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 that you create backups and store them in a place where you can readily locate them.
How often should you make a backup? To answer this question, ask yourself how often you can afford to lose your data. In our office we make backups daily. For information on how to schedule automatic backups using the Act! Scheduler, search Act! Help Topics found in the Act! Help menu.
3) Store a backup offsite
In case of disaster, it's 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
Too often we've run into cases of clients who think they're running backups, only to find out too late that they were not. 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 - the administrator 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's all there is to it. Backing up your Act! database is not particularly time consuming or expensive, but it can save you time, money and frustration should something happen to your computer.
If you would like our assistance setting up, testing, or restoring your backups please contact us. We'd be happy to help!
Have you got your backup routine down to a science? Tell us about it.