Sharing RM files between PC and Mac

Is there anyway to share RM database files between Microsoft version and Mac version. I have a PC and my husband has a Mac. I would like for him to be able to load my database file on his Mac version of RM.

Beth Clarke

There are several ways to do it. But all of them have in common that the two of you cannot truly share the file. Either one of you must be using the file, or the other of you must be using the file, but not both at the same time. There must be a crystal clear way of knowing which of you presently has control of the file. And the file (or a backup of the file) must go back and forth between the two computers any time one of you stops using RM and the other is to begin using RM.

The tools to go back forth could be a USB thumb drive, a local network in your home, or cloud based file sharing service such as Dropbox or OneDrive or Google Drive. Which would you be interested in hearing more information about?

Also, does your RM database have media files linked into it? If so, then both computers would need to have their own local copies of the media files and the media files would need to be synced. What is your situation with respect to media files?

I use dropbox to share my database between my Windows laptop and my desktop and for access by my Iphone and pad versions of RM but I only use it on one at a time. I learned a long time ago not to open them both at the same time. I did not think the apple version of the program would use the same file format as the PC version. I thought I would have to convert the file to the apple version before opening.

I currently do not have many media files because of the problem of using them with the two PCs. I would like to have a suggestion for a good way to store my media and have it available on the multiple computers. I know I could do it on dropbox but I would max out my 4g pretty fast and I don’t want to pay for the higher amount of storage.

You are actually pretty much all set because you already have Dropbox set up on both computers. The file format for the RM database is identical between RM and Mac. it’s not like the Mac version of the program has to convert the database to a Mac file format or anything like that.

There are two ways you could do it. The first way is not recommended by RM, but it can be made to work. Namely, put your RMTREE file which is your RM database in your Dropbox folder. Be sure Dropbox is fully synced between both computers. Then on the computer that is going to use RM, Pause Dropbox. Let me say that again, Pause Dropbox. Dropbox should not be synching while you are using RM. When you close RM, Resume Dropbox and wait for Dropbox to sync on both computers. At that point, you are ready to go again and either of you can be the next person to use RM. But never, never, never use it at the same time.

A slightly safer way to do it and the one recommended by RM is as follows. Do not place your RMTREE file in the Dropbox folder. Instead, place all of your RM backups in the Dropbox folder. The file extension for these files is RMBACKUP. To get the process started, whichever one of you is using RM should exit from RM and make a backup. In this scenario, you will never need to Pause Dropbox, but you still need to wait until Dropbox has completed syncing on both computers. Then either one of you can start using RM, but you MUST, MUST, MUST NOT Open your RM database. Instead, you must Restore your RM database. Then when you are done, you exit with a backup and you must wait until Dropbox finishes syncing on both machines. At that point, you are ready for another cycle.

I worked this way between two machines for years. It was just me and not a spouse I was sharing with, but the principle is exactly the same. Even though it’s theoretically safer to use the second method, I found it extremely easy to forget to do a restore instead of doing an open when I was starting up with RM. And forgetting to do the restore instead of an open will end up losing any data your spouse has entered, and vice versa. On the other hand, I found it easy to remember to Pause Dropbox and to Resume Dropbox appropriately. But I’m a sample size of one and your mileage may vary. So pick the method that works best for you. Either way, there is a certain danger if one or both of you forgets to follow the correct procedure every single time, or if you forget and both get into RM at the same time.

It will be very helpful to this process to be sure to point your default RM backup folder to whichever Dropbox folder is holding the backups if you are using the second method, and to point your default RM database folder to whichever Dropbox folder is holding the databases if you are using the first method.

Since you don’t have much media, let’s leave that discussion for another day.

I may have implied it, but I didn’t say explicitly that if you are using the second method where the file you are sharing between the two machines is a backup file, then your actual RM database file should NOT be stored in your Dropbox folder. Using this method, it won’t make much difference where the RM database file is stored as long as it’s not in the Dropbox folder.

Thank you so much for all your help.

Beth