8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 15, 2013 5:38 AM by raysteggles

    Loss of data, layouts, scripts entered over last three days

    raysteggles

      Summary

      Loss of data, layouts, scripts entered over last three days

      Product

      FileMaker Pro

      Version

      Advanced 12.0v4

      Operating system version

      OSX 10.8.5

      Description of the issue

      For several months, I have been developing a complex patient management system. Basic live data has been entered without problems. I have been developing multiple layouts, adding files and associated scripts and value lists.

      These have been saved as I've continued adding and modifying, apparently with no problem. Data appeared to be accepted and data files were showing increasing numbers of records. I have some 'test patients' to check entry is as intended before going live with new layouts, and these were accepted and I could read them back. So all appeared to be functioning normally.

      I use TimeCapsule every hour to backup changed files, and my hard disk is duplicated every 24 hours by SuperDuper.
      This morning, on returning to Filemaker after closing my computer down last night, I find that the data and program is that of 3 days ago.

      Everything entered since has been lost. That included live entry of patient data, as well as 24 hours of programming efforts.

      The backups on Timecapsule show the files as having been last used 3 days ago, and the same with the SuperDuper disk copy.

      Of course, this apparently random behaviour is of great concern, and puts in jeopardy the whole project and the continued use of Filemaker, unless there is a simple reason, and it can be prevented in future.

      Exact text of any error message(s) that appear

      No error messages have appeared

      Configuration information

      Configuration hasn't changed since starting the development process, other than OSX minor updates as they have become available.

      No settings changes have been made in Filemaker since the development process began several months ago.

      Workaround

      Saving copies of the database may be a possibility, however the time of the copy is no indication that it has the updated information. This could only be determined by opening and checking the latest entries every time, which is a time consuming and laborious process. This shouldn't really be necessary, if all is functioning as it should.

        • 1. Re: Loss of data, layouts, scripts entered over last three days
          Markus Schneider

               Ouch.. Strange! I never have had this - except, when I picked up a wrong version - or accidentally copied the file to another location. Therefore it seems not to be a FM issue. Sometimes, FM (as other app's a well) wants to save a file to a default location..

               A few points to deal with when working with FileMaker:

               Never let a backup utility copy FileMaker files that are open

               I personally develope as much as possible with FM Server. When not, I'm creating .zip archives very often (manually)

               every solution I'm working on, has its log-table, called 'ReleaseNotes', filled on every 'quit' automatically

               Even with the server, I compare versions using FMDiff

               TimeCapsule.. Have other files (changes) been saved during this period?  Network is OK? Other 'human factors'?

                

               nb. I don't do all these things because of FileMaker - but becauseof me, the human factor... Sometimes, I need to go back to the last version, sometimes I do something wrong, stupid and have to find out, _when_ I did this, etc.

          • 2. Re: Loss of data, layouts, scripts entered over last three days
            raysteggles

                 Markus

                 Thank you for your response.

                 It appears that the backups to Time machine don't occur if Filemaker is open, nor to SuperDuper. Having said that, Filemaker appears not to have updated and saved files as work has progressed, or on closing last night. There has been no change to the default location. 

                 Other files have saved as expected on the backups.

                 Today, I've closed FMProAdv every few minutes, reopened and checked the files have remained changed. Also using the Finder window, I've checked the last updated date and time. So far it has updated the files, but it is a tedious way to work.

                 Thanks for the pointers about a log file and using FM Server. I'll think about how I can incorporate those. My server, which does have FMServer in readiness, is on a desktop, and whilst I'm developing, it seems simpler to leave everything on my laptop so that I can work wherever I am, and use it as a server for a small workgroup for basic data entry.

                 Being relatively new to Filemaker, I may not have discovered the best workflow, and I haven't seen much about this in the manuals, which seem to show how a completed solution is uploaded, but not the process of continuous enhancement, as I model and incorporate business processes.

            • 3. Re: Loss of data, layouts, scripts entered over last three days
              RickWhitelaw

                   Time  Machine WILL back up open FM files and it can be dangerous. I avoid the problem this way. Each file has a closing script that saves a copy of itself to another drive. I set TM to back up these files and never back up the original "live" files. That way only static files are backed up and there's no risk of TM or Super Duper, which I also use, backing up a file while it's writing to disk. That's the danger by the way. Databases write to disk quite a lot. Of course the problem is that if you don't close the files occasionally they don't get copied. It's well worth the few seconds it takes to quit and relaunch every time you do substantial work on the. File. Either data entry or development.

              • 4. Re: Loss of data, layouts, scripts entered over last three days
                raysteggles

                     Rick

                     Thank you for this clarification, and I'll follow your advice.

                     I was under the misapprehension that saving a layout, actually saved it to disk, but it appears that doesn't happen until FM is closed. We learn the hard way!

                • 5. Re: Loss of data, layouts, scripts entered over last three days
                  tomasd

                       If your files will be hosted on Filemaker Server, you can schedule backup with automatic verification.

                       Local files can be saved as a copy from file menu without closing Filemaker.

                  • 6. Re: Loss of data, layouts, scripts entered over last three days
                    philmodjunk

                         Here is a way, without using server to keep frequent, automatic backups of a file that you have under development. The 15 minute interval used in the example script is a bit extreme, but you can set whatever interval you want and get a new back up copy at regular intervals without having to remember to do so manually.

                    Saving Sequential Back Ups During Development

                    • 7. Re: Loss of data, layouts, scripts entered over last three days
                      raysteggles

                           PhilModJunk

                           Excellent! Thank you.

                      • 8. Re: Loss of data, layouts, scripts entered over last three days
                        raysteggles

                             Tomas

                             Thank you.