Using MYOB in Dropbox
This blog entry is a very quick overview of Dropbox and how it can be used to share MYOB data files.
18 months ago when I started with a new client he showed me how he had set up a program called Dropbox and was using his MYOB file in it. At the time I had never heard of it. When he showed me what it was and what it could do I was very impressed. Why so?
Dropbox works by adding a Dropbox folder under your My Documents folder. It is from here that you can work on your files locally. Once a file has been updated this will send a copy of the file to your online (Cloud) Dropbox account which will then in turn send it to all other computers that have access to that file. Within your Dropbox folder you can create whatever folders you like just as you would normally on your local PC. These will automatically be added to your Cloud Dropbox account.
Dropbox allows files to be shared across multiple computers across multiple locations. As each user updates a file the changes are automatically synced across all other computers who have access to the file. The catch here is that the other computers need to be on for it to sync. And this is where many people get caught out. Once you start your computer and Dropbox starts you need to wait a few minutes for it to sync all the changes across all your shared files. If you start working on a file before it has had a chance to update then it will cause a “Conflicted Copy”. The same situation will arise if you shut down your computer before the file has updated. You will have 2 different files with different sets of data. A critical point to remember is that Dropbox does not allow multiple logins of the same file at the same time. This is how a Conflicted Copy occurs.
So how does this all work with a MYOB file? Well its very simple really. The data file (.MYO) (and BOX file if you are using M Powered Services) need to be moved into a folder under your Dropbox folder in My Documents. Then invite all other users of the MYOB file to that folder. I strongly recommend that each user has their own Dropbox account and logs in with that account. I have seen lots of problems where more than 1 user is using the same Dropbox account to log in across multiple computers and the result being a Conflicted Copy due to someone not closing the file elsewhere and hence not updating the other computers. If you require simultaneous multi user access then Dropbox is not the right system to use. It simply will not achieve what you want it to do. A word of warning. Once you have moved your MYOB file into a particular folder do NOT move it to another folder. Why? Because by doing so you have just unlinked the file for all the other users of that file and hence now will have multiple versions of the file (unless you also invite all the users to the new folder and delete the old folder).
This is a very quick overview of how Dropbox works and how its capabilities can be used to share a MYOB data file across multiple users and locations. I work with ALL my MYOB files this way and don’t have any issues.
If you want to set your’s up the same and require assistance please get in touch.