Relocating Data Filies

The object is to relocate the data files from appdata/local/manager to Dropbox for external backup.

First, I created a Manager folder in Dropbox and then changed the path under About Manager. After changing the path and clicking Update the appdata-manager path still displayed but after a couple of Change/Update clicks the new dropbox-manager path displayed.

Second, I “moved” (not copied) the 4 files from appdata-manager to dropbox-manager and deleted the appdata-manager folder. On opening Manager, the business name doesn’t list - bugger.

Third, I re-created the appdata-manager folder and “copied” the 4 files to it, so that both appdata-manager and dropbox-manager folders were identical. Opened Manager and the business name was listed and opened normally - phew. I then closed Manager and inspected the folders and noted that both had had Date/Time stamp changes.

Fouth, I opened Manager and made a single data change and then closed Manager. On inspecting the folders this is the result:

appdata- manager - note the date/time stamp for the 4th file

dropbox-manager - note the date/time stamp for the 2nd file

Now I’m no IT person, but it would appear that part of the data file system is hardcoded to appdata-manager, based on the above - the business name, and other parts of the data file system follows the path created under About Manager.

I would have assumed that having been given the facility to change the data file path, that all relevant/related files would move together - otherwise what’s the point of the change path facility.

Using the normal Manager Backup to Dropbox, works OK
(Windows 10 - Ver 16.1.36)

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I think instead of moving files, you might find it easier to change the application data path in Manager. Close Manager and re-open and then import the files from the old location to the new (or backup the businesses in the old location to somewhere and import those in the new location).

I can confirm that the size file in appdata updates every time I use Manager. I am not sure what this file actually does, but as you presumably want to backup your data, all you really need is the actual businesses themselves!

Word of caution. Dropbox has been known to lose data before! I would not use a syncing option to store data like my accounting files without having any other form of backup. If something goes wrong with the dropbox sync you lose everything - and its happened before!

@dalacor you wrote “change the application data path in Manager” - which I have done, step 1

Import the files - where / how ? ( for ever of the methods you suggested)
How do you identify the actual business files ?
In previous accounting packages the business name was also the file name

It would appear that without the appdata-manger files business names wouldn’t be listed
That would mean you have to backup appdata-manager as well.

Have been using Dropbox for over 10 years, for accounting files, both live and backup and never had a problem - they are also sync to a 2nd computer.

This information @lubos told me long ago may help you understand what happens:

  1. 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000.manager is an index file. It stores a list of businesses you have. In case of the server edition, it also stores a list of users and other information. It doesn’t contain any accounting data.

  2. The second file with the long, alpha-numeric title should be your accounting data. This should be the biggest file. If you have more than one business, there will be more files with similar type names.

  3. The data file contains the path to your accounting data, telling Manager where to look. If you move and/or delete the data file, a new file will be created at the default location. Manager will look for this file to see where to probe for your data.

  4. The size file contains height and width of Manager’s window when it was last closed. So when you open Manager next time, your window size is the same as last time. So that file will show having been modified every time you close, even if nothing was done.

That is interesting to know @Tut I always wondered what the size file did!

@Brucanna, when you backup a business, you save the file name as whatever you want. You don’t need to know while file pertains to what business. Thus when restoring a business, you just select the file you backed up.

Having said that, you don’t need to do that as moving the files will work, providing you only move the businesses and the index file as suggested by Tut. I think that you had problems because you moved the data file as well which specifies where the data is stored.

In short, Tut’s explanation of each file clearly demonstrates that you do not need to worry about backing up anything in the appdata directory if you have moved your files.

@tut answer provides some clarity to how Manager functions. I just created a new business and in the dropbox-manager folder the index file date/time stamp changed and a 2nd accounting data file appeared, so that leaves the data and size files being used by the appdata-manager folder.

To save any potential conflicts should the index and accounting data files be deleted from the appdata- manager folder?

@dalacor while the backup files are named per the business, I was referring to the live accounting data file also being business named instead of some user unfriendly alpha-numeric array.

Dropbox to me allows a cleaner and simpler way to setup/restore a computer with the actual files being used. By downloading the Dropbox directory I am ready to go, without needing to do any restoring of data by individual application.

Sorry, now I understand your meaning.

On my computer, the only file that is being updated in daily use in the appdata is the size file, which as Tut explained is not important to backup. In short, just copy all the files to your dropbox and don’t worry about the appdata folder. If you need to restore, I would just copy all the files in your dropbox to the appdata folder just to ensure that everything works. Hopefully Lubos will change the way Manager works so that all the files will be created/updated in the new location instead of half half.