It is very important that have a backup regime in place to protect you from:

  1. storage device failure (the SSD or hard disk in your server may fail)
  1. fire, flood, theft, or other disaster (the whole computer may be destroyed or lost)
  1. inadvertent or malicious deletion/corruption of data

The Backups tab is the place to configure the local backup and archive locations.

Auto Backup and Archive

You should have this option checked. If unchecked, no backups or archives are made automatically.

When checked, documents will get automatically backed up whenever they close.

If a new period has been opened, then the backup also goes into the Archives folder and is dated so that it will not get overwritten. Otherwise backups go into the backups folder and are stamped with the day of week (1-7). Week-old backups will therefore get overwritten.

Prior to v9, the Archive backup would be instead of the regular backup. In v9 both are done.

In v9, a backup is only made if the database was changed. Backup frequency may also be limited by the "Don't back up again within N hours" setting in the Advanced tab of the Console. This is to prevent loading the serer with excessive backup tasks when the database may be getting accessed regularly robots.

Also, in v9, the folder hierarchy and folder security (i.e. the folder.conf files) will be backed up nightly into files of the form !folder config backup.n.mwgz.

If you open several periods in advance, you won't get archives for those periods. Don't open periods in advance.

These auto-created backup files offer some protection from scenario #3, above. What about #1 and #2? If your MoneyWorks Datacentre is hosted in a Virtual Private Server, and your hosting provider is backing up the entire server image nightly, and you trust that your hosting provider will not disappear, then that may be enough. Otherwise, an off-server backup is strongly advised.

Off-server/off-site backups

By default, the Backups and Archive folders reside in the same location as the documents. This makes it easy to locate backups if you need to go back to an old version of a database for some reason however it offers no protection against storage device failure or server theft or destruction. You must set up some mechanism to back up data on another device, and in another location.

You can change the Backup and Archive paths to point to a location on another device, preferably on another computer. This will provide protection from disaster scenario #1 (storage device failure). However, on Windows, see Network Backup paths on Windows,

Backup Path:  Path to the directory where backups will be written. By default this is the Backups folder inside the MoneyWorks Documents folder.

Archive Path:  Path to the directory where archives will be written. By default this is the Archives folder inside the MoneyWorks Documents folder.

Either of these can be changed. Click the ... browse button next to the path field to select the desired location. If the path in the field is invalid, a warning icon will be displayed next to it.

Important: You must ensure that the Backup and Archive paths are valid and are writable by the service. Verifying this is especially important if you have chosen to write backups to a file server volume. Specifying a location on a file server that is not always available will probably result in failed backups. You will not get any notification of failure to write backups other than a log entry. With a Windows server, the Save a Backup As command will fail on clients if the Backup directory is not valid or writable.

What else should I back up?

For a quicker recovery from a catastrophic server loss, you may also want to back up your Datacentre server settings. On Mac, these are at: /Library/MoneyWorks/Library/Preferences/, and on Windows, they are at: C:\ProgramData\Cognito\MoneyWorks Datacentre\. This folder also contains Pids and Logs folders which do not need to be backed up.

Easy cloud data backup using Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, or iCloud drive

The easiest way to get a reliable off-site backup is to have the auto-created backups stored in a cloud-backed folder such as a Dropbox folder. These instructions apply just as well to OneDrive or Google Drive.

  1. If necessary, install and configure your preferred cloud storage service client software on the computer
  1. Create Backup and Archive folders in a subfolder of your cloud storage folder
  1. Set the Datacentre Backup and Archive paths to those folders

This will be something like /Users/you/Dropbox/MWBackups/Backups or C:\Users\you\Dropbox\MWBackups\Backups. Likwise Archives.

  1. Make sure the cloud storage account you use has enough storage capacity for your backups.

Important: DO NOT use 3rd party backup software to back up the entire main Datacentre Documents folder ESPECIALLY on Windows. Windows backup software will typically lock files it is backing up and interfere with the operation of the Datacentre server. You should only back up the Backups and Archives folders. Don't allow antivirus software to scan MoneyWorks files. This may prevent Datacentre from accessing files and lead to data loss.

Network Backup paths on Windows

Windows Services (such as MoneyWorks Datacentre) do not, by default, have access to network shares. Therefore if you want backups and archives to be written to a volume that is not locally attached to the server that Datacentre is running on, you will need to set MoneyWorks Datacentre to run as a user who has privileges to access the network volume to which you wish backups to be written.

In Services, right-click on the MoneyWorks Datacentre service, and click the Log On tab. Here you can specify a user name and password of a user that the service will run as. Note that this user must also have read/write access to the files that the Datacentre will be serving, otherwise it will of course not be able to access them.

In addition, any network paths should be specified in UNC format (\\server\share\directory), not with a drive letter. Note that there is no trailing \ on the end of the path to the folder.