Utility for Syncing App Data via Dropbox

I have a cool new utlity to release today! DropboxAppSync is a simple utility that will relocate any Application’s Support folder to your Dropbox account so that it can be shared across multiple Macs. I initially developed this so that my cusotmers could easy share their DomainBrain database and Rapidweaver Stacks across multiple machines. However, I quickly morphed the application so that it will sync the support folder from any application!!!

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NOTE: While syncing application data over Dropbox has become a pretty wide spread practice, not all applicaitons may support this behavior. Proceed with caution.

How to run DropboxAppSync

There are a lot of techie details below. As a common user, you just select your app and click OK!

On your 1st Mac

Make sure that you run this first on the Mac where you would like to use its application data first. The data from this Mac will be sync across all your other computers.

  • It will first prompt you for which application you would like to sync. Make sure that the app is not running!
  • The Application Support folder for the selected application will be located and backed up to your desktop.
  • A folder named Application Support will be created in your Dropbox folder if it does not already exist. (I stole this idea from BBEdit. Great idea guys!!!)
  • Then the support data for your application will be copied into sub-directory with the name of the application into the Application Support folder created on Dropbox.
  • Finally a symlink is created from the original Application Support folder to the one just created on Dropbox. This is the magic part that tricks your application into thinking that everything is copasetic.
  • Once you have verified that everything is working properly, you can safely remove the backup copy of your application’s data that was saved to your desktop.

On your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, Nth Mac

  • Allow Dropbox to sync the application data before you run this on subsequent machines.
  • Just as before, you will be prompted for which application you would like to sync. Make sure that the app is not running!
  • Just as before, the Application Support folder for the selected application will be located and backed up to your desktop.
  • Since you woudl have already ran this on another machine, DorpboxAppSync will see that an application support folder for the selected application already exists. Therefore, no data will be moved into Dropbox.
  • Just as before, a symlink is created from the original Application Support folder to the one found on Dropbox.
  • Once you have verified that everything is working properly, you can safely remove the backup copy of your application’s data that was saved to your desktop.

And that’s it! You can not enjoy the cross machine syncing on any of your favorite applications. Here is a small list of some of the applications that I have done this with so far. They all seem to be running pretty smoothly for me.

  • BBEdit
  • Coda
  • Courier
  • Rapidweaver
  • DomainBrain

By now, I am sure that you have a DropBox account, right? If you don’t, what are you waiting for? Go and get your 2GB of free space in the Cloud!