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DamienM3

Running backups while file is open

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So far the only way for my other clients is to leave file maker open and running. Will the copy of the database that Time Machine backs up to the Time Capsule get corrupted? Can the database be backed up safely while it is open? On top if time machine I will be using Chronosync for nightly over the network backups as well. But again for the morning help to work we have to leave FMP open on our main iMac... Am I safe? Or am I risking corruption?

Thank you for any help

Damien

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You are smart to ask. Very smart.

[color:red]Do not use Time Machine or anything else to backup an open database, ever. If you're not using FileMaker Server, close the file and quit the application. Then you can do a backup.

FileMaker Server handles this for you; that's another reason to use it.

Steven

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If I may ask how would time machine damage it? It is after all just reading the file correct? I am not doubting you are right I just like to know why things are...

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Any backup system can damage an [color:red]open file if it tries to copy it. FileMaker Server is especially designed to avoid that issue. The most common error deals with data that are partially in cache and partially on disk. This generates errors in the copy of the file, and it has been known to cause damage to the original file.

Steven

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So now I know the cause but if this does happen what recourse will i have?

Revert to the last known good backup. And of course if you're destroying the integrity of these backups, you're in even more trouble.

Steven

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My small business is not in the position of purchasing another machine and filemaker server. What alternatives do I have? How can I safely back this file up but also make sure it is open for the rest of the staff to access?

Is there a way to make a automator or script that would close FMP at night let the backup run and then also reopen it at a scheduled time?

I am very worried about our data but have blown our budget on three iMacs and Three copies of FPM! So yes I am begging for a low cost solution and your knowledge.

Thank You

Damien

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[color:red]There is no safe way to back up an open file except via FileMaker Server.

Since you are on a Macintosh you could use an Apple Script applet to close and open the files. Attach that applet to one of the time utilities.

Steven

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So now we are back to your first post...

Don't you like the Old Advance Man answers ?

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The Original Poster of this Thread is [color:blue]DamienM3, and unless [color:red]Cortical has posted a similar question somewhere else, there isn't another post by them.

I'm sure that isn't the case, as we all know that double posting in the forum is frown upon. :

Lee

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so a save as from within the open database is not a safe backup?

Not really, no.

You really do need FileMaker Server.

Steven

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The Original Poster of this Thread is [color:blue]DamienM3, and unless [color:red]Cortical has posted a similar question ...

Opss, my fault !

I didn't read the poster name.

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Without wishing to flog a dead horse; some further clarification would be appreciated.

Save as (e.g. a clone) is as I have always understood it, standard good practice; the object is to always have a most recent version for re-instatement and import data into, if the in service version gets corrupted. I am referring here to me as the developer, saving a clone on my local dev box, not the in service database on the server, or single client install.

Given I can use FileMaker save as clone/Applescript and a button to clone the all files in the solution, in less than a minute, this is a pretty convenient strategy.

It seemed, that save as a copy was an extension of this. I have a couple of single user implementations, one on a LAN server (client mac/server mac), one on the user's mac. Are both these scenarios not suitable for 'save as copy' scripted data backups? Both clients can no way consider FMS.

Or is it the single user vs. multi concurrent user environment that is at issue?

regards

Chris

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Does FMP include a script like this? A scripts that could save a copy of the database hourly or daily to a network drive? This would solve my whole problem!

Damien

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Not if the file is being shared. You will have to stop sharing the file and then you can save a backup copy.

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Yes but the OP does not want to go that route and was trying to find out if there was a work around.

As this point I think that it has been stated enough times that for a shared solution sticking to FMS for backups is the best course of action.

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As this point I think that it has been stated enough times that for a shared solution sticking to FMS for backups is the best course of action.

While I agree 100%, I can see where not everyone will have the capital/resources for Server.

I believe what they are looking for is a viable approach for a FMP client driven, shared solution. In FMP 10 you can somewhat address the sharing thing. A scheduled script to close down clients and then save-as should work. I will however strongly caution anyone going this route to really think through what you are doing. It is very easy to cause problems and get stuck in an eternal loop. You also need to trap for various situations. For example, if someone is still using the database, making sure all data is flushed to the disk, potential errors when committing data on open/locked records.

I personally just use a scheduled script to shutdown the database completely. Then use a backup utility and then a command line operation to reopen the database using an opener file.

So far, only problems I have had revolve around windows and the command line syntax to get the file to open when I want it to.

Mr. Vodka (and everyone else)...your thoughts on this approach???

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FMP does not include such a script, but one can write one. If the issue of whether it is safe to use it can be settled, I can send you a (mac) demo back channel.

I think some scenario definition may be required

Generalities

1. not every client can afford FMS. That's a real world fact.

2. Not every developer can justify (a personal copy) of FMS. That's a real world fact too.

3. Time machine is bad, as is any system driven backup that endeavours to replicate an open database.

4. If a system level driven backup is used, the database must be closed AND FM must be quit. ( is the necessity for FM to be quit, an established and justifiable requirement based on process logic, or is it 'feel safer' practice based on the oft vagaries of FM and been there been done by that experience (i.e. empirical) ?

Scenario 1.

Single user, database on user box, FM: File/Save a Copy As... (clone/copy)

Database not shared. FM Sharing presumptively off.

If clone is considered good development practice, why is copy not?

Is FM incapable of flushing its own cache in the Save As Copy routine?

Scenario 2.

Single user at any given time, small office situation.

Secretary inputs data during the day, the db owner can check things out at night...

The secretary wants to be able to run a backup without having to leave her desk, to go to where the server is located...

client FMPro/FMPro (9) on dedicated server box.

So the database is being shared, but there is usually only one concurrent user; if the secretary wants to run a backup, it is very easy to establish if the other user is logged in.

For absolute clarity, does this statement:

Do not use Time Machine or anything else to backup an open database, ever.

apply to File/Save a Copy As... (clone/copy)

regards

Chris

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There is no way that this small business can afford to buy FMS. It was a huge stretch on the budget for the iMacs and FMP 10 x3 as it is! So if I understand what everyone is saying Time Machine bad... any form of backup while open is bad. This I understand. I do not however understand how a expensive powerful program like FMP cannot backup and save files while open. I think part of my problem is I was stuck using Access 2000 for so long that I expect the same.. (pointless) Access database file sat on a pc we all access it by just clicking on that file! and it could be backed up while open... (pointless again).

So lets assume my budget is in the red (it is anyways). I can remember to close my FMP so that leaves one iMac left that I know the secretary will never remember to close. Oh all three of us during the day all modify the database. I don't know if I had mentioned that before. But my best case scenario is a close script for the secretaries iMac and the host iMac since it will be left running as she leaves before the secretary. Then the backup can run over night that copies the user folder to a nas. But then my next biggest hurdle would be scheduling FMP to open by a script so the secretary can access it in the morning.

I know I am asking a lot but I appreciate all of the information I have received so far.

Damien

P.S. You guys will want to ignore me when I start asking questions about creating forms!

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Damien,

you can use System Prefs/ Energy Saver to shutdown and startup. So you could have them all shutdown, and only the server restart, with FM launching at startup (or not).

Still leaves how to run an auto backup; although with FM not running a system level backup app would be ok no?

Edited by Guest

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I don't want the machines to shut down. Just FMP so the database can be closed while the backup runs at night!

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Damien, here is a possible option.

FileMaker has a new script step called Install On Timer. This script will run on the time interval that you want it to run. You can have the script check what time it is and the machine that it is (MAC Address perhaps). Then after hours, you can have this script disconnect any client sessions that are still logged on. Once all the client sessions are closed, you can check that only the one that is hosting it is the one open and then the script can save a backup copy.

It will have to be carefully thought out, but it may be an alternative.

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Might be beyond me? I will dig into FMP scripts. I did find however a setting to save the cache when idle or at set intervals. Would this help against corruption if I set it to 10 minutes its fastest interval?

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Have you considered using a 3rd party host, such as ourselves:

http://www.pointinspace.com/

to host your solution? This would be a considerably more affordable way to get your files running on FileMaker Server, without having to purchase your own license, hardware, etc.

- John

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Does it matter? It is a simple strategy to obtaining the required result.

Shutdown guarantees no clients, and no FM running.

Far more simple than learning the required (though do-able) scripting.

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Under no circumstances should you be trying to restart the computer with files open. The FIleMaker Pro files must be closed first. if there are users connected peer to peer this can be very difficult to do.

This entire deployment scenario is very fragile and fraught with significant potential for file damage.

Steven

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Point in space may well be a future solution for us. We are hoping to be able to export searchable tables to a site!

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It has always been my understanding that OSX closes open files before quitting apps, before shutting down. One manifestation is dialogues asking to save/close individual open files. It may not be so under win.

Any one know which log file to look for?

Chris

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