Sharing a data base

My daughter and I live in different cities. Is there a way that we can each access a data base so we don’t duplicate?

Yes, but doing so requires great discipline. Only one of you can ever be updating the database at the same time. It’s almost like you have to work on the database only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and your daughter only works on the data base on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

The best way to share the file is probably to keep your RM database outside of any cloud service such as Dropbox or OneDrive and to keep your RM backup files inside of a cloud service that you and your daughter share. When you shutdown RM, always, always, always do a backup. When you start up RM, do not have it open your database automatically, And never, never, never even open the database yourself. Instead, always restore the database from the backup that’s in the cloud service.

My Monday, Wednesday, Friday thing was only a metaphor. You could obviously use any kind of signaling mechanisms you wish to determine who has current control of the database - phone calls, text messages, emails, etc. But the RM database cannot be shared at the same time. You have to be super disciplined about who has control and about managing the backups and restores.

Some users do keep the actual RM database in the cloud service. This practice is recommended against by RM. But it can safely be done, again with discipline. If you do it this way, you can open and close the database as normal instead of backup and restore, but you absolutely must pause your cloud service before using RM and you absolutely must resume your cloud service after closing RM.

Finally, RM will not be using any data that’s actually in the cloud. Cloud services actually keep the data on a special folder on your local hard disk, and sync a copy of that folder into the cloud. But the the cloud services usually have some sort of “on demand” option that only keeps the data on your hard disk when you are actually using it. It’s a terrible option and you should never use it. Dropbox doesn’t use it by default, and unfortunately OneDrive does use the option by default. So if you go with OneDrive, turn that option off.

There are other cloud services than OneDrive or Dropbox that could be used. Two that I’m aware of are Google Drive and I-Drive. They are both very reputable, but I have no experience with either one of them.

Finally, users sometimes will email their RM databases (or preferably their backup files) back and forth. Such emails also serve to manage who has control of the database. Such a solution can work, but sometimes the files being emailed get too big to be emailed or they are rejected by an email system because the attachments are of an unknown type. You would have to experiment with this solution to see if it would work for you.

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Thanks Jerry,
My daughter is much wiser than me so I will share your counsel with her and figure some plan of attack.

Depending on how far you get into your project of sharing a database, you may also need to share media files - photographs of people, images of census pages, images of death certificates, and that sort of thing. You would need copies of the media files on both computers, and the best way to keep the media files in sync between the two machines is surely to use a cloud sharing service. For example, my media files are all under a folder called rm_media which is a subfolder of my Dropbox folder. Then under my rm_media folder I have subfolders called Births, Marriages, Deaths, Census, etc.

Unlike with the RM database, there are no real issues about pausing your cloud service or having only one of you using the media files at the same time like there is with the RM database. If you are on Windows, you are likely to have different Windows userids between your computer and your daughter’s computer. Fortunately, RM9 has a nifty feature to deal with this difference. I’m not as familiar with Mac, but if both of your are on Mac I’m sure the same nifty RM9 feature will deal the similar differences between two different Macs.

If you have media files and if you get to the point of your sharing project where you want to deal with sharing your media files, check back in for more details.