AUTOMATED BACKUP AND RESTORE
All versions of CatBase include a comprehensive automated backup and restore utility. Make use of this feature to ensure that you never lose any data if your computer crashes or your database gets corrupted!
There are various things that can go wrong with the files on your computer: the hard disk may have damaged sectors or – even worse – it may fail completely. Power surges, "brown-outs" and power cuts can wreak havoc with electronic data. And then of course there are the user-generated problems: perhaps you accidentally deleted a vital database file, or deleted all the records from a table by mistake. The automated backup and restore utility can rescue you from these problems!
The following brief Tutorial discusses the most important features of the Backup utility; a more detailed explanation can be found here.
An Overview of the Backup and Restore Utility
This utility enables you to:
Choose a location to save the backup files
Set up a backup schedule – for example, make a fresh backup every night at midnight
Specify which files will be backed up
Specify whether to maintain an ongoing log file, or not
Specify what to do if the database is damaged
Setting your Backup Preferences
Choose Admin on the top row of tabs:
Select the Maintenance & Backup topic from the menu on the left of the window. The Backup Preferences window opens:
Click the Open Administration Window button.
The Database Settings window opens, with the Backup tab selected:
You must do this on the server.
From the Administration window, choose the Maintenance tab.
In the Backup section, click on the Preferences button.
Setting your backup preferences
Select an option from the Automatic Backup popup menu. The options are Every Hour, Every Day, Every Week, Every Month, Personalised. We recommend selecting Every Day.
You may then see some additional options. For example, if you selected Every Day, you will be able to enter the time at which to make the backup. The default is 00:00, which means midnight. Change this if you wish.
Now a fresh, complete backup of your data file will automatically be made every night. Of course, this assumes that your computer and CatBase are both running, and that the backup destination folder is accessible! If any of these conditions are not satisfied, CatBase will make a new backup the next time it is able to (ie, the next time you launch the program).
Click the Configuration tab:
The vital item to select is Data File.
You can also include any additional files and/or folders in your backup schedule. For example, if you have created and saved some Quick Report formats, you can add them in the Attachments area.
Backup File Destination Folder
This is one of the most important settings for your backup preferences. The backups should be saved onto a separate volume – an external drive or a networked volume. If your computer's hard drive was to crash (and it does happen!), you would, quite likely, lose everything on it. So your backups must be made onto another drive. We recommend creating a Backups folder on another drive or networked volume for this purpose. Then click on the ... button and select that folder.
Note: You must make sure that the selected volume will be available to your computer at all times!
If you select the Use log file check box, the program will maintain a log of every modification that's made to the database. If there's a problem with the database subsequently, and you need to restore a backup, it can apply the log file to the last full backup so that you lose very little data (you may lose the record you were working on at the time the problem occurred). We recommend using this option.
Backup & Restore
The Backup & Restore tab lets you choose some additional options:
Most of these settings can usually be left as they are, but you might want to tweak them a bit:
Keep only the last N backup files
CatBase creates a new, numbered backup file at the scheduled backup time. So that you don't end up with dozens of disk-space-gobbling backup files, you can tell it how many backups to keep. The default setting is 3, meaning that if there are already three backup files, then the oldest will be deleted before or after the new backup is made (depending on your selection). If you have plenty of disk space on your backup drive and/or if you want to keep (for example) a week's worth of backups, then change this number to, say, 7.
Backup only if the data file has been modified
Only make a backup of the data file if changes have been made to it since the last backup. We recommend selecting this option.
Restore last backup if database is damaged
We recommend selecting this option. If your database becomes damaged, the program will automatically restore it the next time you start up the program.
Click the OK button when you've reviewed the options and made any necessary changes. You'll then be asked if you want to make a new backup; if you have just selected a new backup location, then you should make a new backup now.
RESTORING A DATABASE
If your database has become damaged, the next time you start CatBase it should automatically restore the last backup and apply the log file to it (assuming that the Automatic Restore options are selected). Sometiumes, however, you may want to manually restore a previous version of your database. Please see the restoring a database backup tutorial for information about doing that.