Shared Folder”.
    3. A new box appears “Choose folder”, click on this box.
    4. A file browser screen will appear. Navigate to the shared folder you created to sync your Moneydance data set. In this example “Moneydance Shared Folder” and click “Open”, then click OK. Moneydance will create an alphanumeric folder in your selected folder to hold your syncing data.
    5. On your second computer starting Moneydance should open it in the welcome window, click on “Create a new account set”. Or if it opens in to an existing account click FILE - NEW
    6. Select “Open Synced File” and use dropdown to select “Shared Folder” then click NEXT.
    7. Click “Connect”. A file browser screen will appear. Navigate to the folder you have designated as a shared syncing folder. In this example highlight “Moneydance Shared Folder” and click “Open”
    8. The screen should now show you are connected to your designated shared folder, click “NEXT”.
    9. You should see a search screen headed “Finding synced files” then “Select a synced document to open”
    10. Highlight the data set name you wont to sync with and click NEXT.
    11. Enter the encryption password, the “Encryption Passphrase” you set on your primary computer under FILE – SYNCING.
    12. Then click on FINISH. You should see the message “Performing initial sync this may take a while”.
    13. Wait to syncing is complete.

    You may find a lot of old, maybe closed accounts or other accounts you have removed from the side bar reappearing in the second computers side bar. Use the “+” sign at bottom of side bar then ADVANCED to tidy up the side bar.

    Hope this helps

  14. 14 Posted by Luca on 05 Jan, 2018 08:12 AM

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    Thanks for your answer derekkent23. Unfortunately as I mentioned earlier I am not able to change the location of the shared folder sync settings after I restored the backup (from secondary computer) and run the script in order to set to the primary node. I am able to set the sync method but no popup will appear in order to change the folder.

  15. 15 Posted by derekkent23 on 05 Jan, 2018 08:45 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    OK I understand. It looks like file called "md2017_convert_secondary_to_master.py" provided by support fixes the main issue but in the case of the syncing method Shared Folder does not return the window needed to select a shared folder location.
    If for some reason you are unwilling to try Dropbox Folder I think you will need to wait for support.

    SUPPORT CAN YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THIS ISSUE.

  16. 16 Posted by Ian O on 05 Jan, 2018 08:49 AM

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    Hi Luca,

    Sorry to hear of the issue you have encountered when using the syncing feature within Moneydance. Derek is correct, we have a script that may help. I've attached a file called "md2017_convert_secondary_to_master.py" that should resolve this problem. Before proceeding, please back up your Moneydance data set, just in case something goes wrong. You can create a backup using the File --> Export Backup menu option.

    To use the .py file, first save it to your computer and then follow these steps:

    1. In Moneydance, select Window --> Python Scripting.
    2. In the window that opens, select 'Open Script' then navigate to the .py file wherever you saved it on your system.
    3. Select 'Run' to execute the file.
    4. Wait a few moments until you see a message on screen, confirming the script has run successfully.

    Once completed, navigate back to File --> Syncing, and you should now be able to select the required sync method.

    Please let me know if you have any problems running the script, or if you continue to encounter issues.

    Ian O
    Infinite Kind Support

  17. 17 Posted by derekkent23 on 05 Jan, 2018 08:55 AM

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    Hi, Ian O

    I think Luca has already run the script and it corrected the problem of not being able to select a syncing method. However as Shared Folder is being used to sync the script is not returning the ability to select a shared folder location as part of the set up

  18. 18 Posted by Ian O on 05 Jan, 2018 09:13 AM

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    Ah, I see. Thanks for clarifying Derek. I think then, at this point, a remote assistance session is in order.

    Luca - Is there any time next week that would suit? I'm based in the UK (GMT), hopefully time differences wont be too much of an issue. This will allow me to login into your system, to see whats happening. We can communicate in real-time, so hopefully this will help us get to the bottom of whats causing the problems.

    Derek and dwg - thanks for troubleshooting thus far. I'm going to assign this discussion as private and remove you both as watchers while arranging the session.

    Ian O
    Infinite Kind Support

  19. System closed this discussion on 06 Apr, 2018 09:20 AM.

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