Devonian Times Masthead

The DEVONtechnologies Blog

Understanding Database Credentials

January 30, 2024 — Jim Neumann
Screenshot showing an authentication dialog for a database in DEVONthink To Go.

In the properties of a database in DEVONthink or DEVONthink To Go you’ll see fields for a username and a password. While this looks like it would lock a database from access, they don’t. Here is, what it’s actually for.

To access the properties of a database in DEVONthink, select a database and choose File > Database Properties. In DEVONthink To Go, long-press a database and choose Info. Many years ago, these credentials were indeed used to lock a database. If you didn’t know both the username and password, you couldn’t open it. However, this was a simple mechanism and not very secure. But they still have a purpose.

If you have added a username and password to a database, it cannot be imported to another device unless you enter those credentials there. It effectively protects the import from a sync location. For example, in a collaborative setting you may have some databases you want to sync to others, but not all of them. Add a username and password to limit access to those databases. You could create a username/password combination for certain people to be able to import specific databases.

You can set these credentials either in the database properties or in DEVONthink To Go when creating a database. And don’t worry about it affecting sync. The credentials limit importing the database, not syncing. So someone only needs the credentials to import their local copy of the database.