What is the Recommended Backup Process for the FIMS Database?

What is the best practice for backing up the FIMS database?
Backing up FIMS is crucial to keeping your data safe. It is up to you on how often to backup your FIMS database, but it is recommended that you backup your data daily so that in case of hardware failure of database loss you can restore FIMS to a recent backup and not lose a lot of data in the process.

Once configured correctly using the instructions attached to this article, the DBBackup.bat script will ensure all your current database data is saved to the file produced. To summarize, there are two different methods you can use to back up your data.   We recommend that you use both of these methods together:

1. Third-Party Backup Software - or Backing up the NPO folder to another server. As good data management practice, the database backups and the backups of the NPO folder should not be only stored on the FIMS server because if the FIMS server does down, you will lose your data along with the backups. Backup files should always be copied to another server or location separate from the FIMS server.

To ensure a successful backup:

Note: There can be issues with restoring the database if the FIMS database files and folder are copied to an off-site service. To prevent this from occurring, we recommend using the batch script (located \NPO\found\FIMS\DBBackup.bat) to backup your current database first so as to create an actual backup file of the database and then storing the files and folders (especially the created backup file which is typically created in \npo\found\DBBackup) off-site.
  • If the amount of data backed up is not an issue then a complete backup of the entire NPO folder should be conducted.
However if there are size or bandwidth concerns or limitations then a complete backup of the following folders are strongly advised:
  • NPO\found - contains your database file and all FIMS software files
  • Any folders under NPO that have been created by staff that contain files used with FIMS (e.g. Profile Folders, Fund Folders, Reports).
  • NPO\GIFTS – all the IGAM software files including the forms (If present)
2. Progress Backup triggered as a Scheduled Task.
  • Create a scheduled task on the FIMS server to run each night.
    • General Tab: Check "Run whether user is logged in or not" and "Run with highest privileges."
    • Triggers Tab: Check New, in the New Trigger window click "Daily", choose a good time when people will likely be out of the system,
    • Actions Tab: Check New,
      • Program/Script: browse to the directory NPO\found\fims\ and choose the file dbbackup.bat
      • Add arguments: add the following arguments separated by single spaces: (path to live database) (path to output directory) (name of output file) (path to dlc directory)
        • example: c:\npo\found\dbfiles\found c:\npo\found\dbbackup foundbackup.bkp c:\npo\dlc
      • Start in: use the path to the FIMS folder.  ex: c:\npo\found\fims
    • Settings Tab: ensure the "Allow task to be run on demand" is checked.
  • After you've created the scheduled task, you can test it by right clicking in the task scheduler and clicking "run" or select the task and click "run" in the Right-hand Actions list. You can verify that the task is running correctly by checking the npo\found\dbbackup folder to see if your file was created.
The Ideal setup, is to run the progress backup each night, and then backup the above mentioned directories with a 3rd party backup solution and\or backup the above directories to another machine separate from the FIMS server.  We recommend using the stop and start databases commands with the 3rd party backup solution (i.e. create a scheduled task running the same batch files as the desktop stop/start shortcuts – stop the FIMS databases > run 3rd party solution on folder(s) > start the FIMS databases).  This makes sure the database files are not open for the third party backup software.



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