Teamviewer and RootsMagic

Problem: How to work on my database when away from home. My RootsMagic data files and program are all on my home desktop. I frequently travel away from home and take my laptop. I explored options for working with my database including copying to a thumb drive, OneDrive and Dropbox. For me the easiest way was to use Teamviewer (free). I have been using Teamviewer for many years without issue. It allows me to connect directly with my home desktop and work remotely without worry of moving or copying my database or issues with Dropbox or OneDrive. Teamviewer also gives the option of transferring files back and forth between computers. I just connect to my desktop and launch RootsMagic from there. Theoretically you could download your data file to your laptop, work on it and transfer it back to your desktop when done. I choose just to access my desktop and run RM from there. Any thoughts?


I like that method of working which I had not thought of.
I work with my whole database (NOT rootsmagic (RM) itself) and associated other files on two external hard drives - one used as a backup for the other. My working drive can then be disconnected from my desktop and used on my laptop or any other computer that has RM available. One just has to be careful to follow proper disconnect procedure when removing the drive when finished.

Remote control is, I think, the safest and surest way to operate from any location which has adequate connectivity to the host computer. It avoids the complications of version management, synchronization and data conflict, media availability et al.

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I use the built-in (to Windows Pro) Remote Desktop. Same concept.

You only have to deal with either keeping your home machine on or set up Wake-on-LAN.

TeamViewer works just fine for me. I make sure I exit out of RM each time and do a backup.

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Seems simpler to just store the database(s) on iCloud drive and access from any mac with Rootsmagic 9 installed for one user with multiple devices and good internet access.

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Don’t know how it could be even possible. OP owns both a desktop and a laptop and uses DropBox/OneDrive. That pretty much rules them out of being an Apple user.

One possible problem. I have used Teamviewer for some time for volunteer support purposes, not to synchronise files across devices. My sage wasn’t a lot, but it suddenly classified my desktop as a commercial user. I am unwilling to pay for a commercial license, so its not available.

But there are other much easier (automatic) methods. If you run windows you have 5Gb available in OneDrive. Put your RM database in OneDrive, and every time you close the database it will immediately upload to the cloud. If you then start a different device, the updated version will automatically download to it, unless you don’t have an internet connection. I pay $A3/mo for 150GB instead, and thereby keep all my user files sychronised without having to do anything.

Dropbox and OneDrive no problem for mac users but no real utility compared to iCloud/Drive.

Not practical for PC-users.

It could be, last I knew, there was an iCloud client that you could download on Windows much the same as all the other cloud storage sites have.

Can you speak to it’s compatibility w/RootsMagic on a PC specifically? Otherwise it’s six of one, half dozen of the other.

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I have no clue what you mean as to compatibility. iCloud is exactly like Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive. The client installs and creates a local folder to which you can store whatever you like, just like all the other cloud providers, so the claim of iCloud not being practical is pointless. It works no better or worse than any other cloud storage and last I checked, it was cheaper than Dropbox.

icloud drive is an integral part of the mac OS making transfer/sharing between devices very easy. However trying to use such features in a Windows environment while possible is probably not a great experience with feature limitations.

No, it functions just fine on Windows, at least as well as any other cloud storage. It works far better than the days of iTunes on Windows. That program was just a virus on a Windows machine.

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I do the same thing (sans TeamViewer) all day, every day. I always Remote Desktop into my PC at work and at home since my screen and keyboard are attached to my Mac(s). I use a VPN between home and work so I don’t transport anything back and forth. Oddly, the time don’t do that is when traveling because my files are on my personal laptop which I take with me.

I will be a bit of a spoilsport here. While the concept is great, and I don’t see any TECHNICAL roadblock to using TeamViewer or any other remote desktop protocol application (RDP), there are security issues that you should be aware of (google “remote desktop security issues”). Speaking from experience, I have been hacked by someone using Anydesk (another RDP), so please make sure that you do take precautions, including strong passwords because any successful hacker will have complete access to your computer, any application on it, your network, etc. If you store passwords in your browser (not recommended) they have access to those as well. In my case, I have blocked RDP on my firewall and only open up those ports when needed. I have also blocked some RDP applications.
To me, a safer way is to use cloud sharing (OneDrive, Dropbox, iCloud), but keep in mind that RM is a single user application, so make sure that there is only one person accessing it at any time.
Just my $0.02.

This method exposes a risk which has been documented many times whereby the RM database is corrupted. OneDrive constantly tries to sync and RM updates constantly so there is a risk of corruption. RM specifically recommends against this method.

I keep all my RM files on Onedrive including the database, however the database is just a back up. I use RoboCopy to copy the database from Onedrive to my c: drive whenever I log on to my computer and then back again when I lock or shutdown. RoboCopy only copies it if it is newer than the one on the destination drive. THis solution avoids any concerns of corrupting the database by having my main database on Onedrive.

I was going to post a contra-indication regarding OneDrive based on observations that @thejerrybryan and I made back in 2020:

But just to be sure, I double-checked with RM9, RM7, SQLiteSpy and SQLitePersonal and was dismayed to find that OneDrive is no longer sensitive to RM or any SQLite database files being open. It no longer suspends syncing them while they are open (registered) by a SQLite app or manager. So sync is triggered with every change to the database or after some interval covering multiple changes.

At least that’s what I see on my laptop which is the same one I had in 2020. Still Win 10, numerous updates later. Same apps except for RM9 which didn’t exist but they, too, have had updates. But it’s most likely that it is OneDrive that has changed. Other apps that put a conventional lock on a file behave in OneDrive the same as before, with a “sync pending” icon in Windows Explorer until the file is closed, after which the cloud copy is updated.

That, for a time at least, OneDrive behaved as one would like with SQLite files, we might hope that it is still handling them safely, only more smartly and expeditiously. However, the proof of that is now absent. So until it is revealed, I will revert to advising any who will listen to avoid working on a database that is actively synced by OneDrive or by any cloud-sync service.

At that time, I could find no Microsoft documentation of this automatic pausing by OneDrive and the way it was reported by OneDrive was, in a way, suggestive of a warning.