DEVONthink 2.0 spotlight: Multiple databases and more

We’re just preparing beta 4 for our tireless beta testers with many minor changes including the new icon set. Time to direct your attention to some of the substancial changes we have made to DEVONthink 2.0.

What you will be able to see is DEVONthink 2.0’s ability to open multiple databases at the same time, a much smaller memory footprint, and much higher performance especially when using large databases. What you cannot see is that we have rewritten large parts of the underlying AI-based database kernel as well as the way DEVONthink stores its data. The kernel is responsible for the database management as well as for all AI functions such as classify, see also, topics and the AI-assisted search.

The modified database package format now also stores all document always as files and no longer keeps plain text, rich text, and HTML files only in the index structures. Consequently, Word files and email messages will no longer get converted to RTF but be stored in their original file formats and be displayed using QuickLook or alternative methods. Using ‘Open with’ you’ll be able to open them in any application that can open or edit files of these types and upon saving them in the external editor DEVONthink picks up the changes you have made.

In addition these improvements to the database structure make the database format much more robust — the index can simply be rebuilt when it should become corrupted of whatever reason — and enables DEVONthink to store meta data with every record. Version 2.0 (or 2.x) will allow you to add your own meta data fields to the database and use them in searches.

Well, so much for today. Back to editing the online help for 2.0 …

28 Responses to “DEVONthink 2.0 spotlight: Multiple databases and more”

  1. Dan Byler says:

    Always glad to hear the updates—look forward to 2.0!

  2. Christophe Brun says:

    Good news and I guess that the team is fully dedicated to this launch but what about this famous and mysterious brand new product line you talked about some months ago?
    Anyway, for time being, we’ll welcome and celebrate this so expected 2.0.

  3. jw says:

    New icon set? I’d love to see you post some teaser images of an updated UI.

  4. Eric says:

    @Christophe: We have put this product on ice to meet our promise for this year. We plan to release the new product in 2009.

  5. stst says:

    I’m looking forward to the first public release of DT 2.x. Will this still happen in 4. Q. 2008, as a Christmas present? Thanks for this fine Software.

  6. Eric says:

    @stst: Our timing is still on track. Please have a look at the announcement thread in our online forum for up-to-date info on the release.

  7. William H Hubbard says:

    Version 2’s ability to open multiple databases is very welcome news; that will rejuvenate my use of DEVONthink.

  8. Wes Cowley says:

    in 2.o, will we have the ability to easily move groups from one database, e.g. the current 1.x database, to another database, to break the data into manageable chunks?

  9. Maggot says:

    “Consequently, Word files and email messages will no longer get converted to RTF but be stored in their original file formats and be displayed using QuickLook or alternative methods.”
    Can you please expand on the “alternative methods”? (See, we hang on your every word).

  10. Eric says:

    @Maggot: For some file formats we’ll also offer a plain or rich text view as QuickLook does not necessarily lets you select and copy text from the displayed files. We also may use HTML/CSS for some formats.

  11. Maggot says:

    Yes, I see. Thank you, Eric.

  12. Gary says:

    Is it my understanding there is going to be a public beta release sometime in the next couple of days and the final release will be next year?

  13. Eric says:

    @Gary: Yes, approximately.

  14. PH says:

    what is this new product line?


  15. Eric says:

    @PH: I cannot comment yet. But it will be no extension to our general product line but something different, still based on our technology, though.

  16. Stefan says:

    I´m planning to upgrade my Pro license Pro to Pro Office but hesitate to do so because 2.0 is in the pipeline. Will there be a grace period for upgraders (e.g. 3 months before release)?

  17. Eric says:

    @Stefan: The grace period is six months and already started July 1, 2008. So if you upgrade now the upgrade to 2.0 is, of course, free for you.

  18. Mike says:

    I am currently using the Devonthink office trial and am considering proper timing to buy. What advantage is it to me to continue to use trial and buy it vs wait a short period for 2.0? will there be a migration tool? Will cost be same or cheaper to buy in now prior to release? Will 2.0 be easier to use in shared file on file server configuration? thanks

  19. Eric says:

    @Mike: The cost will be the same regardless if you buy today or after 2.0 came out. Of course there will be a migration tool. 2.0 will be as easy or difficult to use on a file server as 1.x, but DEVONthink Pro Office 2.0 will come with a interactive web interface that could make working in a team much easier for you.

  20. headz says:

    Hi would it be possible to store zip files inside the database of DevonThink 2.0 ?

    the reason I ask for such (curious) feature is I just would like to keep a sort of code examples/xcode project along with some webarchive or pdf describing the process. I know i.e. can store such files inside its own document container but I don’t like to branch this out to any another application than DevonThinkProOffice which lately becomes my hub of information storage while learning objective-c and cocoa.
    it would be cool to keep the files along the descriptions for archive reasons.

    please let me know if such option would be possible or not and thanks for considering such feature for the 2.0 version.

  21. Michel says:

    How to be part of your beta team ? I would really want to beta-test the 2.0 version of DEVONThink Pro Office as I am a very proud owner of its version 1.x !

    Thanks a lot for DRPO version 1.0 and will test version 2.0 when it will come to my hands !

  22. Eric says:

    @Michel: No more need for this. We’ll release a public beta of version 2.0 this week.

  23. Eric says:

    @headz: You can at any time store .zip files in your database. Simply make sure to check “Unknown file types” in DEVONthink’s Preferences, Import tab.

  24. Sam says:

    “Version 2.0 (or 2.x) will allow you to add your own meta data fields to the database and use them in searches.”

    Can you expand on what this means? Will this allow users to tag items in the database? I am deciding between Devonthink and Eaglefiler right now and tags are the real deal breaker.

    Also, am I to take it that the non office version of Devonthink will now be able to import emails?

  25. Eric says:

    @Sam: Version 2.0 final (!) will allow you to use tags. Version 2.x will also introduce custom metadata that you can use to add additional information to items in the database.

  26. J.C. says:

    Hmmm…I installed 2.0 and followed my nose through the database upgrade. Now, all my .pdf files have been renamed in the format 00000X.pdf? Can I recover my old file names?

  27. Eric says:

    @J.C.: Not that easy, I guess. Please file a bug report and keep you old database in case that we can fix this problem in the next public beta next year.