3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 12, 2012 8:41 AM by philmodjunk

    Non-Server Best Backup Practice?

    BillBoyd

      Title

      Non-Server Best Backup Practice?

      Post

      Later this month I'll be setting up a small office with several Macs for a client.  One Mac will be running FileMaker Pro (not server) and sharing the database with the other Macs using "Instant Web Publishing".  (If the office grows enough, I realize that it will need to switch to FileMaker Pro Server.)  The database is an instance of the "Business Productivity Solution - Services Edition", with the six FileMaker files each split into logic and data files.

      I'm looking for advice on a best backup practice.  The command File > "Save A Copy As" doesn't seem suitable.  For one thing, it only backs up one file at a time.  I suppose I could write a script to back up each of the six files.  But what about the "data" portions of those databases?  "Save A Copy As" doesn't seem to deal with those.

      My current plan is to have the user shut down the database at the end of the day and do a Finder copy of the folder containing the database files to a flash drive, then take the flash drive home.  Is this approach the most reasonable?  Are there better approaches?

      Thanks for any advice.

        • 1. Re: Non-Server Best Backup Practice?
          philmodjunk

          (If the office grows enough, I realize that it will need to switch to FileMaker Pro Server.)

          Note: that would need to be FileMaker Server Advanced--FileMaker server does not support IWP.

          The backup method is simple, but is only as reliable as the person that has to shut down and backup the files.

          Save A Copy can backup your data file--there's no need to make nightly back ups of the front end as long as you have off site back up copies of them securely stored. But this is oneo f those exceptions where the script needs to be set up to run in the data file instead of an interface file.

          Once you have a closed copy of the file saved to the hard drive, 3rd party software can back the file up to other locations. The important thing it to never try to back up the file while it is open. Such a backup could easily be damaged.

          You can experiment with a number of ways to automate the backup process. You can set it up so that closing the database automatically causes the script to run as part of the backup. YOu can use Install OnTimer to perform the script at regular intervals for as long as the file is open. YOu'll need to monitor this though to make sure that you don't get a performance hit during the back up. It's also possible to set up a backup FileMaker file that imports new/changed data from the data file--perhpas every time a record is committed.

          • 2. Re: Non-Server Best Backup Practice?
            BillBoyd

            (Note: that would need to be FileMaker Server Advanced--FileMaker server does not support IWP.)

            That's only true if I can't convince that user to spring for a copy of FileMaker Pro for each computer.  ;-)  But thanks for the warning.  The $2000 difference between Server and Server Advanced would pay for the volume-license cost of FileMaker licenses for about seven stations.  For fewer stations it would be cheaper to buy FileMaker Pro for each station, although FileMaker Pro could handle five plus (presumably) one user at the main station.  Are there any other considerations for Server vs. Server Advanced that would affect a simple configuration in a small office?

            (there's no need to make nightly back ups of the front end as long as you have off site back up copies of them securely stored)

            Those interface files consume less than 6 MB.  It would be easier to back up everything.

            (this is one of those exceptions where the script needs to be set up to run in the data file instead of an interface file.)

            How do I invoke a script in a data file?  The existing files use syntax like "Perform Script ["Open All Files" from file: "Menu"].  However, there isn't a file named simply "Menu".  The fmp12 file is named "bps__Main_Menu.fmp12".  The table name in that is named "Menu", although that will existin the data file if I can do the cleanup I'm proposing.  But what's the syntax to refer to a script in a logic file or in a data file when both exist?

            • 3. Re: Non-Server Best Backup Practice?
              philmodjunk

              Perform Script has an option for performing a script located in a different FileMaker file. Click Specify to open the dialog, then pull down the drop down that initially reads "Current File...". If you don't see the file listed there, (You should, as you have an external data source reference to it), select Add FileMaker Datasource and use the dialog that opens to find and open this file. You'll then be able to select any existing script in this file to be performed by your perform script step and you can even pass it a script parameter--though I don't think you'll need that in this particular case.

              One design issue to keep in mind is that the interface design options for IWP are severely limited when compared to using FileMaker Clients. Many developers get very frustrated with IWP when they find that the layouts/reports/etc they designed don't work as expected until they modify them to be much less sophisticated. In particular, if your users will be printing reports a lot, they'll find the imitations of IWP very limiting as you'd be printing from your web browser instead of from FileMaker.