Goodbye database, Hello document

At present the Where We Go and Assets on the Go apps use a core database to store data. If you’ve been using the apps you’ll know that they had support for sharing data across devices that were logged into the same iCloud account. This feature is provided by Apple as part of its iCloud service. Apple also provides the capability, if I chose to enable it, to share the data with other people. Well, in my own use of the apps over the last couple of versions the data sharing between devices on the same iCloud account didn’t always work as expected, and I thought the experience from a normal user perspective was lacking. When I tried, in development, to turn on data sharing with other people I found that experience to be worse. In short, although this particular technology from Apple is stable, it has a number of functional pitfalls which are confusing to the app’s user.

So I decided a different approach – documents. These appear as a files, in the same vein as spreadsheet and word processing documents. I think doing this provides a number of advantages over the database in that the app’s document now becomes a discrete, identifiable file that you can easily move around and share. In addition it allows you to have more than one data set for the app. For example, in Where We Go you could create a logbooks for different vehicles: one for your boat, and one for your RV.

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