Backups within MainBoss
This help file applies to an out-of-date version of MainBoss.
The most recent version of MainBoss is MainBoss 4.2.2.
For the latest version of this help file can be found here.
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You can perform backups within MainBoss using Administration | Backups. The general procedure is:
- Create one or more backup file names. A backup file name is the name of a file into which MainBoss should write backup data. For example, you might create seven backup names: one for each day of the week.
- When you want to perform a backup, select a name from the list of available backup names. Then click Backup. This submits a request to the SQL Server asking the server to create a backup. (In order to use this function, you must have SQL Server Administrator privileges.) When the backup occurs, it will overwrite any current contents of the specified backup file.
- The next time you want to do a backup, select a different name from the list and click Backup again. MainBoss sorts the backup names so that the oldest backup file is at the top of the list. Therefore, if you have seven backup names, and if you always select the top name whenever you make a backup, your backup will always overwrite the oldest file. This makes it easy to reuse the same set of files by cycling through them.
- When you initiate a backup operation, MainBoss makes an appropriate note in the database history (Administration | Database Management. If the backup fails for some reason, MainBoss makes note of the failure in the database history; however, if the backup succeeds, MainBoss doesn't make a history note. In other words, if there's no note about the backup failing, you can assume that it succeeded.
A number of important considerations apply to the backup name:
- Backup operations are run by SQL Server itself on the computer where SQL Server is running. Because SQL Server does the backup, backup names must refer to files that are accessible to the login name under which SQL Server runs. Furthermore, backup names are interpreted relative to the computer where SQL Server is running.
For example, suppose SQL Server is running on Computer X, but you're working on Computer Y. When you specify the backup name,
you may think that this refers to a file on Computer Y's C: drive. However, the backup is done by SQL Server on Computer X. Therefore, SQL Server will try to save to Computer X's C: drive, not Computer Y's. If the directory C:\MyBackups doesn't exist on Computer X (or if SQL Server's login name doesn't have permissions to write to that folder), you'll get an error message and the backup won't work.
- If you specify a backup name that does not begin with "\\" and does not begin with a drive letter (e.g. "C:\"), SQL Server automatically assumes the name refers to a file under SQL Server's working folder. The location of this working folder depends on information specified when SQL Server was installed. It is likely under Program Files on the computer where SQL Server runs; since the Program Files folder is often read-only, you may have to take special action to ensure that the backup process has write permission on the folder where backup files should be written.
- SQL Server backup files typically have names ending in the extension ".bak", as in MyBackup.bak. Therefore, if you specify a simple name for a backup name—a name that doesn't have any slashes, backslashes or dots—MainBoss automatically adds ".bak" on the end of the name. For example, if you specify a simple name like "abc", MainBoss automatically turns this into "abc.bak".
- For safety's sake, backup names should refer to a disk drive that is different from the one that contains the actual MainBoss database. Otherwise, if the disk drive malfunctions, you could lose both your original database and your backups. It's even better if the backup name refers to a completely different computer, as in \\NotTheSameComputer\MyBackups\Backup1.bak.
It's also a good idea to make copies of backup files and to keep those copies somewhere off your premises. That way, if you have a fire or some other problem that affects your entire site, you'll have backups someplace else safe.
(By default, SQL Server puts backup files on the same disk as the corresponding database. Therefore, you should make sure not to use the default location.)
When you specify a backup name, the "Defaults" line in Administration | Backups tells you the computer, the directory, and the file name extension. We strongly recommend that you examine the "Defaults" line whenever you create a backup name and before you click Backup. This will avoid failed backups or accidentally creating a backup file somewhere you don't expect.
The information in "Defaults" is generated by MainBoss at the time the window is displayed. It's dependent on your SQL Server configuration. Therefore, suppose you specify a backup name of "abc". "Defaults" shows where the backup file would be written if you clicked Backup right now. However, if your SQL Server configuration changes, future backups with the "abc" backup name might be written to a different folder.
The window for viewing backup names includes the following:
Name list: As noted above, the default is to put the oldest backup file at the top of the list.
Information area: The area below the list shows information about the selected backup name/file.
Last Backup Date: The last date/time that backup information was stored in the selected file.
Database Version: Every version of MainBoss has an associated database version number. This number reflects the format of the database. It only changes when you install a new version of the MainBoss software; in some cases, two versions of the software may use the same version of the database format. In general, the version number of the database has no connection with the version number of the software.
File Name: The name you specified for the file.
Defaults: Information telling where the backup information will be written if you click Backup right now.
Comments: Any comments you've associated with this backup name.
Message: Any messages generated during the backup process.
New Backup Name: Opens a window where you can specify a new backup name.
Backup: Begins a backup on your database. See the notes at the start of this section for further information on the backup process.
Note: If you perform backups and restores entirely through SQL Server, MainBoss won't store information about such operations. You won't see corresponding entries in the Backups list or in the database history.
When MainBoss initiates a backup, it makes an appropriate entry in the database history (Administration | Database Management). If the backup fails, MainBoss makes a second entry in the database history reporting the failure. If the backup succeeds, MainBoss doesn't record this—the default is to assume that the backup was successful.
After a backup, MainBoss also records any generated messages in the Message section of Administration | Backups. If a backup fails, check this section for useful information.
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