Balsamiq Community Discussion

B3 + Dropbox = bandwidth buster


Our team use Dropbox to sync our mockups and we work with the Desktop version. We’ve been using the Beta since day one and we love the speed and project capabilities. The first hurdle we face is collaboration. Working on the same project is now impossible. We constantly get conflicts, so we need to think about re-organizing our design structure.

I just figured out today that B3 is not friendly at all with the the Dropbox integration, for two reasons:

  1. Since mockups/projects are auto-saved as you go, the project file is constantly writing to disk. Moving a field, editing a value, everything updates the project file on disk. This triggers Dropbox syncing process every second or so. All clients linked to that Dropbox account now get the notification popup almost constantly on screen.

  2. Since the whole project is now in a single file, which is very interesting for maintaining and organizing our work, every little change in a mockup re-writes the whole file. If your project file is 5 MB (assets make most of it), every little change triggers a 5 MB upload to Dropbox. The single-file architecture forces everything to be uploaded. This is a huge waste of bandwidth and time. I end up pausing the Dropbox sync process when I do mockups. And since assets don’t change much, it’s sad to see them being synced every time.

I can only see on solution to solve this problem, add an option to enable/disable auto-save (like font and selection color). Giving us this flexibility will help us decide when we want to save and sync our changes. It could be a per-project option or for the full application.

What do you guys think? Maybe you have a better idea?


I would also add that the ability to enable/disable the auto-save would get rid of an issue I’ve encountered…

My projects are saved on a network drive, and occasionally when moving from my desk to a meeting room or visiting another office, I temporarily lose access to that location. I then get multiple errors saying the project can’t be saved - not ideal when I’m trying to demo something or work collaboratively with someone.

I’d be happy to acknowledge the risk of switching auto-save off and switching it back on when I’m back at my desk rather than deal with multiple errors on the screen which have to be closed one by one!