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Storing AccountEdge data in Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive or OneDrive

Article ID: 2027017            Last Updated: 22 August 2023



Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, and OneDrive are a few of the popular cloud file hosting services that allow you to save and share all types of files.  The way they work is your information is stored locally on your computer and then the cloud service syncs this information to its servers as information is updated.

This article primarily focuses on possible interactions between AccountEdge and Dropbox, but the information applies equally to any cloud service, like the aforementioned iCloud, Google Drive, and OneDrive.

Don't Keep Your Live Company File on Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, or OneDrive

Whilst keeping AccountEdge backup files in the cloud can be a good idea, we do not recommend putting your live data file (.myo file) in a folder that is synced with any type of cloud service.

Sometimes, people who have users in different physical locations will want to use Dropbox (or one of the similar services) to store their file so it can be accessed by all of their users.  The main issue with this type of setup occurs when two people open this file at the same time.  With a cloud service like Dropbox, AccountEdge will actually open the local file on both users' respective computers.  But this creates a problem because both AccountEdge users are not actually opening the exact same file: User A is opening their local file and User B is opening their local file, one on each computer.  As a result, Dropbox now has two copies of the same file open in two different locations and will make a 'conflicted copy' of the file, since it cannot determine which is the 'correct' file.

What this means is that if you have two users working in the file and they both make changes (creating invoices, adding cards, reconciling your checking account, etc.), there are now going to be two different versions of the company file: one with the information User A entered and another version of the file with the information User B entered.  These two files cannot just be merged back together, and if you have two separate versions of your file, your accounting data will be incomplete.  Some of the data will be in User A's file and other data will be in User B's file.  But neither user's file will have the complete set of data.  To make matters worse, both of these files will have the exact same name but contain different data, causing further confusion.

Even if you are the only person in your company who uses AccountEdge, we still do not recommend keeping your live company file on a cloud file host because there is a strong potential for data to go "missing" with this type of setup.  AccountEdge does not cause this to happen but cloud services can cause data to "disappear" by taking outside actions on your AccountEdge file without your approval or knowledge.

Various situations can cause cloud services to replace your current data file with an older version.  For example, if you enter several item invoices into your file on Tuesday but a connectivity issue causes the cloud service to replace your Tuesday file with your old Monday file, all of the invoices you entered on Tuesday are now permanently lost.  The data you entered on Tuesday is now "missing," but AccountEdge did not delete it.  The cloud service caused the data to "disappear" by overwriting your current file with an older version.  We have seen a few users who lost days, weeks, and even years' worth of data due to a cloud service overwriting their current file with an older version.  Do NOT work on your AccountEdge file while it's located in a cloud location to prevent this from happening to you.

Another issue is that Dropbox and similar cloud services may prevent you from using certain features in AccountEdge.  If you are trying to complete a single user task while a file is located on Dropbox, you may receive an error message about the data file being in use by another application.  This will prevent you from completing tasks that require you to be logged in as a single user.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can I backup to Dropbox and cloud but not keep my live .myo file there?

Storing backups in cloud locations can be a good idea, since they can be regarded as 'off site' backup files.  However, when you back up your file to Dropbox and/or other cloud services, you are only storing your backup .zip file there for safekeeping.  You are not actually accessing your live .myo company file and making changes to it.

Should you ever need to restore a backup that you saved on Dropbox, you will need to take the backup off the cloud first, then restore it.

Click here for more information about backup best practices

I've been using a cloud location to store my data file for years and haven't had any problems - Why should I stop using it?

There are certainly users for whom this is true.  If you are a single user and there is no one else who uses your data file this might even continue to work for you.  That being said, we have not done any extensive testing using AccountEdge and there is certainly a possibility for issues to occur, since every cloud service's T&C's and technology are different and can change at any time.





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