This article describes using the MolSync app to keep data current on two iOS devices, using a single Dropbox account. The two-device scenario is increasingly common, since there are practical reasons to have a smartphone and a tablet. Since there will be times when only one of the devices is on hand, it is useful to be able to synchronise some of the data content.
Familiarity with MolSync and MMDS for iOS is assumed. For more information, see:
The rest of this article is written from the point of of a user who has both an iPhone and an iPad, both devices have MolSync and MMDS installed, and that MolSync has been configured to connect to a Dropbox account. The files described as stored in a subfolder called /MMDS, which has been pinned to the home page.
Creating and uploading
Starting with the iPhone device, open the MMDS app:
Create a new datasheet:
Add the first round of content to the datasheet, then open the datasheet menu and select the Link to MolSync action:
This will cause the MolSync app to be launched. A preview of the incoming datasheet is presented. Verify that this is the right datasheet, then press the Import button. Select a filename and location for the datasheet - in this case, the pinned folder called MMDS, and upload it:
When the upload is complete, MMDS will be relaunched. It looks the same as before, except now the datasheet entitled Covalent Drugs shows a MolSync logo on the right hand side of the banner:
The datasheet stored locally on the iPhone by MMDS is now linked to the remotely stored file on Dropbox, with the full path of /MMDS/CovalentDrugs.ds.
Linking to second device
Now switch to the iPad device. Launch the MolSync app, open the MMDS folder, and select the file CovalentDrugs.ds:
Touch-and-hold to bring up the file menu, and select Link to MMDS:
MMDS will be launched, and the imported datasheet will be displayed. Closing the datasheet viewer reveals that the datasheet has been added to the collection:
Now, both the iPhone and iPad devices have copies of the same data loaded into MMDS, and linked to the same remote file location on a Dropbox account via MolSync.
Adding new content
Sticking with the iPad device, add some extra entries to the datasheet:
Open the datasheet menu and select Update MolSync. Or, tap the MolSync logo on the right hand side of the banner. MolSync will be launched, and will locate match up the replacement datasheet with the file stored on Dropbox:
The View New and View Current buttons can be used to confirm that the datasheets are what they are supposed to be:
Use the Replace button to overwrite the existing file. If there is any doubt, you may wish to consider using the Backup option instead, which renames the original file, rather than overwriting it. Note however that Dropbox does store old versions of files, so inadvertently replacing old data does not necessarily mean that it is lost.
Return to the iPhone device, and open MolSync. The /MMDS subfolder has the same file listing as before, but when viewing the file CovalentDrugs.ds, the additional entries are present:
Touch-and-hold on the filename, and select Link to MMDS:
When MMDS is launched, it will recognise that the incoming datasheet is linked to one that already exists. Instead of just adding the datasheet to the collection, it prompts for a decision. Use the Replace button to overwrite the old content:
The main screen now shows the new updated datasheet, which contains additional entries:
Combining MolSync with MMDS introduces a variety of ways to synchronise chemical data between local files stored on a device and cloud-hosted files that are accessible through a generic internet terminal. It can also be used in a many-to-one fashion, allowing multiple devices to conveniently keep their data current, removing some of the headaches associated with tracking many different versions of similar content.
The next article describes a scenario where two users, each with their own Dropbox account, collaborate to share a datasheet.