Backups are important for safeguarding your FileMaker solutions and data. FileMaker Server provides an automated and highly configurable way of backing up your data.
Different versions of FileMaker Server will have slight changes in the steps to creating backups and navigating the FileMaker Server Admin Console. It's recommended to go to FileMaker.com for the Guide based on your version of FileMaker Server for complete documentation.
How a backup is created
The FileMaker Server Admin Console has the ability to define backup schedules to be performed on a desired database. It also has the ability to define where these backup files are saved. When the backup schedule is performed, FileMaker Server will pause the databases and then make a copy of them to the backup folder that is defined.
As a default setting, FileMaker Server creates a daily backup of the hosted files and save them in the following path: /FileMaker Server/Data/Backups/. This location is in the same directory as the hosted files, so it's important to create an additional backup routine to save the files to a separate drive, network location or computer, or to set your 3rd party backup software to make a backup of the Backup folder.
NEVER allow any backup, scan or other utility to touch your hosted (Open) files.
It is not safe practice to rely on 3rd party software to backup the databases while they are live and in use. This can be severely detrimental to the stability of database files and may cause corruption or other irreversible damage. Only backup the backups, which are closed files.
NEVER allow your backup software to make backups at the same time the FileMaker auto backups are occurring. This could damage your backups.
Data security and integrity & Testing your backups
Backups preserve the important data inside a database in case something unexpected occurs and the original file is no longer useful. Since the backup is an exact copy of the original, you can be sure that the integrity of your data is retained with each backup so long as the data inside is not damaged.
We recommend that the most recent backup be tested on a regular schedule to ensure data integrity of the backup file. Once initially setup, this process will take only 5 minutes each time to check current backup files.
- On a client create a folder and save a copy of the Resources file, the Data Shared file and the most recent CP6 Activation text file. These files can be kept on the client for future testing. To avoid user confusion, we suggest creating the testing folder directly on the main drive and not on the desktop or in the downloads folder.
- Copy the most recent main backup file and paste into the folder (The main data file will typically contain the release number; such as Crate Pro 180730 or Crate Pro 190737.)
- Crate Pro 6 and FileMaker must be closed on that client before testing.
- Double click on the main data file in the folder. It should open with the appropriate version of FileMaker Pro and you will get a message that the Host has changed, and you may need to copy/paste the entire text from the CP6 Activation file to continue. A 2nd message that the 'File Cannot Be Shared' can be ignored.
- Review the data. Close the file and FileMaker Pro and delete the main data file from the folder. You have verified the backup integrity.
Each time you wish to test a backup, you will only need to copy/paste the most recent main data file backup into the folder on the client and double click on it.
Reverting to a backup
In the event that you need to revert to a backup, you first want to "CLOSE ALL" hosted files.
To do this, click the "Databases" option in the Admin Console to view the list of hosted databases. From the drop-down menu, select "Close All" . Once you see the status of the databases change to "Closed", click the drop-down icon next to the file(s) you are replacing and choose "Remove". This process will not delete the database from the hard drive, but it will place the database file in the following path: /FileMaker Server/Data/Databases/Removed_by_FMS/.
After the problematic copy has been removed from the Admin Console, you can then upload the backup copy from the defined backup folder.
Via Finder [macOS] or Files Explorer [Win], locate the path: /FileMaker Server/Data/Backups and copy the most recent backup to /FileMaker Server/Data/Databases/
After this process has been completed, users will be able to access the backup copy just as they had with the original copy.
Importance of the backup in the modern world
With the advancement and efficiency of technology, there is no reason why backups should not be made. It is very easy to create and schedule backups, but it is also important to create backups due to the unexpected technological failure that can still occur with hardware and software.
To put it simply, backups make for a great safety net. Just in case some accidental or malicious action occurs, there is a backup available to revert to. The backup ensures that no matter what happens to the original, you will have a safely stored copy available elsewhere for use if necessary.
Customers with FileMaker Server 18 or more current may install a 2nd copy of FileMaker Server using the same license certificate, on a backup computer in case of total failure on the primary server, or should the primary server need to be offline for maintenance. However, the Crate Pro 6 files can not be actively hosted (OPEN) on more than one server at a time. Actively hosting the files on more than one server is not in compliance with the terms of the EULA and can result in legal action.
Saving to an off-site location
An more secure option for preserving data is saving backups to an off-site location. This is a more advanced method that an administrator can take to ensure the integrity of their databases. When saving the backups off-site, an administrator can be sure that the data's integrity will not be interfered with as the backup will be completely isolated from variables such as hardware failure or tampering.
Saving to the backup server
A widely used practice is to set a backup schedule to save the files to the backup server into the Backups folder. This allows the administrator to move the most current backup to the Databases folder and immediately start the hosting of the files. A new shortcut will need to made on the clients to the backup server but minimal down time is usually preferred.
Saving to physical media
Some users prefer saving backups to tangible media as it feels more secure to have a copy that can physically be held as opposed to hosted preservation.
Created: Oct 30, 2009 12:09 PM PDT
Last Updated: December 15, 2021