What is a conflict file?
During file synchronization a file conflict occurs when a file has changed in both locations (source and target) since the last sync, making it difficult to determine which version should be left unchanged and which version should be updated. For example, if you've changed a document on your desktop computer since the last synchronization and also made a different change to the same document on your laptop, a file conflict will occur. These files are created by the program that the file was created from and not from the sync software that it is being uploaded to. Conflict files are seen with every FSS program so they are not specific to Datto Drive or our syncing process but instead a consequence of syncing file changes of a file that are being edited by multiple instances.
There are a few programs that we are aware of at the moment that may create conflict files in this situation. The first program is any program in the Microsoft Office suite. Microsoft creates these files when it recognizes that the file is open or is being handled by more than one operation while the file is being edited. This means that if more than one person opens a synced document or if the document is being edited while the drive is actively trying to sync changes a conflict file can be created. Microsoft does this to try to preserve unsaved changes in case there is a problem. Another well-known program that exhibits conflict files is Quickbooks. Since Quickbooks runs off of a database syncing this database while Quickbooks is accessing it can cause conflict files to be created. We have an article explaining the complications of syncing Quickbooks located here: https://kb.datto.com/hc/en-us/articles/213420946.
Since the conflict files are not created by Datto Drive itself we do not current have a workaround to stop a program from creating these. In order to stop a program from creating a conflict file, the sync would need to recognize when a file is open and stop the synchronize process for that one file and we do not currently have this functionality. In certain situations changing the way, a program syncs or what a program syncs can help resolve conflict files. In the case of a database program syncing the database itself will create conflict files but you can still sync other files in that directory if needed as long as they are not continuously changed by the software. The best way to do this would be to go into the datto drive program in windows and use the selective syncing option to turn off sync for the database files. There are also ways specific to the programs creating the conflict files to remove or merge these with the originals. These articles can be found through the manufacturer of the software, for example, Microsoft has a way to merge conflict file changes with the “Auto Merge” tool. Here is an article on using this tool to resolve Microsoft conflicts: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee341461(v=expression.40).aspx.