Changes to the way Quicken and Dropbox interact?

me
me Member ✭✭✭
Quicken and Dropbox have not always played well together with Quicken sometimes not being able to open a Quicken file while Dropbox is backing it up.  About a week ago I noticed that Quicken and Dropbox are interacting differently with Dropbox backing up my Quicken file consistently while the file is open.  For example, I had my file open from 8:08am-8:17am this morning and Dropbox created 37 DISTINCT backups of my file.

Has anyone else seen this behavior?  Is there any reason I should be concerned?

To be clear, this could be easily have been caused by a change in Dropbox, not Quicken.

Comments

  • Greg_the_Geek
    Greg_the_Geek SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    I doubt i will ever be changed. Quicken is not going to support keeping your active Quicken data file in a network or cloud folder.

    Can I share my Quicken file between multiple computers using Dropbox?
    Quicken Subscription HBRP - Windows 10
  • me
    me Member ✭✭✭
    I keep Quicken data local and it is auto synced to the cloud.  It works nearly seemlessly (except as mentioned if I get in and out of the file quickly.)  I'm just curious if anyone else is seeing their files backed up continuously.  
  • Greg_the_Geek
    Greg_the_Geek SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    You can't keep your data file locally and on a cloud drive folder. It's one or the other.
    Quicken Subscription HBRP - Windows 10
  • me
    me Member ✭✭✭
    Have you ever used dropbox?  Local copies of every file, syncing upon changes to the cloud, and then updating the local copies on any machine that is also synced?  Cool techology ...
  • Greg_the_Geek
    Greg_the_Geek SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know how Dropbox functions as I currently use Dropbox only for Quicken backups. My active data file is in a local folder that's not synced to Dropbox. If you insist on keeping your active data file in a Dropbox folder, you should pause Dropbox before starting Quicken and then restarting after exiting Quicken. Please don't complain here if your data file becomes corrupt due to syncing issues.
    Quicken Subscription HBRP - Windows 10
  • me
    me Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks Greg!  I've reread my initial post and I still don't think I was complaining.

    I've used Dropbox and Quicken together for 10 years.  I posted here trying to get some feedback from other people who use Quicken and Dropbox as I do.  No errors involved; just noticing that Dropbox is backing up differently than before and asking if others were seeing the same.

    It sounds like you don't use Quicken and Dropbox as I do, and don't really have anything to add to this thread.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    If there is any change, it is most likely on the Dropbox side, and it doesn’t sound like a good thing.

    At its heart the Quicken data file is a database.  At any given moment the data might not be consistent.  As in one table might be updated that points to another table that hasn’t yet been updated.  As such databases need special consideration when they are backed up.

    If that isn’t the case then the backups might be garbage. On top of that some of these utilities might try to “merge” copies of the file from different machines, which is impossible to do correctly.

    This the main reason for not supporting this setup.  Note that @Greg_the_Geek is only telling you what Quicken Inc has already stated their policy is.  The fact that it works or doesn’t work for you doesn’t change that policy.  If you trash your data file, and they notice that you are going against that policy the most likely response will be, “start over”.

    The is a bit more to this story though.  When Quicken opens its data file it opens in in a locked state (for both read and write).  Other programs are supposed to honor that and not touch it until it is unlocked.  As far as I know Dropbox has been honoring that lock, and as such “mostly” works.  If this has changed, as it sounds like it has for you, then all bets are off if any of those backup files are are any good.

    And the reason I said “mostly” is because even when the locks are properly honored problems can arise.
    Quicken closes/unlocks the data file at various times.  For instance to do backups, validate and repair, and a few other times.  This results in the data file getting unlocked for a short period of time, but Quicken expects to be able to open it up again without any contention with another program.  If the cloud service detects that the lock has been removed, and then comes in a locks it so that it can sync it without it changing, then that is going to lock Quicken out and Quicken is going to throw various errors for that.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • me
    me Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the detail.  It seems that Dropbox may have changed the way it deals with the Quicken file.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Note I did a quick test of having a data file in Dropbox, open while I wrote the above comment, and I see no change in behavior from Quicken or Dropbox.  It only synced when I put the file in Dropbox, and didn’t sync while Quicken has open even though did One Step Update a couple of times.  I just closed Quicken and now it synced in Dropbox.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
This discussion has been closed.