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How do I keep two copies of my database in sync using TntSync?


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First published by:
Troy Wolbrink
on 29 Sep 2008
Last revision by:
Troy Wolbrink
on 18 Apr 2013
14 people found this article useful.

100% of people found this useful
How do I keep two copies of my database in sync using TntSync?

A more sophisticated approach to keeping two databases in sync is to use TntSync.  This approach works best with a large format drive that you can share between two computers.  What I have in mind here are a Zip drive, Jazz drive, LS-120, network shared drive, USB flash drive, or an external hard drive.

Let's say you have a Zip drive that you can share between your two computers.  You transfer a copy of your database to your secondary computer such that it is at "C:\My Documents\My Partners.mpd" on both computers.  The Zip drive is configured so that it appears on each computer as the "D:" Drive.  So you keep your backup copy on your Zip drive as "D:\My Documents\My Partners.mpd".  In this scenario, the database on the Zip drive becomes the master copy, and each computer keeps in sync with the Zip drive.

TntSync needs to be configured on each computer the same way, so repeat these instructions for each computer.  To launch TntSync, under the "Tools" menu in TntMPD, click on "TntSync".  An alternative is to click on the "Start" menu ... "Programs" ... "TntMPD" ... "TntSync".  For convenience, I've made a copy of this TntSync shortcut and placed it on my desktop.  (This shortcut points to "C:\Program Files\TntMPD\TntSync.exe".)

In TntSync, under the "File" menu, click on "Add", then click on "TntMPD Databases".  For "Local TntMPD Database" enter "C:\My Documents\My Partners.mpd".  For "Remote TntMPD Database" enter "D:\My Documents\My Partners.mpd".  Then click "OK".

Now under the "Action" menu, click on "Synchronize All".  (Or you can right-click on the row you just added to the list and click on "Synchronize".)  It's a good idea to synchronize right away even though the databases should be identical at this point.  This helps to initialize TntSync so that it can better detect future changes in the database.  Now as changes are eventually made to the database you will be prompted with screen such as this...

This screen shows that "Fred Flintstone" was changed on the "C:" drive only so the change needs to be copied to the "D:" drive.  Also, "Barney Rubble" was added to the "D:" drive so it will be copied to the "C:" drive.  The "John Doe" record was changed on both the "C:" and "D:" drive so TntSync will skip this record since it doesn't know what to do with it.  At the top left of the screen you can see a summary of all the actions.  Notice that "1 Skips" (i.e., the number of records to be skipped) is bold.  This is to draw your attention to it.  For your database to synchronize you need to have no skips.  You can click on "Only Show Conflicts" if you only want to see the "Skip" records.

You can double-click on any record to see the details of what changed.  When I double-click on the "Fred Flintstone" record I can see that "Pebbles" was added to the "Children" field.

If this is what I want, I can just leave the default action of "Replace" (remote) as is.  However, let's say I wanted to revert the record to the one without "Pebbles", then I could right-click on the "Fred Flintstone" record and choose "Replace" (local).

Since the "John Doe" record was changed in both locations I can double-click on it to see what exactly was change in either location.  You can selectively choose which side of each field you want to keep by double-clicking on the "good" value that you want to keep.  If I wanted to keep "Jan" from the remote side, but keep everything else from the local side, I could double-click on "Jan".

Before After

Then I could change the action from "Skip" to "Replace" (remote). 

Now I can click "Sync!" to perform the actions.  By the way, clicking "Cancel" would have backed you out of the synchronize action completely, while clicking "Skip All" would have skipped the current list of actions.  The current list of actions is related to the "Contacts" in TntMPD.  Other lists of actions may refer to Tasks, Gifts, Histories, etc.

Because the "John Doe" record had a name/address change, it is recommended that you start TntMPD and under the "File" menu, click on "Maintenance".  Click on "Recalculate Address Data".  This is important because many additional fields will need "Jan" added to them such as "Full Name" or "Home Address Block".

Now you should run TntSync again, and if you're curious you can see exactly which fields needed to be updated.

The best advice I can give to avoid conflicts ("Skips") is to synchronize often.  Try to synchronize before you start making changes, and try to synchronize after making changes.  I rarely have skips, and both my wife and I use TntMPD alot.  Another helpful thing I use TntSync for is to synchronize files and folders.  (In TntSync, under the "File" menu, click on "Add", then "Files and Folders".)

My own story:  In my own usage of TntSync, I sync all of my Word documents and Excel spreadsheets for MPD, as well as all my programming files used to actually build TntMPD.  I use an external hard drive that I can carry between home and work (much lighter and smaller than a laptop).  This allows me to work from home as well as the office, and this allows me to keep all my file changes sorted out.  Also, this gives me a daily backup of all my files which has proven helpful on a number of occasions.

Recent Comments

By: DavidBroadwell Posted on 15 Apr 2010 8:27 PM

Does anyone know if this method would work if your main copy is kept on Apple's MobileMe? I'm thinking of using a "cloud" to hold our main copy, and then have my wife and I sync to that, but not sure if it will work...

By: mwagner84 Posted on 17 Dec 2010 4:24 AM

Just wondering if you tried this and if it worked.

By: Indy Little Posted on 25 Feb 2011 7:47 PM

My wife & I have been using this method for a few years, each with our own laptops & using a flash drive as our main db.  Unfortunately we see a pattern of losing various history & task entries when we both make changes to the copy on our computers & then sync to the main db.  Any thoughts?

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 4 Mar 2011 5:49 PM

Hi Paul, I've been using TntSync for years also, but I've never run into this problem.  I have seen staff w/ multiple copies of their databases, and they sometimes work in the wrong database.  This would create the appearance of lost history/task entries, when in reality they were made in another database.

By: Stevie K Posted on 7 Jun 2011 2:32 AM

Will this work cross platform between Windows 7 and Mac Snow Leopard. At my office I operate on a Window 7 machine but my laptop is Mac. Thanks.

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 7 Jul 2011 5:36 AM

Yes, Dropbox works on both Windows and Mac.  So it's a great solution for keeping your TntMPD database in sync between your PC and Mac.

By: KatieRedel Posted on 25 Jul 2011 6:13 PM

I successfully copied our database from my husbands computer (C drive) to a USB Flash (E Drive), then to my computer. I made changes on my computer and am having trouble getting them from my computer to the flash drive and on to his computer. I think I am making a mistake in the 'Add' 'TNT Database' options. And choosing the wrong drives. Any advice?

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 12 Aug 2011 7:44 PM

Use Windows Explorer (My Computer) and find both your databases.  In TntMPD, under the "Help" menu, click on "View System Info" to see where your current database file is.  Then just make sure it matches in TntSync.

By: TimColeman Posted on 7 Aug 2012 1:07 AM

You state in your FAQs "In TntSync, under the "File" menu, click on "Add", then click on "TntMPD Databases".  For "Local TntMPD Database" enter "C:\My Documents\My Partners.mpd".  For "Remote TntMPD Database" enter "D:\My Documents\My Partners.mpd".  Then click "OK"."

There is no "ADD" button under the file menu.

Tim Coleman

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 10 Aug 2012 4:23 PM

Hi Tim,  Click the "File" menu, then click the "Add" menu item below that.  It's not a button, but a menu item.  --Troy

By: Eshinee Veith Posted on 13 Sep 2012 9:13 AM

Those who are using Dropbox, are you simply keeping the database file in a shared Dropbox folder and accessing it from 2 different computers (not at the same time, obviously)? Or are you keeping a remote version in a Dropbox folder and syncing with TntSync?

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 17 Sep 2012 9:13 PM

Eshinee, my hunch is that most staff simply keep the database file in a shared Dropbox folder and access it from 2 different computers.  But I do know of a few staff that keep a remote version in Dropbox and use TntSync.

By: Scott DeBruyne Posted on 20 Dec 2013 3:48 AM

What is the difference between a shared folder in dropbox and a remote version to be used with TntSync?

Scott

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 10 Jan 2014 6:52 PM

Hi Scott,  I just meant that you keep a copy of your database in Dropbox, and a copy of your database on your computer outside of Dropbox.  Consider the database not in Dropbox as "Local" and consider the one in Dropbox as "Remote".  "Local" and "Remote" are just some terms TntSync uses to label the two databases it helps you keep in sync.

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