Tinderbox Forum

Devonthink / Tinderbox Custom Metadata Integration

I have been pondering for a while if there is a way to import data from Devonthink to Tinderbox while retaining DT3 custom metadata. I know this is something that has been considered between the two developers but has not been released yet.

It turns out that there is an out-of-the-box solution already available. You can use the “Tools-Create Metadata Overview” feature of DT3 to create a TSV file. Then drag this TSV file into Tinderbox. The result is a list of all of the applicable records, with all of the metadata and custom metadata imported into Tinderbox as Attributes. You can immediately sort the data however you wish using Tinderbox filters. You can then use the HTML export feature of Tinderbox to essentially create any sort of custom reporting output that may be desired. And the DT3 item-links are part of the metadata so when in Tinderbox you can easily refer back to the original documents still stored in Devonthink. Really really nice potential there.

Question - Is it possible to take an item link to a DT3 Group and pass this via Applescript so that Tinderbox can then import the Group metadata programmatically? Even if DT3 cannot do this by Applescript it would be easy to automate the TSV creation via Keyboard Maestro. If so, is there a way to automate taking an item link to that TSV file and doing the import to Tinderbox? Since it is normally done by drag/drop rather than through a menu I am not sure it can be automated unless via Applescript. Ideas anyone?

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There are others here more expert in AppleScript, but if you’re going to use the latter surely it is better to read the data directly from the DEVONthink record and write it to the Tinderbox attribute(s), with no TSV needed.

Perhaps so - but given the varied data types involved in both DT3 and Tinderbox and the need to iterate through groups and subgroups of selected records in DT3, that could be a tall task in Applescript. Plus DT3 automatically selects for the TSV only those metadata types for which there is at least one populated value.

I suspect that the Metadata Overview feature of DT3 was not a simple or quick bit of coding to implement; if we read directly from the Devonthink record then we would need to redo all of that work.

That’s why I was so enthustiastic to realize this integration works out of the box - 95% of the work is already done for us.

My point in automating this further is that if the drag/drop from DT3 to Tinderbox can be done programmatically then it would be possible for the data integration to be updated automatically on a schedule.

This can all be scripted rather easily, both on the DEVONthink and Tinderbox side, and would be a good project for anyone want to get some scripting skills going. All the data needed from DEVONthink is exposed via the DEVONthink scripting dictionary, and the ability to load the data into Tinderbox ditto via the Tinderbox scripting dictionary.

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