I usually perform a one time backup of that particular data base and take the backup as a place to work on new ideas. Depending on the version you are using (I am using FM Server 13). The databases are located in \\FMServer\Data\Backups. If you want to work with the live database (not preferred), you can take the database offline (Close it) and then copy the actual file from the server ( \\FMServer\Data\Databases.
Unhost (close) the file in the server admin console, go to the live file location on the server, copy the live file to your local drive and rehost (open) the file in the server admin console if needed. Alternative is to take a copy from backups.
If you're allowed to close the database temporarily...
In Admin Console under the "folder icon" there is a menu option "download database" active if the database is closed.
This will download a zipped copy of the database. Handy if the server is on a remote location and no other remote access is available.
This is the correct approach, and the best way to get the latest version (newer than the latest backup) and avoid any data corruption that might be caused by copying an open database file. More specifically:
- First, enable pop-ups in your browser so that you can download files from the admin console.
- Log in to the admin console.
- Click "Activity" in the navigation on the left.
- Click on the database you want to retrieve.
- Click the folder icon at the top of the list and select "Close," then follow the prompts to close it.
- If nobody else is using the file, just specify a 0-minute delay.
- Once the database is closed, click the folder icon again and select "Download Database."
- The browser will pop open a new window or tab and start downloading a .zip file of your database and any external container storage associated with it.
- After the file has downloaded, go back to the Activity window and click on the database again.
- Click the folder icon and select "Open" to turn it back on.
- Disable pop-ups again in your browser if necessary.