Science

Remote Synchronization

Background

If your project involves multiple handheld users sending data to a single database, then this feature may be of interest to you. Remote Synchronization involves CyberTracker desktops and PDAs sending data over the internet to a central server. The database administrator can then download this sighting data into a consolidated database.

Getting set up

1. Get an FTP site. These are widely available and come with most web hosting solutions. Use a search engine for "Web hosting" and pick the one you are most comfortable with. They will provide you an FTP site, username and password. If you organization has an IT department, contract them first. They may already have something set up.
2. Using Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer), navigate to the FTP site and log in
3. Create a directory "CTData"
4. Open CyberTracker Studio, load your database and click "File->Database Properties"
5. In the "Upload Settings", setup the Url to: "ftp://ftp.yoursite.com/CTData" and also set user name and password
6. Leave "Download Settings" as "[Same as Upload]"
7. Ensure "Send on Client" is checked
8. Click the "Download" button. This will report connection errors if any.
9. Close the dialog, save your database and re-sync your PDAs

Note: if the PDAs do not have an internet connection and your users sync their data to their own PCs, then check "Send on Sync". This will cause any data downloaded off the PDA to be sent to the same central server.

Note: the auto-send frequency will cause CyberTracker to send data in the background at timed intervals. This is useful if you would like a consistent incoming data stream and are less concerned with battery life.

Testing the system

1. On the PDA, create a few sightings
2. Open the "Options" dialog
3. One of the tabs should be "Send Data". If not, make sure the "Send on Client" checkbox is enabled (see above)
4. Tap the button where it says "Tap to send". This will kick start the sending process.
5. If the send fails for any reason, check your connection settings. If any changes are made in the "Database Properties" section on the desktop, PDAs will need to be re-synced.
6. Go to the "File->Database Properties" dialog and click the "Download" button
7. Once downloading is complete, close the dialog
8. The new sightings should appear the report

Advanced settings and other configurations

If the FTP server is also the database server, then it is possible to bypass a step. In this case, the Download Settings protocol should be "File share", with the url being of the form "\\server\directory", or possibly even "c:\ftpfiles".

If all the devices are on the same wireless network, it is possible to bypass FTP altogether. In this case, set the "Upload settings" protocol can be "File share".

HTTP and HTTPS are also provided for upload. However these don't work for download, because these protocols don't provide file-system like functionality.

Data can also be uploaded and downloaded directly via the CyberTracker Command-Line. This allows a database administrator to create a scheduled task on the server which routinely picks up data files and adds them to the database.

Technical Support