Best place to keep shared data

Steve S's Avatar

Steve S

08 Dec, 2021 08:38 PM

I am evaluating migrating from Quicken to Moneydance. I want to access my data from multiple Windows PCs and laptops at home, a Mac and a Macbook Air at home, and my ipad or iphone when away.
I have a home server (Synology), which is where I keep my Quicken data so to get to it from multiple PCs, and can also get to it remotely by VPN.
iCloud Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox are all also possible locations to keep the shared data, as well as local to one of the at-home PCs.
What is going to be the best place for me to keep my Moneydance data so to be able to share with and sync to all the above?

  1. 1 Posted by dwg on 08 Dec, 2021 08:46 PM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    The bottom line is that you will use Dropbox.

    BUT you do not "store" the data files on Dropbox per se, that is a bad thing to do.

    Each instance of Moneydance keeps local files but Dropbox is used as the interchange location so that data is passed between machines using a Dropbox folder as a sort of clearing house.

    This is done by Moneydance using its own internal syncing engine, which keeps each instance up to date and also ensures there is no data contention.

    The set up of this is discussed in the Knowledge Base article

  2. 2 Posted by Steve S on 09 Dec, 2021 01:58 AM

    Steve S's Avatar

    dwg, thanks.

    That is helpful. Digging in a bit more though, this looks like it will require Dropbox on all my devices. I have just a Dropbox Basic account (free) which only allows 3 devices, and that won't be enough.

    Currently I have my data storage location set to a mapped drive which is on our server, and it seems like all the devices on my home network, both Windows and Mac, can work ok with it. Is there a problem with doing this?

    However, then the challenge is how to share/sync with 4 mobile devices (all are iOS). I am thinking perhaps I can sync to iCloud with one of the Macs, to allow sharing with the mobile iOS devices (when that is available)?

  3. 3 Posted by dwg on 09 Dec, 2021 02:43 AM

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    A Dropbox basic account is fine.

    Moneydance has two Dropbox methods, Dropbox Folder and Dropbox Connection.

    Dropbox Folder requires a license as you need to have the Dropbox client installed. Dropbox Connection uses the Dropbox API and does not require a license. Mobile devices always use Dropbox Connection.

    Shared folder works with MacOS, Windows and Linux, it does not work with IOS and Android.

    All devices in a syncing set up must use the same shared location, you cannot mix and match shared locations or have different branches.

  4. 4 Posted by derekkent23 on 09 Dec, 2021 08:00 AM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.
    Hi s57js1

    Just to re-enforce dwg post.

    DON’T put your data set (data) on any type of shared drive, eventually your data will become corrupted. Use Moneydances internal sync engine and Sropbox.

    The Dropbox restrictions maybe not as bad as they first sound.

    The limit of 3 devices running Dropbox applications with a free account applies to the devices that can be connected to a Dropbox product itself, via official Dropbox applications, such as the official Dropbox desktop client or mobile applications.

    If your computers are using Dropbox Folder as a syncing method for Moneydance then as you have to have Dropbox Client installed, this count towards the limit. However, if you use Dropbox Connection and don’t have Dropbox Client installed, this does not count towards the limit. This limit does not apply to third party apps that connect to Dropbox via the Dropbox API. This includes the Dropbox Application Program Interface that is embedded in Moneydance mobile. Your mobile devices would only count towards the limit if you had Dropbox official app installed on your mobile devices for another reason.
    You can also mix Moneydance Dropbox sync Methods on computers, say 3 computers using Dropbox Folder and any additional computers using Dropbox Connection. You can also sync a many mobile devices as you like. Another approach is to set up another free Dropbox account under a different email address and set up the Moneydance folder “.moneydancesync” as a shared folder between the two accounts.
    You can run Moneydance simultaneously on as many devices as you like. Add a transaction on one device and in 60 seconds it will appear on the other devices

    Hope this helps.

  5. 5 Posted by Steve S on 09 Dec, 2021 08:39 PM

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    hi derekkent23,
    Thank you for the additional info re the Dropbox API and how it is used. Excellent explanation. Dropbox Connection looks like what I need to use. So I will backtrack and reinstall Moneydance on my different devices, but this time start with just one of them having the local storage then sync the others to it. I'm not entirely sure how to do that yet, but it should be relatively straightforward.
    It's just a different mindset than I am used to from how we "shared" Quicken data files.

  6. 6 Posted by derekkent23 on 10 Dec, 2021 08:24 AM

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

    How to set up the Moneydance sync engine is covered in this set of articles

    In brief.
    I would install Dropbox Client on the three computers you use the most so you can see the Dropbox folder using explorer/finder and then in Moneydance use the syncing method Dropbox Folder. Then on further computers use Dropbox Connection as he syncing method.

    Select the computer to be your primary computer and under FILES (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – SYNCING follows the prompts to setup Dropbox Folder as the syncing method. Wait a few minutes for the initial Dropbox sync to complete.

    On the other Secondary computers set up syncing by selecting under FILES (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – NEW - OPEN SYNCED FILE and follow the prompts. Use the syncing method Dropbox Folder on two computers and Dropbox Connection on the rest.

    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.

    For mobile devices just install the App, run and follow the prompts.

    You should now with all the devices open running Moneydance be able to add a transaction on one device and within 60 second see the transaction appear on all the other devices.

    Hope this helps.

  7. 7 Posted by ronmelzer on 15 Dec, 2021 03:53 PM

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    I have been using MoneyDance for many years after Quicken had a change that was a major FUBAR for me. Everything I have is Apple centric and I was very pleased when Infinitekind embraced iCloud on the Mac version. I am now awaiting a MoneyDance app update for the same support on my iPad. While I use Dropbox, I just don’t feel comfortable using multiple services for my personal data.

  8. 8 Posted by derekkent23 on 15 Dec, 2021 04:56 PM

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

    Moneydance uses end to end encryption with the key only held on your devices not in Dropbox so your data is safe in Dropbox as it would be in iCloud.

    Hope this helps

  9. 9 Posted by ronmelzer on 15 Dec, 2021 05:42 PM

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    I am aware of the encryption. However, Dropbox is a third party cloud solution and not integral to any OS. iCloud is integral to all Apple OS’s. MoneyDance is supported on multiple OS platforms some with integral cloud services. Wouldn’t it make marketing sense for MoneyDance to support the integral cloud service for any cross platform OS like MacOS, iPadOS, iOS… I’m not current on Microsoft or Android else I’d use them as an example.

  10. 10 Posted by derekkent23 on 15 Dec, 2021 08:16 PM

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

    I am a Windows, Linux and Android user of Moneydance. Dropbox supports all three platform and if I was a Mac or iOS user them to. Does iCloud support all these platforms? Not sure there are many that support all platforms as Dropbox does, so it’s a natural choice as a cloud server to use for syncing. As a non-Apple user I can’t use Moneydance iCloud syncing.

    Have Fun Stay Safe.

  11. 11 Posted by dwg on 15 Dec, 2021 08:32 PM

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    iCloud does not support Android or Linux, they are competition to them after all and I feel that Wndows is only support because of its market position but of course you still need to own an apple device to have an icloud account.

    Dropbox is the only option I know of that supports all 5 platforms that Moneydance uses.

    It is precisely because it is not vendor centric that makes it desirable. Vendor centric solution tend to offer limited platform support, mostly their own platforms.

  12. 12 Posted by ronmelzer on 15 Dec, 2021 09:41 PM

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    dwg and derekkent23,
    I don’t disagree that Dropbox is a good secondary solution for those OS platforms that do not provide a cloud service. However, if MoneyDance provides an app solution across multiple OS platforms that support a common, native cloud solution it makes good marketing sense to incorporate support for that cloud solution, as well as Dropbox, into MoneyDance.

    GoogleDrive is supported across multiple OS platforms as are many others. Here’s just one source of information regarding cloud services:

    The point is MoneyDance needs offer/suggest solutions for its customers on backing up MoneyDance data as well as how to sync between multiple instances of MoneyDance a customer may have. Offering native support for more than one popular cloud service may improve license sales but also customer retention.

  13. System closed this discussion on 16 Mar, 2022 09:50 PM.

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