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Client modified/Server modified when editing the file

Helpful | Level 5

Hello folks,

I am using Dropbox with your API.

When I change an already existing file (for example I have a document which I update to new version), the fields "client_modified" and "server_modified" change to the date when this happened. 

What is the meaning of the fields "client/server modified"? When I restore the file, then only the "server_modified" changes and the "client_modified" stays unchanged.

Is the meaning of the fields below correct?

client_modified = created time

server_modified = modified time

Is it possible to get the information whether the file had been modified in the past?

Thank you in advance


1 Reply 1

Re: Client modified/Server modified when editing the file


Those descriptions aren't quite right. You can find the official descriptions in the documentation for the FileMetadata object, e.g., as returned by /2/files/upload.

In short, they're both the modified time of the file. The 'client_modified' time is the time as supplied by the client that uploaded the file, if any, and the 'server_modified' time is the time on the Dropbox servers when the file was uploaded. The Dropbox API does not return file creation time.

You can get a history of file changes from the /2/files/list_revisions endpoint.

By the way, those are links to the documentation for the HTTPS endpoints themselves, but we recommend using one of the official SDKs if possible. Those have corresponding native methods for the HTTPS endpoints. 

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