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Zip - Backup a database problems

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  • Zip - Backup a database problems

    I would like to know how to zip or back up JUST the data files, I want to copy just the data records at the end of each month for accounting purposes but don't want to have all the problems I'm getting when I zip and unzip the whole database . Is there an easy way of doing this? Could I create a script?. I have just spent ages duplicating sets to another computer and don't want to risk restoring the database and losing all the work I've just done.

  • #2
    Re: Zip - Backup a database problems

    You don't tell us what problems you're having when you zip and unzip the whole database. This should be simple and straightforward PROVIDED your database is self-contained in a single folder, without sub-folders or external directories.


    If you use the Backup Tool on the control panel menu, and then choose the Files Tab, and then choose the Mark Files button, then you'll have the option to mark only the data files for backup.

    -- tom


    • #3
      Re: Zip - Backup a database problems

      Another way is to use something like 7zip that can be downloaded from the internet for free. You can zip the whole application or all the dbf and then add all the fpt files and cdx or about however you want it to do. I never have problems with 7zip.

      I think gzip is what alpha is using and it also works well if you do it right. I just do not like using zips internally. Matter of taste maybe.
      Dave Mason
      Skype is dave.mason46


      • #4
        Re: Zip - Backup a database problems

        It's not very clear from your post as to exactly what you want to achieve by "for accounting purposes". I'm guessing, probably wrongly, that you want to access the records from a remote/different PC on a monthly basis. I use Windows own Remote Desktop from my home PC into my office PC/network everyday and it works brilliantly. Could this be an option for you?


        • #5
          Re: Zip - Backup a database problems

          Here is a working function, increment backups. call the function before (or after) any posting batch
          Set variables foldername and zipfilename to use it as is
          there are two example wildcard filenames in the sample - you can change these and add more.


          • #6
            Re: Zip - Backup a database problems

            Thank you everyone, sorry that I didn't explain myself well.
            The story so far - we have successfully used Alpha5 for our customer database for years, inputting on one computer, zipping the files each night for backup and the zip file unzipped onto other run time computers when necessary. I recently moved the entire database on to a shared server and put a shadow database on each of the run time computers, the folder on both the server and the shadow pc's have the same name . This is running fine until I come to zip the files when I get a list of files that haven't been backed up - it states that they are probably still open - they're not. I used the backup facility within Alpha5 which appears to be ok.

            The problem I have is that each month end the person doing the accounting month end needs to have the back up unzipped/restored on to her computer for running reconciliation reports etc, I can't restore it to the folder with the same name (as it already houses the shadow database). I created a new folder and restored the data to that, some tables were fine but the sets still pointed to the shared server database. I have re-created the sets in the 'accounting' folder so thought it would be better at each month end to back-up the data only and restore that to the accounting version. The month end can't be performed on the master database as new records are being added all the time.


            • #7
              Re: Zip - Backup a database problems


              Your zip files issue sounds like one or more workstations left Alpha Five running. Alpha will detect this when you open the database on the server and attempt to zip the database. This can be confirmed using the File Menu, to run the "Database Information" choice, after opening the database on the server. The solution is to visit each workstation and turn off Alpha Five ( or at least close the open database) on each workstation. Then the zip utility Alpha supplies will run just fine on the server.


              • #8
                Re: Zip - Backup a database problems

                I think there are two areas for exploration:

                A few years ago I suffered regular issues with Alpha 'freezing'. We cured this by ensuring all PC's were regularly updated with MS updates, plus applying version numbers to our application which forced the user shadows to automatically update and to all be running the same version. Although I don't understand it, if you close Alpha after it has 'frozen', on occasion Task Manager may show multiple multiple instances of Alpha still running. This could explain the backup problem...

                Meanwhile, thanks for the full explanation. Your setup sounds similar to mine; we have a server networked to a few PC's and also a couple of remote users - one via RDP and the other via our website. Regarding your monthly routine, I'm obviously not aware of your actual reporting requirements, but in our case we run our reports with 'start' and 'finish' dates which works very well for us. I can't think why this wouldn't work for you - unless you are regularly amending the data in historic records. In my case its mostly sales and purchase invoice information we are summarising which doesn't get altered after ts been 'posted'. In summary, would writing a few date conscious reports resolve your issue?


                • #9
                  Re: Zip - Backup a database problems

                  Thank you Larry and Tom that was really useful, I have checked on Database Information and all the tables are closed so still don't understand why Alpha is reporting that certain tables are open, I have even tried zipping the files first thing in the morning when all the pc's are off and get the same report of the same tables being in use. I do use version numbers so that the shadow databases automatically update. I will discuss with our accounts lady the possibility of using start and end dates.


                  • #10
                    Re: Zip - Backup a database problems

                    "open files"

                    Judith, if the workstations are not running Alpha Five there may be another explanation for what you're seeing. Two common causes are (a) a workstation crashes or unexpectedly gets turned off before the workstation closes Alpha Five; and (b) an error occurs during development that leaves open tables on the server, as for example, where a script in development opens a table, but then errors out. Both of these can be cleared by shutting down the server machine and rebooting.

                    In troubleshooting this I'd follow this sequence:

                    a) are there any workstations still running Alpha Five? If so close Alpha on all of them.

                    b) have I opened the database through a shadow, instead of directly on the server? If so, close alpha and open the database directly on the server.

                    c) am I at the control panel, or do I have form(s) open? Close all forms and browses, zip only from the control panel

                    d) Does Alpha still report open files when I use the zip utility on the tools menu? If so, shut down the server and reboot.


                    • #11
                      Re: Zip - Backup a database problems

                      Thanks Tom I'm going to work through the procedure you've recommended in the morning. I am having fresh problems with the database now and I am going to post a new thread on here. I'm sorry I ever moved the data


                      • #12
                        Re: Zip - Backup a database problems

                        This part of Judith's explanation is possibly cause for concern
                        some tables were fine but the sets still pointed to the shared server database.
                        Maybe the sets need to be fixed to pint to the new DB ? That would explain why they report as being in use.
                        I know with tables you just drop and then add the local one. Maybe that is the fix?


                        • #13
                          Re: Zip - Backup a database problems

                          Hi everyone, thank you for taking the time and trouble to help me. I have decided to abandon the project of having our customer database on a server for now and have gone back to all data being input on one computer in the office. I have had lots of help and advice and I'm particularly grateful to Tom Cone who has given me a lot of instructions which I will use next week when I have another go at getting this up and running.


                          • #14
                            Re: Zip - Backup a database problems

                            one small thing that may help.
                            In the control panel, at the tables view, right click and choose view, details. You will see a list of where the adb is looking at the tables. If a table has the wrong path, then it needs to be dropped and then added back to the control panel from the proper location.
                            Dave Mason
                            Skype is dave.mason46


                            • #15
                              Re: Zip - Backup a database problems

                              In your other thread, I mentioned that it sounds like you backed up the shadowed tables and somehow that backup got restored to the server. Been there, done that... I use an external utility for backing up the server now (Cobian). It runs unattended and has omitted the problem of being in the wrong data set when attempting a backup in Alpha. One mistake is all it takes!

                              Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in those things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford