Backing up your work is one of those things that may appear relatively inessential; an easily forgotten task that you can put off until tomorrow...
That is, until you experience a hard drive crash, or some other computer-related-apocalypse (ex., hard drive failure, data corruption, virus infection, etc), and ALL (or at least quite a bit) OF YOUR WORK IS GONE.
If you use a computer, you should be backing up any work that is important to you. (Frankly, it’s not a question of IF you should back up- the question is how, and how often.)
How should you backup your data? There are many options available.
External disk or drive, such as a thumb drive or tape drive
Third party backup, such as another computer, or a cloud server like Dropbox
Creating Backup Files:
The main data file is called <something>.backup (where "something" often incorporates the word “firepro” and your client number, but it will always have the file extension .backup). If you use pictures or links, there are folders called “Pictures” and another called “Links”. These should also be backed up. If your system has the pictures/links directly on the database you won’t need to worry about saving them separately.
There are three ways to backup through Firepro which are covered in depth in our Technical Manual:
1. One way is to run it Manually:
File -> Data Utilities -> Backup Now.
Go ahead and try it out. A command prompt will tell you the name of the backup and where it is saved. If there is a problem, the system will let you know.
For further reading: Manual Backup
2. The recommended way is Automated Backup. FP2 has a program that will automatically run a backup at a designated time each day or weekly through Windows Task Scheduler.
For most departments, this needs to be setup on the server by someone with Administrator access.
For setup information see Automated Backups or contact Ingenious Software for assistance.
3. The final backup option is a manual PostgreSQL backup. This is commonly used when there is not a client copy of FP2 installed on the server computer.
For instructions: PostgreSQL backup
How often should I backup our work?
That really depends on your department. Larger departments with daily changes to data should backup daily. Smaller departments who make less frequent changes may only need to backup weekly. A good question to ask is “How much work would I be willing to lose?” The answer will tell you how often you should backup your data.
Where do I see where my manual backups are being saved?
1. Select 'Set-Up' from the menu options bar at the top of FP2
2. Click 'Custom Settings'
3. Select 'Other' tab
4. Select 'Paths/Files' subtab
5. Note the location in the 'Backup Folder Path.' This is the location where your manual backups are being saved.
Tech backups our hard drive regularly. Do I still need to backup the FP2 data separately?
Yes. Just, yes. Long story short: program files should be backed up more frequently than your hard drive files. A server snapshot will not capture an active database, and restoring to a snapshot backup will NOT restore your database correctly.
How long should I keep my FP2 backups?
One month of saved data should be sufficient protection if your department is doing daily backups. You can manually delete the oldest backups saved to free up more room. Or if you have set up the automated backup option (which we recommend), you will be able to set this and not have to manually delete old backups.
I’m convinced; I do not want to fall victim to an easily avoided computer-related-apocalypse. BUT I need help setting this up.
For resource materials we have a great Technical Manual with a section on Configuring Backups. We are also happy to assist you with the configuration.
Please feel free to give us a call (1-866-250-9594) or drop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like some assistance.
Will Ingenious Software store our backups?
Sure will. Feel free to send your data file to our office on a regular basis (once per month would be good) and we will hold on to it for you until you send the next one. If this option appeals to you, let us know so that we can properly store your data file. We do not charge for this service, but we also can’t guarantee that the backup will always be available. However, as a last resource it’s helpful.