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Problems with syncing Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I have OmniFocus for the Mac and for iPhone. I tried replicating through both Mobile Me and the network (with the database sitting on my Mac). Every time I sync it seems that the most recent entries get deleted. What am I doing wrong?

Imlad, I'm sorry for the trouble here! Here are a couple things to try which may help us to figure out the specifics of what's happening.

It would be good to know if you're having trouble finding items, or if there are edits to the items in your database that don't appear to have synced properly. (The two situations have different causes and solutions.)

If you mean the former, try selecting "All Items" from the Perspective menu of OmniFocus for Mac's menu bar. Next, use the search tool in the OmniFocus window to search for the actions by name. Do they show up? It's possible that the items are in the database but hidden from view on either/both devices.

Now, if what you're seeing is that the items are all there, but edits didn't sync as you expect, we can't say for sure whether this is a bug yet. (It's certainly possible; we've had bugs like that before. We just can't tell yet.)

When OmniFocus looks and sees that the same item has edits both on the device that's syncing and on the server, it causes what's called a "sync conflict".

When it comes to resolving those conflicts, the change that occurred most recently is the one that wins. In order to keep sync times acceptable on the iPhone (which is about 2000 times slower than a slow desktop machine) we do this conflict resolution on a by-item basis, rather than a by-field basis.

In other words, OmniFocus looks at the change files on the device and the server and sees that they both affect the same item. Looking inside both change files and seeing how to resolve the changes would be too slow; OmniFocus just uses the one that happened most recently and sets the earlier change file aside.

Example which will cause a change to be lost:
Change due date of action on mac
Change note of same action on phone
sync mac
sync phone

Conflict: two edits to same record from two devices.
Result: due date change is ignored in favor of note change, which is more recent.

Now, here's how to make the same changes but do so in a way that won't lose any change files:

Change due date of action on mac
sync mac
sync phone (so it fetches the new due date from the server)
change note of same action on phone
sync phone

The upshot: sync will go most smoothly if you try to sync your devices when you're switching from one to another.

Is any of that helpful?

Last edited by Brian; 2010-04-22 at 06:14 PM.. Reason: correct spelling errors, formatting
Something I should have said in my last post: if the above doesn't match like what you're seeing happen in your syncs, contact our support ninjas and we'll be happy to investigate this with you.

You can email us or call 1.800.315.6664; we're happy to help!
One other advantage to the "sync records rather than fields" approach, besides performance, is that you can use your other sync clients as a kind of safety net. This just saved me today.

I had deleted an action on my Mac, synced to MobileMe, and then logged out. As I was walking out the door, I suddenly had a change of heart and was wishing I hadn't deleted the action. And I definitely wasn't excited about typing in my rather verbose note again. :-)

So I pulled out my iPhone and, before syncing, made a small change to the action (which still existed on my iPhone since I hadn't synced yet). Then I synced. The action was most recently modified on my iPhone, so that version got sent up to MobileMe and then later synced down to my Mac. Action preserved, mission accomplished!

Sorry for the digression. Please carry on...


Last edited by Toadling; 2010-04-22 at 07:33 PM.. Reason: Typo corrections

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