The Importance of Backing Up Your Files

Like anything stored on a computer, it is important to protect your data.

Your Building Department database should be backed up frequently to protect the information you have entered (we recommend at least once a day). Most units have a network backup system to facilitate this (ask your IT department to see if you can utilize this system).

Having backups of your BD database is an important measure to take in order to avoid issues with the information entered into the program. You will occasionally perform tasks that have the potential to affect large amounts of data (renewing certificates, running billing statements, generating letters en masse, voiding/adjusting invoices and transactions, etc.). In cases such as these, it is extremely beneficial to create a backup before beginning. While some actions can be reversed within the program, others may only be done manually. Some actions – such as those concerning financial records – cannot be reversed at all.

When you create a backup of your database, you are in effect creating a copy of it. If necessary, that backup can be restored, “undoing” any work that was entered in error post-backup. It is very important to understand the implications of this backup/restore process:

  • A backup is made at 10:00 a.m., prior to the task of generating a large amount of letters. This task commences at 10:15. At 10:30, an issue occurs, resulting in the necessity of restoring the backup made at 10:00. Once the backup is restored, it is as if those letters were never generated; that task will need to be started again.
  • Backups and restores affect all users: if Joe’s backup gets restored, Mary’s work is written over and she will need to begin again.
  • IMPORTANT: if payments were posted to GL before a backup was restored over the existing data, those payments remain posted to GL.

Therefore, while creating a backup to keep a saved copy of the database is beneficial, it is not without some risk. It is imperative that users understand how restoring a backed up database impacts the program and other users, and that restores are not to be used lightly, as they can result in loss of data. If you have any questions concerning this process, please contact customer support.

For help on creating or restoring backups, please consult your software manual, located in your program’s Help menu. Do a search for “backup” or “restore”.

Adam Bengal