The Rego Guide

Backup and restore your Rego data

Since Rego does not provide online syncing with iCloud (for technical reasons), it instead provides a feature that allows you to backup your data to Dropbox, and then restore that data when necessary.

How does Rego work with Dropbox?

Within the Settings area of Rego, you’ll find a section called “Backup & Restore”. Once you link your Rego app to your Dropbox account, you’ll be able to backup your Rego data to Dropbox, and restore your Rego data from a Dropbox backup.

How does a restore work?

When you restore, Rego will replace the data on your device with that found in your backup. Remember, a restore replaces your Rego data; it doesn’t merge, so if you have newer data in Rego than in your backup, it will be lost.

How long does a backup take?

It depends on the number of images that need uploading. In our testing, it took about 20 minutes to perform an initial backup with 200 images. Subsequent backups will take less time, as only new images will get uploaded.

What happens if the backup or restore is interrupted?

When you relaunch Rego, you can restart the backup (or restore) process and it will pick up where it left off. If you have a lot of images, don’t be surprised if your first backup gets interrupted—even multiple times.

Can Rego access everything I have in Dropbox?

No. Rego only has access to its data in your Dropbox.

Where does Rego store its data in Dropbox?

Rego stores its data in Dropbox/Apps/Rego, a folder in which you’ll find:

  • A rego.json file containing your Rego data.
  • A photos folder containing your photos. Note that when you delete photos from Rego, we don’t delete them in Dropbox. We took the decision not to delete them after weighing the relatively infrequency with which people delete photos against the ability to recover from mistaken deletions.
  • A receipt.json file that the app uses to know which device performed the last backup and when.
  • A log folder containing log files that can be helpful when troubleshooting.

A note on our chosen backup format: We decided to backup Rego data in an open, easy-to-understand format as we know there are some advanced Rego users out there who would like to get data into Rego from external sources. We don’t officially recommend nor support that, but at least the possibility is there for the adventurous.

How do I know when I should backup?

On the main collections listing page, Rego will remind you periodically if you haven’t backed up.

Can I use this feature to keep multiple devices in sync?

Rego uses Apple’s “Core Data” database technology. As a consequence, building multi-device synchronization capability—using something like iCloud, for example—is far more complex than it would be if Rego were a “document-based” app, like Apple’s Notes app.

We’ve evaluated several online Core Data synchronization platforms, and haven’t yet identified one that’s a good fit for Rego. We know it’s very important to our customers (and us) to at least have a backup of their Rego data, and to be able to restore from that data in case they lose their phones, or switch to a new device. For that reason, we developed our backup & restore with Dropbox feature.

So can you keep multiple devices in sync with this Dropbox feature?

It is possible, but we don’t recommend it unless you understand very well the difference between “synchronization” (which this is not) and “backup/restore”.

For example, you could backup the data in Rego on your iPhone, and then restore that same data to Rego on your iPad—thereby bringing the two devices into parity. But it’s critical to understand that the restore action performed on the iPad will overwrite any existing data on that device!

So you have to be very careful. But of course we expect that people will want to take advantage of this possibility, and to help with that, we added some useful information to the Dropbox screen in Rego:

We display which device performed the latest backup, and when.

We display the number of data elements in the latest backup, along with the number of data elements on your device, so that you can compare the two.

Restore Failed

When attempting to perform a Dropbox Restore, you might see a message indicating that a backup is in progress or was left incomplete:

If you’re sure that a backup isn’t in progress on another device, then this message indicates that at some point, you performed a backup that didn’t complete.

The reason the Rego app believes a backup is in progress (or didn’t complete) is because of the presence of a “hidden” file called “.lock” in your ~/Dropbox/Apps/Rego folder. So to recover from this situation, you’ll need to delete that file manually. Since the file is “hidden”, it’s not possible to see or delete it from the Finder, and must be done from the Terminal application (which you can find in /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app).

Using Terminal, here’s a screenshot demonstrating how to delete the .lock file:

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