Synchronizing Datafiles

Between iData Pro 5.4.02 and iData Mobile Plus 1.1.16

And Later


 iData Pro 5.4.02 (and later) works with iData Mobile  to let you synchronize datafiles between a Mac (running macOS 12.0 or later) and an iOS device (iPhone or iPad (running iOS 15.2.1 or later).

 Because it is difficult to display all the relevant information and procedures clearly on the iPhone and iPad screens, this User Guide item is available for display only in the iData Pro 5 version of the User Guide (under the Help menu).

NOTE : The following instructions refer to "the iPhone", but apply equally to the iPad.

Changes From Earlier Versions of iData Pro and iData Mobile

iData Pro 4/5.x.1 and iData Mobile Plus 1.1.14 (and earlier) had two methods for connecting between the Mac and the iPhone WiFi and Dropbox. As newer versions of macOS and iOS came out, both of these methods quit working in the iData apps. As I searched the Web looking for information on upgrading my code, I ran across a solution that requires nothing more than a USB connection between the Mac and the iPhone. It's simpler and, thus, more reliable than either of the previous methods. Because the connection uses Mac Finder routines, neither app even has to be running to transfer datafiles between the two platforms.

This procedures for synchronizing datafiles can be summarized as follows:

    1
. On the Mac, create a separate folder to hold the datafiles that you transfer from the iPhone. Call it something like iData Mobile Plus Datafiles, and place it in your Documents folder. This will make it easier to distinguish the iPhone datafiles from the Mac versions.

    2. Open that folder and place it in an accessible location on the desktop. It doesn't have to be particularly large.

    3
. Connect the iPhone to the Mac using a USB cable.

   
4. In iData Mobile Plus, on the iPhone, move all datafiles that you want to synchronize to the Public section of the Datafiles list.

    5. On the Mac, in the Finder, open a new window. The name of your iPhone should show up under Locations in the window sidebar. Select the iPhone name, and that window will change to display a window for the iPhone. If necessary, adh

    6.
In that window, below the iPhone's name, you will see a horizontal list of topics. Click on Files, and a list of iPhone apps will appear. One of the items in that list will be > iData Mobile Plus.

    7.
Tap the > to reveal a list of the datafiles in the Public folder of iData Mobile Plus on your iPhone

    8
. Select one or more .id3 datafiles in the list and drag them to your iData Mobile Plus Datafiles folder. This does not remove them from the iPhone, it merely copies them.i

    9. In iData Pro 5.4, open the datafile that you want to sync to iData Mobile Plus.

    Small Details:

       1. Unlike iData Pro 4 and iData 5.0 through 5.3, iData Pro 5.4 does not use the old Sync ID setting. However, for two datafiles to be synced, they must match in one of the following ways:

            a. Both freeform (no fields)

            b. Both field-based, with a matching number of fields

  
               Fields have field IDs. For a pair of fields to be tested, they must have the same field ID.

               The field names are ignored, but if a field in one datafile has been deleted and later replaced, its field ID will no longer match.

        2. The file names do not have to match.

        3. The old iData Mobile datafiles with the .idm file name extension cannot be opened by iData Mobile Plus. Simply change the .idm to .id3.

It's Not Just About Synchronizing Existing Datafile Pairs


Creating datafiles on a Mac, with its large keyboard and mouse (or touch pad), is generally more convenient than doing the same using the iPhone keyboard.

Furthermore, iData Pro 5  on the Mac provides more tools for creating and modifying the content and the format of your datafiles. For example, I have a datafile containing the words and chords for 206 songs. That datafile has been sorted alphabetically by the first line (which contains the song title), and then I used Add Table of Contents under the Edit menu to add a clickable Table of Contents as the first record. This was easy to do on the Mac, but impossible on the iPad. However, it was relatively simple to create the datafile on the Mac and simply transfer it to my iPad. So, when I go to a jam session, I just take along my iPad. And, it's easy to update when I add new songs, correct errors, etc.

Adding a New Mac Datafile to the iPhone


    1. Drag the desired .id3 datafile from your Datafiles folder to the iData Mobile Plus item in the Files list. When the iData Mobile Plus line highlights (blue in following image), release the mouse button. (In the image, "Bluegrass Banjo Tunes.id3" is being dragged.)




    2.The result will look like this in the Finder window:

          

Full Details


The iData synchronization procedures provide a way to maintain copies of a datafile on both platforms and to synchronize changes made to either copy with the other copy.


A New Synchronization Process

iData Mobile Plus until version 1.1.14 was able to use WiFi and Dropbox to transfer datafiles between the Mac and the iPhone. Neither of those methods are available in iData Mobile Plus 1.1.16.

The good news is that the Mac Finder has the ability to transfer datafiles between the Mac and the iData Mobile Plus Public Datafiles list over a cable connection.

A datafile can be copied from the iPhone, synchronized with its corresponding datafile on the Mac, and then the synchronized result can be copied back to the iPhone.


First Things First Security

As in iData Mobile Plus, the iData Mobile Plus Datafiles list offers two sections, Public and Private.

The Public section lists datafiles that are accessible even when iData  Mobile Plus is not running and even when the iPhone is not turned on. This means that even if you have a password set for iData Mobile Plus, the datafiles in that section are accessible.

The Private section lists datafiles that are accessible only within iData Mobile Plus.

Our recommendation is that you place all of your datafiles in the Private section, moving them to the Public section only while transferring them to the Mac for editing or synchronization. Then, move them back to the
Private section.

Although iData Mobile Plus has always offered a way to move one datafile at a time between the Public and Private sections, version 1.1.5 lets you move all of your datafiles with just a couple of taps.


Moving All Datafiles to the Public Section of the Datafiles List

   
1. At the bottom of the Datafiles list is a button bar. Tap the second button  from the left () to open the datafile transfer window.

       (If you change your mind, you can just tap the blue < Datafiles at the upper left of the window, and the Datafiles list will reappear without any change.)




    2. To transfer all datafiles from the Private section to the Public section, tap the Move All to Public Section button.

        Within a couple of seconds, you will be returned to the Datafiles list, and will see that the Public section now contains all of your datafiles.

        Since the Private section is empty, its name bar is not shown.


Moving Datafiles From the iPhone to the Mac

    1. To avoid confusion, you should create a folder on the Mac that will hold datafiles that you copy from iData Mobile Plus on the iPhone.

        The following explanations will assume that you have created a folder called iData Mobile Plus Datafiles within your Documents folder.

       (Depending on your situation, you may actually want to have one folder for your iPhone datafiles and another for your iPad datafiles, e.g.,
iData Mobile Plus iPhone Datafiles  and iData Mobile Plus iPad Datafiles .)

    2. On the iPhone, open iData Mobile Plus and move all datafiles to the Public section, as explained above.

    3. Use a USB cable to connect the iPhone to the Mac.

    4. On the Mac:

       a. Under Locations in the sidebar of any Finder window, select your iPhone. That window will then display a window for the iPhone.




       b. In that window, below the iPhone's name, you will see a horizontal list of topics. Click on Files, and a list of iPhone apps will appear. One of the items in that list will be > iData Mobile Plus.

       c. Tap the > to reveal a list of the datafiles in the Public folder of iData Mobile Plus on your iPhone.

 

       d. Select one or more .id3 datafiles in the list and drag them to your iData Mobile Plus Datafiles folder.


    Moving Datafiles From the Mac to the iPhone

    1.
Drag the desired .id3 datafile from your Datafiles folder to the iData Mobile Plus item in the Files list. When the iData Mobile Plus line highlights (blue in following image), release the mouse button. (The datafile being dragged in the example is "Bluegrass Banjo Tunes.id3".)


 

    2.The result will look like this in the Finder window:

          


The Synchronization Procedure
 
    1. In iData Mobile Plus, move all datafiles to the Public section of the Datafiles list, as explained above.

    2. Move the datafile(s) that you want to synchronize to the Mac, as explained above, dragging them into your iData Mobile Plus Datafiles folder. Do NOT open those datafiles in iData Pro.

    3. Open the Mac version of the datafile (in your Datafiles folder) in iData Pro. We'll refer to this as the Local datafile. Here's a sample:




    4. Select Synchronize Datafiles... under the File menu.

    5. iData Pro will then put up an Open dialog, asking you to select the corresponding datafile in the
iData Mobile Plus Datafiles folder. Select that datafile, and click the Open button. We'll refer to this as the Remote datafile.

   
6. If there are no records that have been modified in both datafiles, you will not even see a window for the Remote datafile. Instead, the Local datafile window will briefly disappear. When it returns, any required changes will have been applied to the Local datafile, and the Remote datafile will have been replaced by a copy of the Local datafile in the Finder.

    7. If there are records that do not match between the two datafiles, the Remote datafile will open. When it opens, it will look like the original (though the size may be different), but the Find Box will be blacked out, and most of the toolbar buttons, along with the buttons in the upper left corner, will be disabled, something like this:



    8. The Remote datafile cannot be edited, but all records can be viewed, and the contents of fields and the Freeform Text Area can be selected and copied for pasting into the Local datafile.

    9. At this time, a Synchronize Records dialog will open. This will show you which records have conflicts that cannot be handled automatically.



    10.
The text at the top of the dialog explains the process. Notice that record numbers may not match in the two datafiles. This is because records may have been reordered in either datafile since the last time they were synchronized. iData uses a unique identifier attached to each record, rather than relying on changeable record numbers.

        a. Select a pair of records in the list to cause those two records two be shown in the two datafiles.  You may click directly on a pair in the list, or you can use the Previous and Next buttons to move from record to record.

        b. Make any desired changes to the record in the local datafile, referring to the matching record in the remote datafile as necessary. When you are done, click the Finished With This Record button, and the record pair will be removed from the list.

        c. Continue with the process until no more records remain in the list.

        d. Click the Done button. The Remote datafile and the Synchronize window will close, and both datafiles will be updated in their original locations.

    11.You can abort the synchronization process either by clicking the Cancel button in the Synchronize Records window or by closing either datafile window.

    12. Once synchronization is completed, use Mac Finder file sharing to transfer the iPhone version of the datafile back to iData Mobile Plus, as explained above.

    13. If desired, in iData Mobile Plus, move all of the datafiles back to the Private section, as explained below. This is highly recommended.


Moving All Datafiles to the Private Section of the Datafiles List

    1. As mentioned above, the file sharing procedure moves datafiles to and from the Public section in iData Mobile Plus.

    2. While viewing the Datafiles list in iData Mobile Plus, tap thebutton.

    3. In the next window, tap the Move All to Private Section button.



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