Which Cloud Should I Use?

Which cloud storage is best for use with Omnigraffle?

Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud?


I use Google Drive a lot, but I heard there were potentially some compatibility issues with Omnigraffle.

the problems only arise when you’re also accessing the documents through, say, your ipad or similar- from the native dropbox / drive app the graffle document will be recognized as package and therefore opened to reveal an xml file among other things…

The route Omni chose to circumvent this is called OmniPresence. All documents in there can be directly tied to the specific mobile apps and syncronized/opened accordingly.

Apart from the mobile caveat, you’re absolutely free to pick your preference in terms of cloud syncing. For the biggest flexibility (who knows when you’re gonna need that sketch on your ipad ASAP ;-)…) I would nevertheless recommend OmniPresence.

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The response from @mat_rhein covers the issue very well - the only thing I’d have to add would be that the “Format: Save As Flat File” option in the Document inspector will convert your Graffle documents to an alternate format that’s more likely to do okay on Google Drive or Dropbox… but that alternate format will also mean that your files take up more disk space. Sometimes much more.

We specifically would not recommend that you keep your primary/working copy of your files on Google Drive or in a Dropbox folder - keep them in un-synced folders, then move copies to the sync locations as needed. We’ve run into cases where customers using the workaround I mentioned above still end up with corrupt files. Our current working theory is that this has to do with folks who have their files syncing with both OS X and other (Windows, etc) platforms, but we’re not positive.

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Is there any updates to this issue. Not being able to have all of a projects documents, excel, photoshop, and “graffles” in one DropBox folder is incredibly difficult to overcome.

Syncing for me is not a solitary process, I want to collaborate with people outside my Omnipresence and that is where DropBox shines. I know Im not alone in this, but I don’t see a lot of discussion on it.

Our graffles are typically not too complex, but do contain some bitmaps (screenshots). What is at risk if we save our graffles as flat files in dropbox. If it overcomes the iOS issue great. Does it reduce the risk of corruption in Dropbox/Drive usage?

Feedback appreciated.

Paul Clark

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I think you’re asking about something different than the original poster’s query, but I should definitely point out that Dropbox has the inconsistent and unfortunate tendency to corrupt bundled files like OmniGraffle documents. We’re working on building other-cloud support in to our iOS apps, as discussed in our roadmap for 2015, so you should be able to use OmniGraffle in conjunction with iCloud Drive, or Box, or a number of other cloud services that provide a storage extension.

That said, Dropbox in particular does not offer support for the file package format we use with our applications. We’ve had customers report intermittent data corruption issues when syncing files via Dropbox — sometimes even when using the suggestions Brian outlined above — which is why we omit built-in support for syncing with this service, and we cannot recommend using this service for reliable sync.

It sounds like the underling thing you’re asking about here is for a collaborative workflow, which OmniGraffle is not currently designed for. There’s an open feature request to offer support for collaboration in the future, so I’ll let the team know you’d like to use OmniGraffle in this way. This sort of change would require a rather extensive overhaul of our file format, so it’s definitely the kind of thing you’re more likely to see in a new major release than in a point update.


Thanks for taking the time to write your response. If there is any beta testers needed for collaboration, please put me on the list! Collaborating with Graffle is important to us.

I’d also say don’t let an external hard drive lull you into that same false sense of security though. Drives fail, people forget to back up to the drive, houses burn down or get robbed. Personally, I use BackBlaze, where I know the data is off-site, replicated in a data center, accessible from multiple devices (included iOS), and doesn’t require human intervention other than making sure my computer is plugged in and has connectivity.

Hello i use dropbox and google drive and google claud, amazon s3 😎