In Today's World, Data is Everything
Data loss can be a devastating event for any business. One of our recent clients experienced this when their hard drive suddenly failed, leaving them without access to their Act! database. As they attempted to recover their data, they discovered that the only available backup was over two years old. This situation highlights the importance of regularly backing up your Act! database and implementing a robust backup strategy. In this blog post, we will delve into why database backups are crucial and provide step-by-step instructions to ensure your valuable data remains secure.
Protecting Your Valuable Information
Your Act! database likely contains a wealth of valuable information - from your customer history to your sales pipeline. It's crucial to recognize that without regular backups, all of this data is at risk. Disasters such as hardware failure, software errors, cyberattacks, or natural disasters can strike at any moment, potentially causing irreparable damage to your database. Human errors are also a part of life. Whether it's accidentally deleting an important record or modifying data inappropriately, we all make mistakes. Therefore, it's essential to invest time and effort in creating a solid backup routine and making sure that routine is running properly.
How to Manually Backup Your Act! Database
Here are simple step-by-step instructions to ensure you never lose crucial data:
- Launch Act! and open your database.
- From the menu, select "File", then "Backup", and finally "Database..."
- Choose the location where you want to save your backup file. Ideally, store it on an external hard drive, cloud storage service, or network-attached storage (NAS) to protect against local incidents.
- Provide a clear and descriptive name for your backup file, including the date of the backup to easily identify it later.
- Click "Backup" to initiate the process.
- Once the backup is complete, verify that the backup file exists and is stored securely.
Establishing a Backup Schedule
To ensure recurring backups, it's crucial to set up a schedule that aligns with your Act! usage and business demands. Consider factors such as the frequency of database updates and the importance of real-time data. Regularly backing up your Act! database, whether it's daily, weekly, or monthly, will ensure you have the most up-to-date version available if a disaster occurs. The Act! Scheduler is a utility within Act! that you can use to automatically backup your database.
Here are the steps to setting up a backup task using the Act! Scheduler:
- Open Act! and go to the "Tools" menu.
- Select "Act! Scheduler" from the list of options. This will open the Act! Scheduler window.
- In the Act! Scheduler window, click on the "New Task" button. A new task wizard will appear.
- In the first step of the wizard, provide a name for your backup task. This should be something descriptive, like "Automatic Act! Database Backup".
- Select the frequency at which you want the task to run. You can choose from options like daily, weekly, or monthly.
- After selecting the frequency, choose the specific day(s) and time you want the backup task to run. This should be a time when your Act! database is not actively in use.
- In the next step, select the backup action. Choose "Create backup of database" from the list of available actions.
- Specify the location where you want the backup file to be saved. It's recommended to use an external hard drive, cloud storage, or a network-attached storage (NAS) device for added security.
- Configure any additional options as needed. For example, you can choose to compress the backup file to save disk space or verify the integrity of the backup file after it's created.
- Review the summary of your backup task settings, ensuring they align with your preferences. If everything looks correct, click on the "Finish" button.
- The backup task will now be added to the Act! Scheduler. You can see it listed in the main Act! Scheduler window.
- Close the Act! Scheduler window. Your automatic backup routine is now set up and will run according to the schedule you defined. That being said, errors can still occur that will cause your backup task to fail, so it is important that you periodically check the task log and/or the backup location to be sure the backups are being created.
Testing Your Backups Periodically
Having a backup is only half of the equation; you must also verify its validity. Regularly test your backup files to ensure they can be successfully restored. By doing so, you'll be confident that if the time comes to restore your database, your backup will be reliable.
Backing up your Act! database is a crucial step in safeguarding your valuable business data. By investing a little time and effort into creating a backup routine and following our step-by-step instructions, you can protect yourself from potential disasters. Remember, disasters strike unexpectedly, but with a robust backup strategy in place, you can prevent data loss and ensure your business continuity.