First up, take a look at the video tutorial on creating data repositories:
A data repository is simply a collection of BattleScribe data files, along with a special index file describing these data files. Given the URL of an index file, BattleScribe will download the data files from a repository that it doesn't already have, or that are newer than the ones it does have. Repositories can be hosted anywhere they can be retrieved via HTTP - basically anywhere you could host a normal website. Public file hosting services also work, such as DropBox public folders.
The Data Indexer tool, included with BattleScribe, is used to create the index file for a repository. All you need to do is point it at the directory of data files you wish to index, provide a name for your repository, and click the Index Files button. It will create your index file (index.xml) and place it in the correct place - inside the folder you pointed to.
All .cat, .cat.zip, .gst and .gst.zip files will be indexed. It is recommended that you individually zip your data files and use the .cat.zip and .gst.zip file extensions. These are just normal zip files. Using these will save bandwidth and also be quicker for users of the repository to download.
If you modify any of the files in the repository:
Update the revision number of the file. BattleScribe will use this to decide if the file in your repository is newer than the one it already has. If the revision number of your file is higher, it will download and import it.
Reindex the repository. The index file contains the current name and revision number of your files. It also contains the paths to your files relative to the index file itself.
You will also need to reindex the repository if you reorganise the files or folders in it, or if you add or remove files from it.
Set up the folder to index. Firstly, create the folder you want to index. You might want to organise the files by folder somehow. In this example the folders are arranged by game system. Notice the data files are all zipped .cat.zip/.gst.zip files.
Run Data Indexer and point it at the directory. Click Browse and navigate to the folder you want to index. You will also need to provide a name for your repository.
Click Index Files to create the index. The index file is created and placed in the root of the folder. Your folder is now a BattleScribe data repository.
Host your repository. In this example I'm using DropBox, just because it's easy. Copy the repository into the DropBox Public folder. Right click the index file and go to DropBox -> Copy Public Link. This will be the URL BattleScribe will need to get to your repository. That's it!
As mentioned before, any normal web or file hosting should also work. The public URL of the index file is what BattleScribe users will need in order to make use of your repository.
If you plan to edit data files, and especially if you plan accept changes from others, here are some very useful tools that will help.
JujuEdit. This is a text file editor that is especially good at dealing with large files. BattleScribe data files are just normal XML, so you can open them with this to take a look inside. If JujuEdit doesn't colour the text for you, click the arrow next to the toolbar icon that looks like little coloured "a" characters, and choose XML. That makes it much easier to read.
WinMerge. Merge tools like this are available on most operating systems. They make it easier to combine the changes from two text files into one. You can choose which bits from which file go together to make up the final file.
If you are unfamilliar with XML, there is a pretty good tutorial over at www.quackit.com