Syncing via Dropbox

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If you need to transfer datafiles between your iPad and a Mac while you are out of range of your local WiFi network, you can subscribe to Dropbox, and transfer datafiles to and from an iData folder on your dropbox.com page.

To subscribe to Dropbox, go to http://www.dropbox.com in your browser. When the site comes up, click the Sign Up button. There is also a mobile app for Dropbox.

This is a more complicated procedure than that required for using a WiFi network, and it also requires that there be someone on each device to perform the necessary procedures. (Of course, a single person can handle both ends of the sync procedure, but the following instructions assume an iPad user and a Mac user, working together.)

Creating a Sync File on Dropbox

First, you must create a datafile to be synchronized, and upload it to Dropbox. This should be done on the Mac, since iData Pro actually performs all synchronization tasks.

Of course, if you already have datafiles created on the Mac, you can use them, as well.

The workflow for doing this via Dropbox is as follows:

1. In iData Pro, create the new datafile. Make sure that the field structure (if any) is what you need. (We recommend compact file names for use with iData Mobile Plus.)

   Skip this step if you want to transfer an existing datafile to the iPad.

2. With the datafile open, and any changes saved, select Synchronize Datafiles... in the File menu. After a warning alert, you will see a dialog sheet giving you a choice of synchronization methods.

3. Click the Sync Through Dropbox button. If this is the first time you've synced a datafile to Dropbox, you will see a dialog asking if it's okay to create an iData folder. Click the OK button.

4. Finally, you will see an Uploading... progress panel. When the progress panel closes, you can use your browser to go to your iData folder under Apps in your Dropbox page, where you will see that a copy of the datafile has been uploaded.

Dropbox also puts a folder on your Mac that will contain copies of all of your uploaded files.

Transfer the Datafile to the iPad

Next, you must use iData Mobile Plus to transfer the datafile from Dropbox to the iPad.

During either of the following procedures, you may see a screen with a request from Dropbox to okay the transfer. If you do, enter your user ID and password when requested, then click the Done button and restart the procedure.

1. Close any open datafile or other window, so that you see the Datafiles window.

2. Tap the  button in the toolbar. This will bring up the following window.



3. Tap the Read From Dropbox button. This will bring up the following window.



4.. Tap on a datafile name in the Datafiles on Dropbox list. The name will then appear in the File Name field.

5. Tap the Read button. At the top of the screen where it says "Select a Datafile" in the preceding scree shot, you will see messages such as "Reading Datafile" and "Download Completed".

    If any errors occur during the Read process, there will be a "Transfer Failed" message, along with a bit of explanatory text, such as "Transfer Failed - no network connection".

6. Tap the  Done button in the upper left corner to return to the Datafiles window, where you will see your newly uploaded datafile in the list.

Synchronizing a Datafile via Dropbox


After making changes to a datafile in iData Pro and/or iData Mobile Plus, you can synchronize the datafile so that the changes appear in both copies.

The synchronization procedure is carried out in iData Pro, between the Mac and Dropbox.

 iData Mobile Plus simply writes its version of the unsynchronized datafile to Dropbox, then reads it back after synchronization has been completed.

The workflow for doing this via Dropbox is as follows.

Save the datafile from the iPad to Dropbox

With the Datafiles window showing in iData Mobile Plus, the iPad user saves a copy to Dropbox as follows:

1. Tap the  button in the toolbar. This will bring up the following window.



3. Tap the Save To Dropbox button. This will bring up the following window.



4. Tap the name of the datafile to be transferred in the Datafiles on the iPad. (Swipe the list to scroll to the datafile name if it is not visible.)

5. Click the Save button.  At the top of the screen where it says "Select a Datafile", you will see messages such as "Saving Datafile" and "Upload Completed".

6. Tap the  Done button in the upper left corner to return to the Datafiles window.

Coordinate Between iPad and Mac

The iPad user must now inform the Mac user, by telephone or by email, that the datafile has been uploaded to Dropbox. The next stage of the process is performed by the Mac user.

Synchronize Between the Mac and Dropbox

With the datafile open in iData Pro, and all changes saved, the Mac user synchronizes the datafiles as follows:

1. Select Synchronize Datafiles... in the File menu. After a warning alert, you will see a dialog sheet giving you a choice of synchronization methods.

2. Click the Sync Through Dropbox button.

3. You will then see a  Downloading... progress panel, followed by a Synchronizing... panel. These will usually go by rather quickly, depending on the size of the datafile. Finally, you wil see an Uploading... panel. This part of the process is the longest. When this progress panel closes, the Mac portion of the procedure is finished.

Coordinate Between Mac and iPad

The Mac user must now inform the iPad user, by telephone or by email, that the datafile has been synchronized to Dropbox. The final stage of the process is performed by the iPad user.

Read the Synchronized Datafile to iPad

This is the exactly same procedure that was performed when the sync file was created, as explained above. The only difference is that the datafile name will already be in the Datafiles on the iPad list, so you can select it in the list and tap it, instead of having to type it in.

Once this is done, the datafile on the Mac and the one on the iPad will be identical.

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