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Which cloud storage services can I use with Merlin Project Go?

There are numerous cloud storage services. Most popular services among iOS users are iCloud Drive, Dropbox, GoogleDrive, Box.com and OneDrive. In a perfect world Merlin Project Go would be able to open and edit files from all available services. Due to technical limitations - mainly because of the way the cloud storage services are implemented - not all services can be used for all kinds of file exchange.

So which cloud storage can be used for a round trip and which for import or export?

For a round trip to the Merlin Project file - that is for open, read and write access to the same file from a cloud storage - Merlin Project Go supports following cloud services:

  • iCloud Drive by Apple, Inc.
  • Dropbox

Note: To open a file from your iCloud Drive, start your Merlin Project Go app, switch to the Documents list, tap on '+', then on 'Load Document…' and finally on 'iCloud drive'.
To open a file from Dropbox, you proceed similar. You need however to add a Dropbox account first. To do so, tap on '+', then on 'Load Document…', afterwards on 'Manage Accounts…' and 'Add Account' to select 'Dropbox', where you enter your credentials in the next dialogue.

To import a file from another cloud storage - that is to open a file and save changes on the local iOS device - Merlin Project Go can access following cloud services in addition:

  • Box.com
  • GoogleDrive (as zip archive)

Note: Box.com or the GoogleDrive aren't listed in the popover which comes when you tap on 'Load Document…'.
To open a file from Box.com or the GoogleDrive, you need to tap on 'iCloud drive', then on 'Locations' and select Box, Drive or any other cloud service you have configured on your iOS device.

To export a file to a cloud storage - that is to share saved information from the local device to a cloud storage - Merlin Project Go supports:

  • Dropbox
  • GoogleDrive
  • Box.com

Why not supporting Box, GoogleDrive, etc for the round trip?

One main difference among the various cloud services is whether or not they support file open or just import mode.

Important: File open mode is required for reading/writing changes from/into the same file.
File import mode allows you to read information from the file, makes it impossible to write the changes on the same file over the iOS app.

Further reason is that Merlin Project documents are so called bundles, which is actually folders containing several other files comprising the document. With the exception of iCloud Drive, cloud services do not know or fully support this concept. That means, some cloud solutions show a Merlin Project file as a folder with sub files, others zip the bundle file automatically.

Do you want to edit a file in multiuser mode?

When a round trip for one user isn't enough, the iCloud Drive/Dropbox synchronization cycles do not suffice, or your security policy does not allow you to use cloud services, you require a Merlin Server for Merlin Project. Merlin Server does not need a specific cloud storage service and syncs automatically changes from/to the various devices.

Is there another way to forward a file without cloud or Merlin Server?

Yes, you can share a Merlin Project Go file over AirDrop. AirDrop does not need a specific cloud storage service or a Merlin Server installation. Just tap on 'Share' and then on AirDrop to select another device listed there.

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