* Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Questions regarding use of any Version of Family Historian. Please ensure you have set your Version of Family Historian in your Profile
Post Reply
User avatar
ColinH
Gold
Posts: 20
Joined: 17 Mar 2014 22:54
Family Historian: V6.2

Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by ColinH » 31 Jan 2018 11:21

Let me start by saying I appreciate this may really be a question for a Dropbox forum. However, I thought maybe someone here may have had a similar experience of using Dropbox for storing gedcom files.

I decided to make a folder in my Dropbox the default storage location for all my FH files. This allows the files to be available on any computer I use and, in particular, I wanted to be able to access the data whilst out and about with my Android smartphone.

On a PC, Dropbox stores its data in a folder called Dropbox within the user profile and is therefore easy to find. On Android, I found a number of gedcom viewers but cannot locate the Dropbox data. I have seen various suggestions as to where the data is stored on Android phones, but still can’t find it. I really don’t want to go down the path of having to copy the latest version of the gedcom to the phone each time I leave the house as the point of the Dropbox is to have everything synchronised.

Dropbox would appear to be the ideal way to do this if it worked. Can anyone help?

Of course, it would be even better if FH had an Android app so that users could make changes out in the field as well as view the tree

User avatar
Jane
Site Admin
Posts: 7696
Joined: 01 Nov 2002 15:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Somerset, England
Contact:

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by Jane » 31 Jan 2018 11:37

On Android you normally have to tell Dropbox to download the file it does not come down automatically. Once down it's normally put in the Dropbox folder. There are 3rd party tools which allow Auto-Sync for example Autosync Dropbox - Dropsync

For most android apps it's a good idea to change the Preference for saving to "UTF-8" in FH as more of the android programs can read that rather than full UTF-16

See
Knowledge Base > Utility ~ Dropbox
and
Knowledge Base > Family Historian on Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, etc
Jane
My Family History : My Photography "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

User avatar
tatewise
Megastar
Posts: 16313
Joined: 25 May 2010 11:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Torbay, Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by tatewise » 31 Jan 2018 11:48

Also most Android apps will not successfully open the FH GEDCOM and Media even if saved in UTF-8.

They certainly will not be able to update that GEDCOM file and it still be acceptable to FH.
In other words the Android app will corrupt your FH Project via Dropbox.

Unfortunately, fully synchronised GEDCOM across multiple apps is not currently feasible.

You are more likely to get success by using the Export Gedcom File Plugin specifically for your chosen Android app, and where you could probably use the Dropbox folder as the Plugin Export folder.
Some Android apps are specifically designed to import via Dropbox, see:
Knowledge Base > Export Gedcom File ~ (GSP) GedStar Pro for Android
Knowledge Base > Export Gedcom File ~ (HER) Heredis by BSD Concept

Another option is to export the GEDCOM to a free online tree and use the Android web browser, see:
Knowledge Base > Export Gedcom File ~ (ANC) Ancestry Family Tree
Knowledge Base > Export Gedcom File ~ (FMP) FindMyPast Family Tree
Knowledge Base > Export Gedcom File ~ (MYH) MyHeritage Family Tree
Knowledge Base > (RWW) RootsWeb WorldConnect
Knowledge Base > Export Gedcom File ~ (ZPG) ZoomPast Genealogy
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

avatar
Dew
Silver
Posts: 6
Joined: 01 Jan 2019 15:15
Family Historian: V6

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by Dew » 05 Jan 2019 22:13

What I found when trying to use Dropbox to access FH from both my laptop and my desktop is that windows 10 no longer supports Homegroup so Dropbox doesn’t believe you’re on the same network so you don’t “see” the .ged file. When you try to open the project with the second computer you get the error of no .ged.

Haven’t found a solution yet.

Dew

User avatar
tatewise
Megastar
Posts: 16313
Joined: 25 May 2010 11:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Torbay, Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by tatewise » 06 Jan 2019 00:11

Welcome to the FHUG Dew.

What you are discussing is a rather different topic.
Yes, Windows 10 no longer supports Homegroup, so that shortcut for Dropbox no longer exists, but others may know an alternative.
However, see Knowledge Base > Utility ~ Dropbox where it explains how Dropbox will synchronise via the Internet by signing in to the same Dropbox account on both PC.

The same strategy works with OneDrive and Google Drive.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

avatar
Dew
Silver
Posts: 6
Joined: 01 Jan 2019 15:15
Family Historian: V6

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by Dew » 06 Jan 2019 01:37

Understand the synchronization, use it for several things, however if I can’t open FH on my desktop, sync is not an option.

User avatar
Jane
Site Admin
Posts: 7696
Joined: 01 Nov 2002 15:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Somerset, England
Contact:

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by Jane » 06 Jan 2019 10:12

Dew wrote:however if I can’t open FH on my desktop, sync is not an option.
Have you installed FH on your Desktop? Are you getting an error or is the program simply not starting?
If it's the latter and you have Bit Defender installed try going to Advanced threat detection and excluding FH for monitoring.
Jane
My Family History : My Photography "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

User avatar
tatewise
Megastar
Posts: 16313
Joined: 25 May 2010 11:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Torbay, Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by tatewise » 06 Jan 2019 10:54

Dew, please give more detailed background information.
Did you successfully run FH on both PC synchronised via Dropbox with Homegroup before W10 dropped it?
So FH is installed and runs on both PC OK, but won't synchronise your Project via Dropbox.
Have you followed the advice in Knowledge Base > Utility ~ Dropbox to use File > Project Window, select More Tasks > Project List > Choose Location for Projects, and point it to the same Dropbox folder on both PC?
What exactly do you mean by "can’t open FH on my desktop"?
Will FH not open at all; can it open the Family Historian Sample Project; exactly what error message is produced?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

avatar
Dew
Silver
Posts: 6
Joined: 01 Jan 2019 15:15
Family Historian: V6

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by Dew » 06 Jan 2019 22:22

So Mike, FH opens and tries to open my project but it doesn’t see the “.ged” file, therefore it doesn’t open the project. Yes I followed the utility-Dropbox. It opens the sample project with no problem.

Dew

User avatar
tatewise
Megastar
Posts: 16313
Joined: 25 May 2010 11:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Torbay, Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by tatewise » 06 Jan 2019 22:54

OK, now we are getting somewhere.
Ignore the ged File not found message.
It is probably due to the Tools > Preferences > Startup > Default Startup File setting being wrong.
However, it would really help us to know exactly what that message says in full.

I'll assume you know about being signed into the same Dropbox account on both PC as you understand synchronisation.

On both PC run FH and use File > Project Window to check the Location: shown below the FH Projects pane.
Please double-check that they both specify the same Dropbox sub-folder.
e.g.
C:\Users\<yourusername>\Dropbox\Family Historian Projects

Are the same Projects listed in the FH Project Window on both PC?
They should be the same if the two copies of FH on the two PC are using the same Dropbox sub-folder.

If your Project is listed then right-click it and ensure Set as Default Project is ticked on both PC.

Otherwise, a screenshot of the FH Project Window on both the PC might help us diagnose the problem.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

avatar
Dew
Silver
Posts: 6
Joined: 01 Jan 2019 15:15
Family Historian: V6

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by Dew » 07 Jan 2019 19:04

Good morning. The resolution was to load the credentials first. Once the credentials were loaded, there was no problem opening the file. For reference, here is the error message. Well I'm not able to post but the text is

Unable to open file C:\Users\James\Dropbox\Apps\Family Historian Projects\JamesDewberry\JamesDewberry.fh_data\JamesDewberry.ged. File not found.

Thanx for you help.

Dew

User avatar
tatewise
Megastar
Posts: 16313
Joined: 25 May 2010 11:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Torbay, Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by tatewise » 07 Jan 2019 19:24

What credentials?
Do you mean sign in to your Dropbox account username and password?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

avatar
Dew
Silver
Posts: 6
Joined: 01 Jan 2019 15:15
Family Historian: V6

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by Dew » 07 Jan 2019 20:07

No, I exported the credentials from the running version of FH.

User avatar
tatewise
Megastar
Posts: 16313
Joined: 25 May 2010 11:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Torbay, Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by tatewise » 07 Jan 2019 22:33

That is very interesting.
I thought that the User Credentials were only relevant to Internet Data Matching.
It has never come up in discussions before that the User Credentials had any impact on reading GEDCOM files.
If it is true, then that advice will be added to the [kb]|[/kb] so others do not get the problems you suffered.

Can anyone else throw more light on this scenario?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

avatar
Dew
Silver
Posts: 6
Joined: 01 Jan 2019 15:15
Family Historian: V6

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by Dew » 08 Jan 2019 01:42

If it helps, i’m running windows 10 pro on both my laptop and my desktop and I started this on my laptop.

Dew

User avatar
johnmorrisoniom
Megastar
Posts: 766
Joined: 18 Dec 2008 07:40
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Isle of Man

Re: Using Dropbox for FH data storage

Post by johnmorrisoniom » 08 Jan 2019 07:05

I have been using Dropbox for several years to store My FH projects without any problems. and definitely did not have to export/import credentials in order to open a file.
As Mike Tate stated, the credentials are only so that your FMP etc hints are synchronised between the two computers.

The path in the error message does not look anything like the path to my files, but that shouldn't make any difference.

Post Reply