Using Dropbox (or another cloud service) to share Toolkit libraries.

Before going into the steps on how you might do this, a few things to keep in mind:

There are multiple services that allow files to be shared between computers. This note uses Dropbox because it's free, relatively easy to set up, and has very clearly marked Public and Private folders for members to use. Other than this general preference, we have no other connection to Dropbox; if you already use a different service and are happy with it, this note is in no way intended to encourage you to swtich services.

-These steps require some experience in navigating the files and folders on your computer; since the various cloud storage services available may be installed in different places, we strongly suggest to make sure you are familiar with where these folders are installed, and how to navigate to them, before trying to set this up.

-This isn't something Toolkit was originally built for. While it has worked on some of our personal computers, it is possible that you may run into some database issues if you have two copies of Toolkit open at the same time, or if you open one copy while the database file is still being updated on the computer.
For this reason, we urge you to always check and make sure that you only have one copy of Toolkit open at a time, and that you double-check the folder where the database is kept, to make sure that it is not in the process of being updated when you open Toolkit.

First, the basic steps:

  1. Set up both computers with Dropbox (or your file sharing service of choice)
  2. Set Toolkit to work from a library file in Dropbox.
  3. Copy that library over to a Dropbox folder. 
  4. Go to the secondary copy, and tell it to use the file on Dropbox.

Note: you won't lose any stocks that were in the original libraries; the secondary copy of Toolkit will simply start using the database from the primary copy instead of its own. If you have stocks in the secondary copy that aren't in the primary one, you should go to File > Export in the secondary copy, and make individual exports of those stocks.

 

Setting Up your computers

If you don't already have Dropbox set up on both computers, go to www.dropbox.com and make sure you get the software installed and set up on both computers.

 

Setting Toolkit to work from Dropbox

First, make sure you have the Library menu enabled on both copies of Toolkit. This is turned off by default, so here's a quick how-to on making sure it's active:

  1. Select Preferences from the Options menu.
  2. On the Preferences window, select the General tab.
  3. From the check-boxes there, make sure that "Enable Advanced Library Options" is selected.
  4. Click the OK button at the bottom left-hand corner of the window.

 

Copying the database into Dropbox

While it's possible to move the database, we prefer to make a copy, in case you need to revert back to it for any reason.

  1. In the primary copy of Toolkit, go to the Library menu, and select Library Manager.
  2. In the new window, select the 2nd option, for saving a copy of the current library.
    1. Toolkit will default to naming the file with the current date, so that you will see a file name like TK130607.MDB. It's up to you if you want to change the name or not; just be sure to make note of the name you use.
  3. In the window that comes up, navigate to the public folder of your Dropbox.
  4. Dropbox usually installs a shortcut onto the desktop, so the most common steps for this will be:
    1. Click Desktop on the left hand side of the Save Toolkit Library As window.
    2. Double-click the Dropbox icon.
    3. Double-click the Public folder.
  5. Click the Save button (sometimes this will show up as Open instead of Save)
  6. Toolkit will return to the Library manager window, close this, and then close Toolkit as well.


You'll want to check that the file has been uploaded to the Drop Box server. To do this, find your Drop Box folder, open it up, and check in the Public folder.
If the file you saved has a small green and white check-mark next to it, then the file is all set on the primary computer. If you see a small blue arrow symbol, that means the file is copying over to the Drop Box server; this usually shouldn't take more than a minute or so.

With this done, go to the secondary computer, and check your Public Drop Box folder there; depending on the speed of your internet connection, and the size of the database, the file may take a minute or two before it shows up.
Once you have confirmed that the file has shown up, continue with the steps below.

Setting the secondary computer to use Dropbox

  1. Go to the Library menu, and select Library Manager.
  2. On the Library Manager window, select the option for opening a previously created library.
  3. In the window that comes up, navigate to the Public folder in your Drop Box; this should be similar to how you got to the Public folder on the primary computer.
  4. Double-click on the Toolkit file, and then click Close on the Library manager window in Toolkit.


Your secondary copy of Toolkit will now be using the same library as the primary copy.

Again, we strongly suggest to make sure that you do not have Toolkit open on both computers at the same time, so there is no confusion in the program about which copy of Toolkit will be writing/updating the database. As well, make sure to check the Toolkit databse file in your Dropbox folder when moving from one computer to another, to make sure that it shows a green check-mark on the file, indicating that it is up to date.