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How can I check if the app has synced using the API?

How can I check if the app has synced using the API?

NewtonAbbot
Helpful | Level 6

Our rambling club uses Dropbox to sync walks and membership data between members of our committee, the data being stored as XML files within a database written in vb.net.  We sometimes have a problem where one user changes a file and it uploads to Dropbox, but when a second user later reads the same file, he sees the older version.  We suspect that this is because the second user has started his copy of the database before Dropbox has had a chance to update the file.  We need to modify our database so that it knows that Dropbox is 'Up To Date' as shown by the icon in the Windows notification area (bottom right) before allowing the second user to start using the data.  Is there an API or some other data such as a registry setting that we can interrogate, to show the sync status of Dropbox>

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: How can vb.net know that Dropbox is up to date

NewtonAbbot
Helpful | Level 6

Thanks to Jay for his further thoughts.  Our Dropbox has several users, and it seems to be that it's only the actions of one of them, which aren't being propagated to the others.  After talking to him, I have now learned that a problem within his computer, which he thinks is down to updates from Microsoft, causes it to occasionally cease talking to Dropbox, and to remain dormant until he uses a recovery procedure, along the lines of stopping and re-starting Dropbox.  This restores normal service, but might mean days of disconnection, until either he spots the problem, or another user tells him about it.  I've now realised that my idea of checking timestamps will not work for such a long period of loss of sync, and my current alternative is to get his computer to send an automatic e-mail whenever he changes a file, including the timestamp of the modified file, so that recipients can check the timestamp of the corresponding XML file at their end, and so know whether they are up to date.

If there really is a problem in his laptop, caused by Microsoft as he alleges, then I can't see how anything Dropbox could do would improve matters.  Once again, thank you for trying to help.

View solution in original post

4 Replies 4

Re: How can vb.net know that Dropbox is up to date

Jay
Dropboxer

Hi @NewtonAbbot, thanks for posting on the Community!

There is a Dropbox API available, however this is more for apps to sync using Dropbox as a service, and not for querying the actual status of the app.

Currently there isn’t a way to link to the desktop app to determine the current sync status. If you were on a Linux headless installation, you could use the script to read the status of the app.

I’m sorry we can't be more helpful on this matter.


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: How can vb.net know that Dropbox is up to date

NewtonAbbot
Helpful | Level 6

Good Morning Jay

Thanks for your prompt reply.  As no-one else has come up with a better answer (no disrespect intended!) this looks like the end of the line for my question, but thank you again for your time.  I will now look at comparing the file timestamp logged on starting the database, with the file timestamp monitored while using the database, to show up any changes Dropbox might have made, since the database was started.

@NewtonAbbot

 

Re: How can vb.net know that Dropbox is up to date

Jay
Dropboxer

Thanks for your understanding, @NewtonAbbot!

There is a sort of workaround, but this would only work for ‘normal’ files, like docx and so on to ensure that people always check the correct file.

Namely, you have two subfolders in that folder, ‘Editing’ and ‘Completed’. Whenever you plan a change, you move the file to the ‘Editing’ folder, and make your changes. Once done, you move it back to the ‘Completed’ folder, so everyone knows that this is the final version.

Since you’re working in a database, I didn’t mention this as I know it isn’t possible to just rip out some XML to a subfolder, since that would essentially corrupt it and prevent other users from using it in the meantime.

I hope you solution works out for you!


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question!
:pushpin: Tips & Tricks Find new ways to stay in flow or share your tips on how you work smarter with Dropbox.

Re: How can vb.net know that Dropbox is up to date

NewtonAbbot
Helpful | Level 6

Thanks to Jay for his further thoughts.  Our Dropbox has several users, and it seems to be that it's only the actions of one of them, which aren't being propagated to the others.  After talking to him, I have now learned that a problem within his computer, which he thinks is down to updates from Microsoft, causes it to occasionally cease talking to Dropbox, and to remain dormant until he uses a recovery procedure, along the lines of stopping and re-starting Dropbox.  This restores normal service, but might mean days of disconnection, until either he spots the problem, or another user tells him about it.  I've now realised that my idea of checking timestamps will not work for such a long period of loss of sync, and my current alternative is to get his computer to send an automatic e-mail whenever he changes a file, including the timestamp of the modified file, so that recipients can check the timestamp of the corresponding XML file at their end, and so know whether they are up to date.

If there really is a problem in his laptop, caused by Microsoft as he alleges, then I can't see how anything Dropbox could do would improve matters.  Once again, thank you for trying to help.

View solution in original post

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