The Omni Group
These forums are now read-only. Please visit our new forums to participate in discussion. A new account will be required to post in the new forums. For more info on the switch, see this post. Thank you!

Go Back   The Omni Group Forums > OmniFocus > Applying OmniFocus
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

 
Can multiple people/phones sync to the same database? [Answer: Yes, with caveats.] Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Chris, sorry for the confusion - it makes it easier for subsequent visitors to the forum to find answers if there is one clear thread on a given topic.

That way, they're not forced to read several threads, figure out which posts came a year after which other ones, and try to sort out what the "truth" is.

By asking your questions in this thread, you make it easier for someone that asks the question next once to read the thread and find their answers. That's all. :-)
 
When one user on client (A) is initiating a synch (with another OmniFocus serving as server) while a second user is editing a notes filed on another Omnifocus on another client (B), it occasionally happens, that the notes field under editing (on B) is overwritten with the older information of the other client (A) initiating the synch. At this point, also the view information from A is enforced on B. E.g. if the task which notes field was edited on B was in another task and that task obviously was unfolded, it would be not visible anymore in case task was folded on client (A) while initiating the synch.

This happens about twice a day since a while, and we changed many configurations, but we still keep loosing data when editing notes fields.

Our configuration:
* System which runs the Omni Focus serving: MacMini, PPC, 10.4.11
* OmniFocus 1.7.3 (v77.40 r118571)
* Clients: All PPC Mac, 10.4.11
* Connection from client to Server via Bonjour
* Router: Netgear, IP address through DHCP
* all machines are synched to the same time server


Would this problem go away, if we switch to a WebDAV server?
Is a WebDAV server a more reliable solution for synching data (I know WebDAV has locking mechanism, so I'm wondering if this could help in solving our issue)

Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you.
Chris
 
If you have two parties editing the same action at the same time, you are going to have trouble, as the syncing mechanism isn't designed to accommodate this practice. Syncs happen on a per-action basis, so even if you are changing a different part of the action (one changes the note, another changes the due date), the last change synced will wipe out the other. It doesn't have anything to do with whether you use Bonjour or MobileMe.
 
The previous response covers most of what's going on here. OmniFocus 1.x was, at it's core, designed around the idea of a single-user workflow. While it's possible to get multiple folks editing the database at the same time to work, it's not what the app was designed around.

We are thinking about ways we can support use cases like this in future versions, though.
 
i've purchased 4 OF desktop and iPhone licenses. i was amazed to find out later that in such an elaborate, well developed, and expensive app there are no features for multiple users. my mistake for making that assumption.

for the moment i have 1 OF database on MobileMe or WebDAV that everyone syncs to. it works, but everyone has the same giant pile of tasks. and according to Omni it could potentially lead to db corruption during simultaneous access.

ideally each user would their own set of projects, and also access to the company-wide set. this has long been a standard feature in any server app like iCal, including its tasks.

so i'm interested in what workarounds OF users have come up with to deal with multiple users? in other threads i have seen that this might be a future feature in v2.0 but that version could be a very long way off. if there is no workaround, i will have to ask for a refund for all 8 OF apps :-(.
 
It's pretty tough to be all things to all people and still beat the competition to market in the first revision of a new product! There are plenty of feature requests that I can guarantee have many more votes in the Omni development database than probably any workgroup feature, like it or not. That's not to say they shouldn't address the issue of how to use it as anything but a solo practitioner, of course.

What do you want to accomplish with this system? As Omni has undoubtedly told you, if two different users change the same action (doesn't even have to be the same field) and then sync, one user's changes will be silently discarded. To stay clear of such mishaps, everyone has to stay in different parts of the pool, or have some out-of-band mechanism to make sure only one person edits at a time in a shared project, and a sync is done by the first writer before the second writer makes a change.

You could make a folder for each person where all of their projects live, with the understanding that one didn't change anything in someone else's folder without talking to them first. But again, we get back to the question of what the desired goal is -- this isn't going to work very well for a delegation scheme where one person is farming out work to the others, for example, because of the need to constantly coordinate who is allowed to make changes.

What gave you the impression that OmniFocus was intended as a multi-user environment? For most applications, that's really the exceptional case, not the usual one... I ask not to make you feel bad about your choice, but rather to see if there is something in the marketing materials that is misleading in this regard, because I know that Omni doesn't like unhappy customers, and delivering something other than what the customer has been led to expect is a surefire route to an unhappy customer!
 
well first off i should say it's a great piece of software. often we bitch about things only because so many other things are good it makes us frustrated it's not perfect. which of course is unreasonable. the needs we have are fairly typical for a small business, i would think. a lot of stuff needs to get done, and different people are responsible for different things, sometimes more than one person is responsible for the same thing, and people need to be aware of other people's progress on their various actions - especially when they're in the same project. the Delegation feature of Things is great although not necessary if everyone has their own account and access to a shared account (plus Things doesn't quite sync the way we need it to). i know OF has a "waiting" context which you can use to approximate delegation but it doesn't really cut it.

different folders for each user within one shared database might work but agreeing to not edit while someone else is editing is hard to enforce. perhaps two simple fixes while waiting for real multi-user functionality could resolve this.

1. a warning when the database file is already open. this is built in to the Mac OS already for file sharing.

2. the ability to view, at least, if not edit, an additional database - for example how iCal or Address Book allows you to "add accounts." if this is technically difficult, then the ability to switch to another database easily would be better than nothing.

i'm no expert, these are just some initial thoughts. i'd love to hear what other groups or small businesses that use OF do. or maybe they use different software?
in the meantime we will try each having his or her own database and combine it with the old school method of sending a million emails to inform each other about what is done and what needs to get done.
 
Your needs may exceed what OmniFocus is designed to do. You can have a true, fully-customizable, multi-user database experience with an enterprise-level product like FileMaker Pro.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post
Your needs may exceed what OmniFocus is designed to do. You can have a true, fully-customizable, multi-user database experience with an enterprise-level product like FileMaker Pro.
Or various web-based solutions specifically designed for multi-user environments, like those produced by 37signals.

-Dennis
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eforman View Post
different folders for each user within one shared database might work but agreeing to not edit while someone else is editing is hard to enforce.
You only have to agree not to edit the same project or action -- it's not a case of "you can't do anything for the next half hour while I make some changes", more like "I'm going to make some changes to the XYZ project, please don't edit it until I give the okay" which is still potentially troublesome, I agree.
Quote:
1. a warning when the database file is already open. this is built in to the Mac OS already for file sharing.
A non-starter -- the database where the collision occurs isn't on the Mac and isn't accessed like an ordinary file. Everyone has their own local copy, and submits and receives changes from the central copy hosted on the webDAV server.
Quote:
2. the ability to view, at least, if not edit, an additional database - for example how iCal or Address Book allows you to "add accounts." if this is technically difficult, then the ability to switch to another database easily would be better than nothing.
You can view and edit multiple databases right now, although I'm not sure I see how this helps. You can open another database by simply double-clicking on the file. What you can't do is sync another database, so far as I know.
 
 


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need multiple databases/files [A: supported, with caveats.] rogbar OmniFocus 1 for Mac 6 2011-05-12 01:10 PM
How to search entire database? [Answer: see thread] peterlemer OmniFocus 1 for Mac 4 2009-05-13 03:16 AM
multiple phones, multiple people in same household? aimee OmniFocus for iPhone 6 2008-10-25 04:39 PM
Feature request: about syncing multiple phones erlang OmniFocus for iPhone 1 2008-08-15 05:50 PM
Can Backup/Revert Database be used to sync multiple machines? Anthony.Calzadilla OmniFocus 1 for Mac 2 2007-07-20 09:27 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.