What is the pariaigm for merging data? How does it work?

I'd like to find out how the merge actually works and request that a detailed description be in your faq somewhere.

I have a couple devices that have been out of sync for a good while due to Dropbox having dropped support for the OS on an older machine I have.

  • I have now upgraded that machine and am now wanting to bring the devices into sync.
  • Over the past year and a half I have edited some items in one place, some in the other, and some in both places.

All I know is that 1PW is asking me to say 'yes' to merging data.
I cannot find anything that describes what is going to happen!
Honestly, I do not trust it to get it all right without knowing what it is going to do.
- Will it just duplicate and items that are different?
- Will it pick the item from the vault with the newest timestamp?
- Will it pick the item with the newest timestamp on the individual item?
- Will it stop and present the two items like an address book does and ask me to pick one, keep both, or merge them?
- Something else?
- Something random?

Or should I spend a couple days with the two devices going through the 1PW 1 item at a time and editing them to do a hand merge?

I have OS X 10.11.6 and 1PW 6.8.9 on one device
and the latest updated iOS 12 and 1PW app on another.
In the end, I want to sync the main vault with iCloud and the others with Dropbox but
I could sync all by Dropbox or any other way to get this done then switch to a final method.


1Password Version: Not Provided
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: Not Provided
Sync Type: Not Provided

Comments

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @BobAllison: "Merging" isn't handled by 1Password, strictly speaking, but by the sync service. When you take two vaults with different data, it will take items with the same UUIDs (if they exist) and from each source and the newer one will most likely replace the older one (there may be exceptions to that depending on the sync service, but I can't give you insight into 3rd party products). Otherwise, for items which are not the same (different UUIDs), both will be kept. In the case you seem to not be asking about, where you're already syncing data between different devices, there is no "merge" prompt if there is a conflict; a "conflicts" section will be added in the item, with additional data which does not match between the two sources. Regarding your situation, the only options you'd have would be to use a known-complete vault from one device and sync it to all the others (but it doesn't sound like you have that), or merge them and sort out any duplication. I'd encourage you to backup your data beforehand just in case, since it sounds like you've made changes all over the place for a while, and merging those may have unwanted results, depending on the details.

  • "Merging" isn't handled by 1Password, strictly speaking, but by the sync service.

    But it is the 1PW software that says it found other data and asks me to merge, not Dropbox.
    And for the new 1PW, it maintains the vaults on 1PW servers so 1PW is the service you refer too. Isn't it?

    I am not using any outside sync service. The outside services are not sync services. Dropbox and the others are only an outside cloud service to hold 1PW's vaults. They do not do any syncing of the vaults, they only store them.

    When you take two vaults with different data, it will take items with the same UUIDs

    Obviously, UUIDs are not the item names because there can be multiple items with the same name.
    What is - how does 1PW set the UUID? It would be most helpful if the UUID was visible in an item display, maybe down at the bottom by the change date. Then users could know which items are the same and which are different.

    the newer one will most likely replace the older one

    imo - Not a very good or secure method if there is a "most likely" involved.
    To maintain vaults of sensitive and critical data there should be a definitive schema and it should stop and ask if there is a question.

    Otherwise, for items which are not the same (different UUIDs), both will be kept. In the case you seem to not be asking about, where you're already syncing data between different devices, there is no "merge" prompt if there is a conflict; a "conflicts" section will be added in the item, with additional data which does not match between the two sources.

    AHhhh !!! - That is what the conflicts thing I see in some items is!
    Wow, why is that not explained anywhere on the website in a manual of how 1PW works?

    I'd encourage you to backup your data beforehand just in case, since it sounds like you've made changes all over the place for a while, and merging those may have unwanted results, depending on the details.

    I have multiple backups, not to worry about that.
    And the unwanted results is what I am trying to avoid and why I am trying to figure out how it works.

    What I have decided is the safest way to proceed it to merge it all by hand.
    I am going through the computer and moving everything into only the primary vault, sorting out what to keep, and hand editing any differences in items between vaults.
    Then I will hold my phone in one hand and manually check and update each item in my computer's primary vault.
    Then I will backup both devices, wipe them both, and restore both from the same backup.
    It will take 2-3 days but it is the only way I can be sure things will work.
    And that is all because 1PW does not have a robust merge function that does known things.

    I guess maybe part of the issue is that 1PW does not do merging - it only hands out copies of items and vaults.
    1PW secures data but, imo, seems to throw up its hands when it comes to actually maintain and syncing the data.
    But there is a large discussion about that already. 1PW needs to merge at least as well as a common address book.

    An aside:
    There really should be a manual somewhere. As it is users have to comb through a very basic "is it plugged in" type of knowledgebase and then through 10's of thousands of discussions to try to find anything more detailed. imho One of the reasons 1PW gets so backed up is they do not have a manual and every user has to ask othe same things over and over requiring gobs of 1PW's support time.

    I have seen in a couple of places in responses things like a manuel and getting to a chat or phone real-time support function are on the back burner because there isn't time. But that is self defeating. Not taking the time to do a proper manuel and a detailed and technical database means continued overloaded support. If 1PW took the time to cut some bait then they would be able to relax and fish - and do other things they wanted.

    Also, a better search function in the discussions would help. I try to search discussions but the search function is not robust enough to find an answesr to specific questions. I couldn't find this in discussion anywhere and the search function kept returning things totally unrelated to my search string. All the search seemed to do is return results that had a matching word to any word in my search string without any AI behind it. Try using an internal Google search.

  • MrCMrC Community Moderator

    @BobAllison ,

    Then I will hold my phone in one hand and manually check and update each item in my computer's primary vault.

    I’ll suggest a better method. Put one set of items into one vault, or give them a specific tag, and do likewise with the other set of items. Turn off the Conceal passwords option from the menu bar.

    Then use the up/down arrow keys on your system to quickly cycle back and forth between two items that might be out of sync. You’ll easily visually notice any differences. I do this routinely.

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    That's a pretty clever way of doing it, and has the benefit of being possible today. :)

    While we don't have plans to make a "manual" that almost no one would read (we used to have one; no one did really), we'll continue to improve the documentation with guides for the things that people want to do, and also the apps to make users need to refer to documentation less. Cheers! :)

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