HOW TO: Syncing a Honeycomb/ICS Android w/ HanDBase

Discuss plans for a future version of HanDBase for the Google Android platform

Re: HOW TO: Syncing a Honeycomb/ICS Android w/ HanDBase

Postby edpatterson » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:21 pm

Never being one to be afraid to show my stupidity as long as I learn:

Purchased DavDrive from Google Play
Opened it and it displayed a 21.x.x.x:xxxx address
Turned on WiFi, DUH!
Opened DavDrive and it displayed an address on my network
Entered the address in Windows Internet Explorer
It asked for a user name and password

I am a trusting soul who does not have a username/password on my phone. I simply turn it on and it works. I am assuming it is looking for an account on the phone...

What steps am I missing to get the DavDrive mounted on my machine and HanDBase Desktop to sync with it.

Windows 7 64
HTC EVO 4G LTE
HanDBase on EVO (current version)
HanDBase on Windows (current version)

I only have 1 database that I actually care about, I only do data entry on the phone but I would like the ability to sync to my pc(s).

Thanks for the hand holding
Ed

PS $1.21 for the DavDrive is most likely less than I pay a month for leaving my TV, XBox, WII and various other power cubes plugged in 24 hours a day :-)
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Re: HOW TO: Syncing a Honeycomb/ICS Android w/ HanDBase

Postby kronhead » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:48 pm

edpatterson wrote:It asked for a user name and password


I don't think I was able to get Handbase sync to work with DavDrive - but the user name and password you want are set within the DavDrive app. Touch Menu - Settings - Authentication. I am not sure what the first option is (Authentication type), but you can (and should) set User Name and Password. You can see the defaults when you get to this point.

Let us know if DavDrive and handbase work for you!
Dan
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Re: HOW TO: Syncing a Honeycomb/ICS Android w/ HanDBase

Postby edpatterson » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:35 pm

I did not get it to sync, but I did get what I needed done: Databases from my old phone to the new one and the ability to backup my databases.

The username and password I was being asked for was indeed for DavDrive and it was displayed right on the screen. :-)

I was able to mount the SD card as a drive on my Windows 7 box and copy the files from my old phone to the new one. In the future I'll probably just use something like Free File Sync or Cobian Backup to do the actual sync. DavDrive was a whopping $1.21 US, I literally offset the cost by skipping one cup of coffee.

Thanks for the quick reply!

Links if anyone is interested
Free File Sync http://sourceforge.net/projects/freefilesync/
Cobian Backup http://www.cobiansoft.com/cobianbackup.htm
DavDrive http://davdrive-android.fun2code.de/

Ed
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Re: HOW TO: Syncing a Honeycomb/ICS Android w/ HanDBase

Postby kcjeffro » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:39 am

As you guys continue to work this issue, I would ask that you consider leaving currently functionality in place in addition to whatever solution you decide to implement. Using AndSMB - which includes folder sync - and by mapping to an Ubuntu file server in my basement from both my phone and from my workstation, I've got your work-around solution working well, and I have to say... I love the wireless sync!
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HOW TO: Syncing a Honeycomb/ICS Android w/ HanDBase

Postby dhaupert » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:44 am

I would definitely try to leave this in and capable for anyone who has success with it. Just not a great general purpose solution for obvious reasons!


Blessings,
Dave Haupert
dhaupert@ddhsoftware.com http://www.ddhsoftware.com
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Re: HOW TO: Syncing a Honeycomb/ICS Android w/ HanDBase

Postby kronhead » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:08 pm

So, my old phone died, and I am now running ICS on a new phone. I decided to test with dropbox, and a new, empty test database I created on the phone.

I added a few records, and then shared it using dropbox. When I accessed the database in Dropbox on my PC, Handbase opened it directly from the dropbox folder. I added another record, saved the database - and was asked if I wanted to install it for one of my existing users (Android, and some others I tested with in the past). I said no.

Dropbox did its thing, and when I accessed it on the phone, it updated my phone database. Great. Repeated a couple of times - and each time, I opened the database from the dropbox folder on my PC, and it asked if I wanted to install it.

So - a couple of questions, perhaps related:
- If I want to access and update the database on my PC, should I always use the copy in the dropbox folder?
- if yes: if I do updates on phone and PC without dropbox doing its thing between updates - for example, if I do updates while on both platforms while the phone is in airplane mode - won't I lose some updates when dropbox does connect? Or maybe dropbox will recognize the conflict - and then I pick one db to keep?
- how do I make Handbase not ask my every time whether I want to install it?

I assume the right answer is to let it install once for one of my handbase users (or, best, a new user)? And then use that on my PC? And then: do a file/merge to update that from dropbox, because the PC does not really do a merge when opening an emailed (or dropbox-ed) db? Is the file/merge bi-directional? Or do I have to merge user db from dropbox, then open the dropbox db and merge from the user db?

Confused
Dan
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Re: HOW TO: Syncing a Honeycomb/ICS Android w/ HanDBase

Postby dhaupert » Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:57 pm

kronhead wrote:So - a couple of questions, perhaps related:
- If I want to access and update the database on my PC, should I always use the copy in the dropbox folder?


As long as you create some backups of your dropbox folder on occasion, this should be fine. You wouldn't want to have something go wrong with the only copy of your database, so I suggest backing up the whole dropbox folder for your databases periodically.
- if yes: if I do updates on phone and PC without dropbox doing its thing between updates - for example, if I do updates while on both platforms while the phone is in airplane mode - won't I lose some updates when dropbox does connect? Or maybe dropbox will recognize the conflict - and then I pick one db to keep?


Dropbox is intelligent, but not intelligent enough to know how to synchronize databases! It can do a basic file sync, which is comparing the dates of two files and choosing the newer one, but that may not get the result you want. Remember, the DropBox end of the Android side requires you to manually save the file to DropBox. When you do that, you're overwriting what is there, or calling it something else so you have two copies. If you know you're only making edits in one place at a time, you can get away with this without too much thought/hassle, but it sounds like you may want something more robust. I am working a cloud sync solution for the latter part of this year (hopefully) which will address this in a better way. Right now, you'll always have to think whether you saved the file correctly in each place, and reopened from dropbox on the other end.

- how do I make Handbase not ask my every time whether I want to install it?


This one is easier- we only ask if you're saving to a folder that is not for a user. So the solution is on the desktop, create a custom user that points to that folder. Call the user whatever you want (eg, Dropbox) and point to the path of your mapped DropBox drive. Then when you save, you should not be prompted.

Hope this helps!
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Re: HOW TO: Syncing a Honeycomb/ICS Android w/ HanDBase

Postby kronhead » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:35 pm

dhaupert wrote:...
As long as you create some backups of your dropbox folder on occasion, this should be fine. You wouldn't want to have something go wrong with the only copy of your database, so I suggest backing up the whole dropbox folder for your databases periodically.
---
This one is easier- we only ask if you're saving to a folder that is not for a user. So the solution is on the desktop, create a custom user that points to that folder. Call the user whatever you want (eg, Dropbox) and point to the path of your mapped DropBox drive. Then when you save, you should not be prompted.
...
Hope this helps!


Dave- Well, I was going to say "thanks - that really helps." But - what you are suggesting is that I actually USE the databases in my dropbox directory on the PC? And never do a merge on the PC - only on the phone? So I must remember ANY TIME I do an update on the phone, to SHARE the database to dropbox? And I have to remember to access the Dropbox DB on the phone,for a merge, anytime I HAVE done a PC update? Not a great solution - too much risk of forgetting to do one of those, and losing some updates.

Can you answer the one part you did not address: "Is the PC option File/Merge bi-directional? Or do I have to merge the user db from dropbox, then open the dropbox db and merge from the user db?" I think I would rather do that, than risk losing data because I forgot to do one of the manual steps on the phone, anytime I do an update.

Dan
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Re: HOW TO: Syncing a Honeycomb/ICS Android w/ HanDBase

Postby dhaupert » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:39 pm

kronhead wrote:Dave- Well, I was going to say "thanks - that really helps." But - what you are suggesting is that I actually USE the databases in my dropbox directory on the PC? And never do a merge on the PC - only on the phone? So I must remember ANY TIME I do an update on the phone, to SHARE the database to dropbox? And I have to remember to access the Dropbox DB on the phone,for a merge, anytime I HAVE done a PC update? Not a great solution - too much risk of forgetting to do one of those, and losing some updates.


First off, I want to clarify that this is not my solution for syncing via the cloud! This is a way to use with DropBox using the share feature. For someone who regularly makes changes, a full conduit solution is required. As the thread started out, the conduit we have does this but due to Google's changes in Android, it no longer is compatible. We offered using a wireless FTP as a workaround in this very topic, but it too was a workaround until a better solution is finished/developed/released. Then somewhere along the way someone mentioned you could use DropBox via the Share function added in the last update. So just to clarify- the solution being discussed in the topic of this post is completely different than what we're discussing now!

Now to answer your actual question, that was what I was suggesting if you're trying to use this for a sync. Which solution is best honestly depends on how you're making changes. If you're like most people, the majority of your changes are on the mobile device, and the Desktop needs to access records to print, export, etc. If that's the case, you need only share to DropBox once in a while -when you know you're going to access from the PC. The same would be true for occasional edits on the PC- you could just share to dropbox before doing those edits.

If you're actually making frequent record changes on the PC, you'd have to go through all the steps mentioned to make sure they are 'in sync' with each other.

Obviously this is not our conduit solution- just a different way to approach file transfer. I am optimistic that what I'm working on will be a much better implementation for someone who wants an automatic sync to the cloud, just don't have a delivery or ETA yet!

Can you answer the one part you did not address: "Is the PC option File/Merge bi-directional? Or do I have to merge the user db from dropbox, then open the dropbox db and merge from the user db?" I think I would rather do that, than risk losing data because I forgot to do one of the manual steps on the phone, anytime I do an update.

Dan


File Merge merges the file you select into the current file. There is no change to the file you select. So it is not Bi-Directional. The only bidirectional sync is via the conduit where we're sure that's what is wanted.

Hope this clarifies things!
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Re: HOW TO: Syncing a Honeycomb/ICS Android w/ HanDBase

Postby kronhead » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:17 pm

dhaupert wrote:File Merge merges the file you select into the current file. There is no change to the file you select. So it is not Bi-Directional. The only bidirectional sync is via the conduit where we're sure that's what is wanted.

Hope this clarifies things!


Thanks. I fully understand this is a temporary solution. But I have an ICS phone, so I need to do something. And buying a $60 third-party product (or whatever the price was) doesn't make sense to me. I'll figure out what solution works for me, and survive until there is an official sync mechanism.

FYI - I do most of my updating on the PC - but I want to continue to do updates wherever it is most convenient at the time. The dropbox solution works - it's just the manual steps on the phone I don't like - because I wont remember to do them! Or I will share the database to the wrong dropbox directory, or ...

Thanks again for your patience.
Dan
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