Schedule Database Backups using FileMaker Server

Schedule Database Backups using FileMaker Server.

The easiest way to safely and securely backup your important files is to schedule a full backup of your computer data. You can do this daily, several times a week, or just once a month, depending upon your data size and how valuable your data is. Read on to find out the best way to schedule this simple process with the support of the powerful FileMaker Server…

Database Backups with FileMaker Server

Firstly, it’s always recommended you save backups at an off-site location for very important files. Server administrators can backup a selected database, all hosted databases, databases in selected additional folders, and any separate container folders specified for a database. Group administrators, on the other hand, can backup only hosted databases that are in their administrator group.

Remember, database backups are saved in the folder that you select in the schedule assistant. Every time you run a scheduled backup task, FileMaker Server checks for any change in the selected databases since the last time that scheduled backup ran. For each scheduled backup task, a full copy of the database is created by FileMaker for the changed data and hard links are created to the backed-up databases.

While backing up a hosted database to a file system, keep in mind that it doesn’t support hard links, since making a copy is slower because FileMaker Server should make a full copy of every file during every backup. FileMaker Server copies the database during a backup when it is active. Users can continue to make modifications, and when the copy is complete, the database pauses to match the backup files with the current database and then the database resumes. You can easily specify the maximum number of database backups in the schedule assistant in order to perform a consistency check on the backup file, and receive email notifications when backups are complete.

The destination disk that contains your hosted backups must have enough free space. If the hard disk runs out of space while a database file reaches the 8 terabytes size limit, the file will be compressed. Compression may take some time to complete but it will free up some space. 

However, if a hard disk runs out of space during a backup, the backup will stop, the backup file will get deleted, and FileMaker Server would log an error in Event.log. You should always check the schedules list for error conditions, which are reported in the status. To avoid running out of disk space, choose a different hard disk as your backup destination, or move completed backups to offline storage. Group administrators should let their server administrator configure the administrator group to allow them to backup the databases in the group folder.

Tips for Scheduled Database Backups

Build plans for restoring data like using alternate sites and systems to run business-critical information services. A scheduled backup can help you recover from losing the administrator account information for a file, or data from being deleted or modified inappropriately.

Here are a few tips that you can use for database backups:

  1. Host Databases with Filemaker Server and Create Automated Backups

Avoid using third-party backup software on hosted FileMaker Pro databases. Initially, use FileMaker Server to make a backup copy of your database, then run your third-party backup software on the copy. For instance, make local backups of files at 5:00 AM, 8:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 8:00 PM weekdays.

Copy and store the backup media at a remote location which you can easily access later. This way, if the server goes down for some reason, the more recent backup of the data files can be used, causing a maximum of 3 hours of lost data. In case of a catastrophic drive failure, use the previous evening’s backup media, causing a maximum loss of one day’s data.

  1. Select Verify Backup Integrity in Schedule Assistant

FileMaker Server performs a consistency check once the backup is complete, confirming whether the backup file is internally consistent. This can help the system detect errors in the backup file and send you an email notification when the check is complete. However, backup operations that support this option enabled can take much longer to complete and may slow-down other activities on the master machine.

  1. Clone the Backup File

Select ‘Clone the backup file’ in the schedule assistant to save your backed-up file’s tables, page setup options, layouts, scripts, and field definitions without the data. You can import the data from a damaged database into a clone of the backed-up database.

  1. Make Sure Backup Copies Aren’t Damaged or Inaccessible

Verify that the backup copies are functioning properly before you need them. Don’t forget to run diagnostic tools on your hard drive and your backup files regularly.

  1. Copy the File First

Always make a copy of the file first, and never edit a file in a backup directory or move a file out of a backup directory. Leave the original backup file untouched in the backup folder. Do not use FileMaker Pro to open the database file that is kept in the backup folder.

Protecting Your Data

FileMaker Server will help you securely backup your data

We all understand that backing up data simply means copying your files to another disk for safekeeping. But a strong backup strategy meaning sticking to a consistent schedule, safeguarding your data and bringing peace of mind. 

This gives you protection against the failure of a single hard disk, removable disk, or other media. As your files become larger or increase in number, a system such as the FileMaker Pro is known for handling large data volumes and working efficiently, meeting the demands of your business. 

Always make sure you restore an entire set of files from backup copies, regularly export the data to protect against file corruption, protect the backup media, store backups in a separate fire-proof location, and assign backup administrators who can retrieve files in the absence of network administrator.

As professional FileMaker consultants, we understand the demands of safeguarding data across all areas of industry and we are always ready to help your company with a custom-made workflow system for your business needs, helping you organize your projects and work. Get in touch with us today.