Sharing Datafiles
via iTunes

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Note: The following procedures require iTunes 10.5.1 or newer.

Being able to create and modify datafiles on a Mac, with its large keyboard and mouse (or touch pad), is often more convenient than doing the same using the iPad keyboard. Furthermore, iData 3 and iData Lite provide more tools for modifying your data and the structure of your datafiles.

The iData synchronization procedures provide a way to maintain copies of a datafile on both platforms and to synchronize changes made to either copy with the other copy.

The usual way to do this is to first create a datafile on the Mac, using iData 3 or iData Lite.

Sometimes, however, you may want to create a datafile on the iPad and copy it to the Mac. This can be done using iTunes file sharing, as explained below.

iData Mobile maintains two folders for datafiles, Private and Public. It places newly added datafiles in a Private folder, where they can be accessed only by someone who is able to run iData Mobile on your iPad.

In order to use iTunes to share a datafile, that datafile must first be moved to Public folder.

Moving a Datafile to the Public Folder

Here is what the Datafiles list looks like when all datafiles are in the Private folder.



To move a datafile into the Public folder, tap the  button to the right of the datafile name. This will bring up the following window:



Turn file sharing on by tapping the button in the lower right corner. This will turn it on:



If you are satisfied that you have the correct datafile, click the Done button in the upper left corner. The datafile will then be copied into the Public folder. This may take several seconds, depending on the size of the datafile, so the progress wheel to the left of the datafile name will spin so that you can know that iData Mobile has not simply frozen.

When the Datafiles list returns, you will see that the datafile is now in the Public folder:



Copying a Datafile to the Mac via iTunes


1. Use the USB cable to connect your iPad to your Mac.

2. Run iTunes.

3. When your iPad shows up in the lefthand column in iTunes, select it. (Your iPad does not have to be on to do this.)

4. Next, select the Apps tab at the top of the righthand window.

5. When the File Sharing section appears at the bottom of the righthand window, select iData Mobile in the Apps list.

Note: it may take a while for the File Sharing section to appear. Sometimes clicking on the Info tab, then back on the Apps tab seems to speed things up.

6. In the iData Mobile window, click on the name of the datafile to be moved. (You may command-click to select multiple datafiles.)

7. Click the Save to... button at the lower right.

8. When the Open dialog comes up, select the folder where you want to place the datafile. This should probably be your iData 3 Datafiles folder, or a subfolder within it, so that it will be readily available to iData 3 or iData Lite.

9. Click the Open button to save the datafile.

 10. Once the datafile has been successfully copied to the Mac, you can use the standard synchronization procedures to keep the Mac version and the iPad version in sync.

Copying a Datafile from the Mac

You should normally use iData 3 or iData Lite on the Mac to move a datafile to iData Mobile, in order to keep both copies of the datafile in sync. However, it is possible to copy a datafile from the Mac to the iPad via iTunes.

First, close iData Mobile. Then, follow steps 1 through 5, above.

Next, you can simply drag a datafile from the Finder directly into the iData Mobile window in iTunes.

Or, click the Add... button. This will bring up an Open dialog in which you can select one or more datafiles. Then, click the Open button in that dialog.

You should now see the selected datafile name(s) in the iData Mobile window in iTunes.

Open iData Mobile on the iPad to see that the selected datafile now show up in the Public folder.

Moving a Datafile to the Private Folder

Because iTunes can access any datafile that is in the Public folder even with the iPad turned off, there is no way for iData Mobile to prevent access to such a datafile.

If you want to restrict access to a datafile to only those who can view it in iData Mobile, you should move the datafile back to the Private folder after you have used iTunes to copy it to your Mac, or after copying a new datafile from the Mac.

To do this, simply reverse the above procedure. Use the  button to the right of the datafile name to open the iTunes File Sharing window, then tap the button in the lower right corner to turn it off. Then, click the Done button.

The datafile should now show up in the Private section of the Datafiles list.



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