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EventPro Planner Data Backup

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Why You Need Data Backup

Why We Don't Provide Built-in Backup

Which Files You Should Back Up

How to Back Up Files

What Backup Media to Use

How Often to Back Up Data

Tips for Data Backup



Why You Need Data Backup

Hard drive crash, power outage, power surge, virus attacks, hackers, natural disaster, theft, human error – there are so many ways your company can lose critical data! Data loss can result in days of recovery time and lost productivity, and yet data backup is still one of the most neglected areas of computer maintenance. We all think that data loss won’t happen to us, but it is an inevitable part of working with computers.


Why We Don’t Provide Built-in Backup

Some programs have a built-in backup option, but we chose not to include this feature in EventPro Planner Software. Why? Because backup software is a specialised area and there are many companies that provide excellent products, for free or to purchase. For your benefit, we chose to focus on our area of expertise – event planning – and leave backup software to the backup experts.


Which Files You Should Back Up

To prevent the loss of crucial information, you need to back up several key files. These will vary, depending on whether you have the Standard or Enterprise Edition.

Standard Edition

With the Standard Edition, you need to back up:

  • any data.mdb files
  • any rptdata.mdb files
  • the licence.ini file


These files will usually be located in the \EventPro Planner\Data folder in the main install directory, which will either be on your local machine or on the server, depending on the type of installation. When you installed the Standard Edition, this \EventPro Planner\Data folder was created in this location by default. However, after installation, you can move your data folders to any place you want. To determine where the folders are located, open EventPro Planner and look at the bottom edge of the screen, to the right of the date, time and current user. It will say something like G:\[Folder Name]\[Database name]. This is where the data folders will be located.


Enterprise Edition

With the Enterprise Edition, you need to back up:

  • Eplannerdata
  • Eplannerreports
  • Licence.ini


To determine where the data is located, open EventPro Planner and look at the bottom edge of the screen, to the right of the date, time and current user. It will show the server name and database name, e.g. \\[Server]\[Data].


How to Back Up Files

Backing up a file can be as simple as right-clicking the file, copying it and saving it under another name in a different place. However, a haphazard, periodic approach to backup is only slightly more useful than no backup at all. Backup software will ensure that you have a proper system in place and stay on schedule.


There is an infinite variety of backup software available, so you should be able to find one that suits the needs and budget of your business. Talk to representatives at a computer store or check out online reviews to choose the software that is best for you. The software will guide you through the process of backing up your data.


Some backup software may also be included with your computer. For example, Windows XP and Windows 2000 operating systems include a Backup Wizard. If you want to use this Backup Wizard, click on the Start menu in the bottom left corner of your screen. Select All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Backup. This will begin the Backup or Restore Wizard.


Note: We are not necessarily recommending the Windows XP or Windows 2000 Backup Wizard as the best choice for your business. We are merely describing it because it is a free option that most people already have on their computer.


What Backup Media to Use

We highly recommend that you back up data files on removable media. While it can be somewhat useful to save network files on the hard drive of a computer (in case something goes wrong with the network), data saved in two different places on one computer will not be helpful when the whole computer crashes.


You also want to be able to take your backups off-site, where they will be safe in case any type of disaster occurs at the workplace. The most carefully kept backup tapes will not be helpful if they are destroyed in the same building as the computers.

Backup Media
  1. Floppy Disk : The floppy disk is all but obsolete these days. They hold too little data, are too easily damaged and have too short a life-span for useful data backup.
  2. CDs or DVDs : CDs and DVDs are now often used for data backup because they are cheap and easy to use. Also, most computers come with a CD and/or DVD burner, so it is easy to share the backup information. Exercise caution with this medium, though. As we have all experienced, DVDs and CDs can sometimes be “unreadable” for no apparent reason and they have a short life-span due to scratches or other damage.
  3. Tape Drive : This has been the standard backup choice for years, although some experts now question whether it is becoming obsolete in the era of so many alternatives. Good quality tape drives and associated media can be expensive, and, like any removable media, tapes will inevitably wear out.
  4. External Hard Drives : These exist separately from your computer system and can be dedicated purely to data backup. External hard drive systems have a large storage capacity and are easy to install – you can simply plug them into your computer’s USB port. Like all computer hard drives, though, they can fail or be damaged by mishandling.
  5. USB Flash Drives : These are also commonly referred to as pen drives, key drives and memory sticks. They have quick transfer speeds and are extremely easy to install. However, they can be expensive and it can be costly to buy enough of them to use in a regular backup cycle (refer to How Often to Back Up Data, below).
  6. Zip Drives : Zip disks are faster and more durable than the old 3.5-inch floppy disks, and they can hold more information. While Zip drives are easy to install, other users must also have the Zip drive in order to share the data, and it seems that Zip drives are becoming less common now.
  7. Online Services : There are now a number of companies offering online backup services. You can schedule your backups and let the computer automatically back up files on the web. Use extreme caution if you choose this method and consider the security of your data. The company should be very reliable and should use proper security precautions such as encryption and secure servers. Even so, you may not want to back up sensitive business data by this method.


How Often to Back Up Data

(For ease of reference, we will call the backup media “tapes” in these instructions.)


You should back up data once a day, minimum. This may seem like a lot, but think about how many days’ worth of data entry you are willing to lose. One day? A half day? You may even need to back up data more than once a day. Consider that if it took one day to enter that data, it will probably take much longer to figure out what was lost and re-enter it all if data loss occurs. Also, some of the lost data may never be remembered or recorded.


The key to successful data backup is having a proper schedule. A good schedule requires you to keep multiple copies for a set number of days. You cannot simply have one backup tape on which you record the current day’s data over and over. For example, if your data becomes corrupt because of a virus, you may not know that very day. Perhaps it happened three days ago. If you already recorded over the last clean data copy with yesterday’s (already corrupt) data, you essentially have no backup at all.


The typical backup schedule requires 5 backups per week – one after each workday (Monday to Friday). The Monday through Thursday tapes will be recorded over again next week. The Friday tape will actually be a weekly backup and you will not re-use that tape until the next month. In a four-week month, for example, you would need 8 tapes in total. Then, when you make the last data backup of the month, that tape will be stored as the monthly backup and the monthly tapes will not be re-used until the next year. The last data backup of the year will be stored as the yearly backup until the next year.


Obviously, you will need to modify this schedule if you do a large amount of work on Saturdays or Sundays, or if you feel that a daily backup is not necessary. The point is that you want to keep several copies of backup data from successive days, weeks and months. You do not want to record over a backup tape too soon, in case it contained the last version of data you had before something went wrong.


Of course, when you have a million other pressing things to do, data backup can easily fall through the cracks. You need something to remind you to back up data on a regular basis and even automatically take care of some of the work. This is exactly why you want to use backup software. All you need to do is assign one person to change the tapes as required and take the stored tapes off-site.


For example, you can schedule backups with the Windows XP or Windows 2000 Backup Wizard.


Tips for Data Backup

  1. Label the tapes accurately.
  2. Rotate the tapes and replace them before they wear out.
  3. Test the backups to ensure that you are actually copying the files you think you are.
  4. Take the backup copies off-site.

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