using iCloud to sync with multiple users

Johann Beda's Avatar

Johann Beda

05 May, 2024 03:04 PM

We've been using DropBox for many years to provide MD syncing between different users on their Macs as well as for the iOS app. My memory is that in order to get it working between different users, we just use the Dropbox website to "share" the appropriate folders between the various Dropbox accounts.

https://infinitekind.tenderapp.com/kb/syncing-and-sharing-data/sync-using-multiple-dropbox-accounts

I see now that the iOS MD app now claims to be able to sync using iCloud Drive, but syncing "can only be used with one iCloud account at a time".

https://infinitekind.tenderapp.com/kb/syncing-and-sharing-data/syncing-with-the-mobile-app

Is it possible to use iCloud Drive's folder sharing system to do the same thing that we have done with the Dropbox folder sharing? Perhaps Apple does not allow for the sharing between users for files stored in specific App folders such as the one used by MoneyDance, or maybe it is hard to get MoneyDance to navigate to the iCloud Drive location where shared files and folders end up being located when shared by another iCloud account. Does anyone know the details?

  1. 1 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 05 May, 2024 03:27 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    In short, nope.

    Stick with Dropbox. It works well.

  2. 2 Posted by Johann Beda on 05 May, 2024 03:30 PM

    Johann Beda's Avatar

    Is this a limitation of just the mobile MoneyDance, or is the computer version similarly limited?

  3. 3 Posted by DrgnMastr on 05 May, 2024 04:06 PM

    DrgnMastr's Avatar

    iCloud synching is for one iCloud user account only, so every other machine would have to use that iCloud account. As Stuart suggest, use Dropbox. :)

    - DM (user)

  4. 4 Posted by dtd on 05 May, 2024 10:33 PM

    dtd's Avatar

    Apple is quite restrictive and doesn't allow sharing between apple ids. There is "family sharing" but that's not going to meet your needs.

  5. 5 Posted by dtd on 05 May, 2024 10:34 PM

    dtd's Avatar

    Another issue is also Mac specificity. If you have even a single Windows or Linux user, they cannot participate in the sharing/syncing.

  6. 6 Posted by Johann Beda on 05 May, 2024 11:39 PM

    Johann Beda's Avatar

    It SEEMS like the file and folder sharing that Apple permits is pretty similar to that provided by Dropbox. From personal experience, this is not limited to the "family sharing" group of individuals.

    https://support.apple.com/en-ca/guide/icloud/mm708256356b/icloud

    This also seems to work with the iCloud for Windows software

    https://support.apple.com/en-ca/guide/icloud-windows/icw3796339dd/icloud

    I recognize that this does not necessarily mean that MD can use this iCloud file sharing stuff for syncing between different iCloud users because MD might require some features that are not exposed through this file/folder sharing, but I have been using this feature to keep some password database files synced between various non-family-sharing individuals with different iCloud accounts for more than a couple of years now.

  7. 7 Posted by dwg on 05 May, 2024 11:42 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    Some of the Moneydance users have tried to have Moneydance syncing working when data is shared on iCloud, none have been able to make it work.

    You can certain try it yourself and we would be interested in hearing your results and what you have attempted.

  8. 8 Posted by Johann Beda on 05 May, 2024 11:49 PM

    Johann Beda's Avatar

    Thank your quick response.

    "none have been able to make it work" - do you know what the shortcoming was?

    Where does MD store the syncing folder in iCloud? Is it in a MoneyDance specific folder on iCloud Drive? Is it a hidden or invisible folder named .moneydance like it is for Dropbox? If it is impossible to share invisible folders then I suppose this would be a non-starter.

  9. 9 Posted by dtd on 06 May, 2024 12:13 AM

    dtd's Avatar

    Most of the users who are responding don't tend to use icloud for syncing, since Dropbox works so well.

    Any particular reason you want to move to icloud? Just curious.

    I do use a mac, and sync to two other macs (with different apple ids), and sync to 2 ipads, 2 iphones (if I can ever read it... ;) ) and so on, but I also have a windows computer, and if it works with icloud for windows (this works for my outlook email), then I've just never found it worth pursuing, because Dropbox works for my system of devices.

    So, no answers to your questions other than what I know by default. So, if you have the desire, go for it and let US know how to do it...

  10. 10 Posted by Johann Beda on 06 May, 2024 12:22 AM

    Johann Beda's Avatar

    The desire to move away from Dropbox is mostly just a desire to simplify our lives - Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, and OneDrive are probably three more cloud storage spaces than would be ideal.

    The only unique thing about Dropbox for our usage right now is MoneyDance, and if I ever expand my accounting interactions with other members of my extended family, setting them up with new Dropbox accounts is something that I would prefer to avoid.

    Maybe when I have something on my to-do list that I want to avoid doing, I will instead create a new MD account and see if I can dope out how it does the syncing using iCloud. If I can find the magic folders where things are stored I'll try sharing that and see what happens.

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