Synchronizing your recipes

What the heck is cloud synchronization?

Sharing recipes between several computers and iPhone/iPad by synchronizing

Synchronizing is a way to share your data (recipes, shopping list, etc.) between several computers or with other devices, like iPhone or iPad. Cloud synchronization works by storing the data "in the cloud", that is on a remote server from which the data can be sent to the other computers and devices.

How does the cloud synchronization work in Shop'NCook?

A copy of your recipes is kept in your account on Shop'NCook server. When a computer synchronizes with your account, it receives the latest recipes from the server, and upload to the server the recipes that have been locally added or modified. After synchronizing, a computer and the account on the server have the same recipes. When all the computers sharing the account have completed the synchronization, they all share the same recipes.

Which data can be synchronized?

At the minimum, synchronization must include one of your cookbooks. Up to two cookbooks can be selected for synchronizing. The database of grocery items and the associated cost and nutritional information are automatically added to the synchronization scheme. Optionally, the supermarkets and the current shopping list can also be synchronized.

How many computers can share a synchronization account?

By default, the number of computers and devices sharing an account is limited to 4. This limitation can be raised individually.

Can anybody see my recipes?

No! Your data is private. Only the users sharing your account login information can synchronize with your account and access your recipes.

What is the difference between the Direct Access and the synchronization accounts?

The synchronization account is associated to a group of computers and can be shared by several users (cooking school, company, family) that want to use the same set of recipes on all of their computers. The recipes are shared privately within the group. The direct access account is associated to a user and allows to share recipes with the public Direct Access database ( Usually, the synchronization and Direct Access account share the same credentials (username and password).

Can I use synchronization to back-up my recipes?

Although a copy of your recipes is kept on the server, synchronizing is not a reliable way to backup your recipes as it has not been designed as a backup device, and recipes may be removed from the server for maintenance.

What are conflicts and how can I avoid them?

In Shop'NCook synchronization, you don't need to worry usually about the direction of the synchronization, i.e. about which recipes will be downloaded, and which uploaded. Shop'NCook software tracks the modifications and keeps the latest version of your recipes.

However, conflicts can happen if the same recipe is modified on two computers in between synchronizations. In this case, the software asks you which version of the recipe should be kept.

To minimize conflicts, make sure you synchronize often. It is also better to synchronize just before and just after making a large modification.

Synchronization demo video

Synchronization how-to: step-by-step tutorial

Synchronizing a second computer

Synchronizing a computer for the first time

  1. Shop'NCook: Synchronization button on the mini toolbar
    To initiate the synchronization, click on the Sync button of the mini-toolbar (bottom link of the main window).

  2. Shop'NCook: Asking if user has an existing synchronization account
    If it is the first time you synchronize this computer, the software will ask you if you want to enable the synchronization and select the cookbooks to synchronize: click OK!

  3. Shop'NCook: Asking if user has an existing synchronization account
    Next, the software asks you if you have already a synchronization account. To create an account, click "No". Note: If you already have a synchronization account, see below synchronizing a second computer.

  4. Shop'NCook: Synchronization account creation dialog
    You are presented with a dialog to create a synchronization account. Input the desired username and password and your e-mail address. Make sure to take note somewhere of your account information. You will need it to synchronize other computers with your account.

  5. Shop'NCook: Synchronization options before selecting cookbooks
    Next, you are presented the synchronization options. Here, you should select the cookbooks you want to include to your synchronization scheme (up to 2 cookbooks). To add a cookbook, select the cookbook in the pull-down menu (only unlocked cookbooks can be synchronized), then click on Synchronize. Ignore the "public" checkbox, as it is not implemented at the time being. Note: Don't forget to click on the Synchronize button, or the cookbook will not be included in the synchronization!

  6. Shop'NCook: Confirm synchronize cookbook
    You are asked to confirm: click OK!

  7. Shop'NCook: Synchronization options after selecting cookbooks
    When you are done selecting the cookbooks to synchronize, click Done: the synchronization will start, uploading the recipes of the cookbooks you have selected to the server.

Synchronizing a second computer

  1. Shop'NCook: Synchronization button on the mini toolbar
    On a second computer, similarly to steps 1 and 2 above, click on the Sync button of the mini toolbar to initiate the synchronization, then click OK to enable the synchronization on the computer.

  2. Shop'NCook: Selecting to use an existing synchronization account
    When asked if you have an existing account, select Yes.

  3. Shop'NCook: Inputting login information of a synchronization account
    Input the login information of your synchronization account.

  4. Shop'NCook: the synchronization option dialog
    You are now presented with the synchronization options. The cookbook you have added on the first computer is listed here (MyCookbook in the example). Optionally, add a cookbook from the second computer, similarly to steps 5 and 6 above. Click then Done to start synchronizing.

    If you already have a cookbook called "MyCookbook" (or of the same name as the cookbook you have synchronized on the first computer), the cookbooks will be merged. Otherwise, a new cookbook called "MyCookbook" will be added to the second computer and the recipes will be downloaded.

  5. In the same way, you can add a third or fourth computer to the synchronization.

Further synchronizations

The software keeps track of which recipes have been modified between synchronizations. The next time you synchronize the first or second computer, only the new or modified recipes are uploaded to the server, and only the recipes that have changed on the server will be downloaded to the software.

Unsynchronizing a computer

To remove a computer from the synchronization, select "Disable synchronization" in the Sync menu. Disabling synchronization for a computer removes all the information about this computer from the server. If you want to synchronize again the computer later, all the recipes will have to be downloaded anew from the server.

To disable altogether the synchronization, you should first unsynchronize all your cookbooks. To do that, open the synchronization options (Synchronization Options on the Sync menu) and click the Unsynchronize buttons next to each of the selected cookbooks. Deselect also the checkbox "Synchronize the shopping list". This will remove all your data from the server. Then, you can disable the synchronization in the Sync menu.