How to Backup in REST Professional
Backing up in REST Professional is very important & cannot be stressed enough. If your computer/server were to fail or your office destroyed by fire or flood, Rockend support staff can get the program installed on a computer in a short space of time. What we can’t do is get your data back into the program unless you have the correct backups in your possession.
The more backups you perform & store, the less inconvenience you face in a crisis event. Ensure you have a disaster recovery plan and that person/s are made responsible for not only performing the backups in REST but understanding what is being backed up, where it is being backed up to and why it is being backed up. If the responsible person leaves or goes on holiday who will take over this task? If you are ever unsure or need clarification do not hesitate to contact Rockend support to discuss the best process for backing up.
- Go to Files > Archive > Backup or click on the Wizard hat icon in the REST Professional tool bar.
- Click Next to proceed to the next screen
- Select what you wish to backup i.e. Current Data
NOTE: There are a number of backup options that you may select: If performing a daily backup during, or at the end of the day the Current Data backup is the one to select. You would also select Current data backup prior to processing a tenant download file, change of ownership wizard, prior to any type of payment run, tenant direct debit and before any global change.
This backup backs up all the current data and transactions as they are at that time you perform the backup.
- Click on the Next button to proceed to the next screen.
This screen allows you to select where the backup file will be created/saved.
- You can backup to a ‘Removable’ drive like a CD/DVD RW drive or removable hard drive (external) or memory stick.
Important: Due to potential issues relating to reading data back, saving a backup to a floppy diskette or CD/DVD RW should be avoided if possible. The price of memory sticks and removable drives is not expensive compared to the cost of rekeying data.
- You may also elect to do a Quick backup to hard drive from within this menu. A Quick backup to hard drive will usually create/save the backup file onto the ‘server’ computer in the office. An important point to remember about a ‘Quick backup to hard drive’ is that if the backup is saved on the server and if your server computer was to fail and the data was unrecoverable then you would not be able to retrieve your data backup.
NOTE: It is recommended if you are doing a backup to the hard drive to also make a copy onto your USB memory stick or removable drive as well.
You will notice that REST Professional puts in a default name for the backup depending on the day of the week eg. Friday.Dat.zip. It is strongly advised that you change the name of the backup file if you are not carrying out your regular daily backup i.e. if you are backing up prior to a change of ownership, you would rename it before.changeofownership.Dat.zip. If you were to change the name to the date (e.g. 15Nov2013 for instance) you would then have incremental backups. The advantage of this is that your backup will not be overwritten every day. In some rare cases, problems with the data may be present for days before detection. Having backups that span a period of time gives you more options in these rare cases.
REST will not allow you to use characters such as ‘\’ or ‘/’ in the file name, instead you can use full stops or an underscore.
This example screen shows that a quick backup to hard drive has been selected and the file name has been changed to before.changeofownership15.11.13
- Click on Finish
REST adds .Dat.zip onto the end of the file name you typed in as per the screen shot above.
This screen also informs you where the backup file is going to be created/saved. In this case it is going to be created in the C:\PlayData\Quickbak\ folder.
- Click on the Backup button & you will be prompted to perform a system recovery as seen below.
You should never press the “Skip system recovery” button to allow the System Recovery to run. The System Recovery performs an integrity check of the data as well as other functions. If the system recovery passes then you can be assured that the backup being created will be suitable for restoring, if ever required.
If the system recovery fails then leave the message on screen and contact Rockend Support immediately in order to have the problem rectified.
If you skip the system recovery process prior to the backup there is a possibility that you may be backing up data that is not suitable for restoring. If this is the case you will have to find old backups that pass a system recovery. There have been cases where months of work has been lost and had to be rekeyed by operators because valid backups were not kept or system recoveries skipped.
When the system recovery completes the backup file will be created and you will be returned to the main screen of the REST Professional program.
Tip: When creating backups the ‘3-2-1 backup’ strategy (google for more info) is a robust system that has allowed customers who use it to recover their data after two of their backup systems failed.