Here are our four steps to backing up your database. Please note—it is imperative you perform all four of these steps for best results:
1) Know who is making backups
If your organization has several users of ACT!, make sure you know who is responsible for your ACT! backups. Also, don’t assume your IT people are backing up your ACT! database—talk to them about it.
2) Make backups and make them often
Making a backup is as easy as going to File->Backup->Database when logged into ACT! as an administrator. We recommend you create backups and store them in a place you can readily locate them.
How often should you make a backup? Kristi’s answer? “How often can you afford to lose your data?” This is why we make daily backups in our office. Read how to schedule automatic backups using the ACT! Scheduler in the ACT! Help Topics found in the Help menu.
3) Store a backup offsite
In case of disaster, it is in your best interest to store a copy of your database off premises. Depending how paranoid you are, (not always a bad thing!) you can create a backup to an external hard drive, to a laptop that you take home, or what we recommend—a cloud-based storage system, or you can do all three!
4) Check your backups
We have too often run into the case of clients who think they are running backups, only to find out they were not when it is too late. To check your backup, keep an eye on the file size. As you back up your database every day (ideally), the file size should generally get bigger and not vary drastically barring any unusual deleting or importing activity. If the file size drastically decreases or increases, you will want to test your backup.
We recommend testing your backups once every two to three weeks even if the files appear normal. To test one, an administrator must go to File->Restore->Database, pull up the backup file and restore it—IMPORTANT—she must rename the database so as not to overwrite the production database. Test opening the database and logging in. If everything looks good, the tested backup database can then be deleted.
And that is all there is to it. Backing up your database is not particularly time consuming or expensive, but it can save you time and money should something happen to your computer. Losing your data can be a devastating situation—sometimes taking preventative measures can make all the difference.
If you would like our help, please call our office at 847-520-0860, and we would be happy to train you in backup best practices.
You may also want to consider our upcoming group mini-training Backup Bootcamp webinar on September 9th. This training is free to members of KSC PEAKS, and $25 for all other registrants. Register now.
Have you got your backup routine down to a science? Tell us about it.