Backing up remotely

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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I wanted to know if it's possible to setup regular remote backing up natively within Front Desk. With backing up such an important feature, I think the manual method currently available within Front Desk is overdue for an upgrade. An extra cost for this data to be backed up on the cloud would be fine, seeing as it is sensitive information that needs to be secure.

Having the FD database locally is an advantage over other cloud based practice management services due to it's speed and reliability, but the back up factor being manual is a drawback. Having the best of both worlds would be great!
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Benjamin Muir

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Posted 5 years ago

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Our system is backed up automatically each evening via the server.  Each day a portable backup is changed over and these are kept by different staff off location.  We found it an unacceptable risk to have the system just on one computer and the server system suits our needs much better.  I personally don't think that a "cloud" system is secure.
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Benjamin Muir

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Lin, is your system backed up on your local server or remotely?

Cloud was probably the wrong term to use as I meant only one location/remote server. Not all remote back up services are created equal, so care would need to be taken to ensure the right system is in place.
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Timothy, Business Care Manager

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Smartsoft can provide an external backup utility at no cost. The utility allows you to backup your Front Desk data externally to the Front Desk program. Using Windows Task Scheduler or the Windows 'AT' command you can use the utility to backup your data automatically in the background. Please find a link to this utility with instructions below: 

We recommend that your data is not backed up to the same machine hosting your database, but rather to an external drive (USB, NAS or network drive). Using the utility, backups can be performed while you are using Front Desk, with some of our users taking several backups a day.

Further, you can backup the directory containing your backups (not your Front Desk data directly) to the cloud using an external cloud backup service if you so desire. As an advance feature you can use the ‘no compression’ option which does make it easier for some of the more sophisticated cloud backup services to only copy over the changes in the backup file rather than re-uploading the whole compressed file each time. 

We suggest that you consult with your IT technician to discuss your individual backup process. Ensure that someone is managing your backups by checking that the backup files are being created and copied over on a regular basis. 
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Sam Millard

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Thanks for this Timothy,

Have you got any more information as to the details of this "no compression" option?

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Andrew, Community Manager

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Hi Sam

The details can vary slightly, depending on what you are using to schedule the backup. Basically when you are creating the scheduled task, there is typically a field for arguments or parameters where the '/nozip' (no compression) parameter can be added.

In this example using the Windows Task Scheduler, I have scheduled the fdbackup.exe file to be run daily, using the arguments /s (silent mode) and /nozip (no compression).

Silent Mode means the process will run in the background of Windows, creating a backup at whichever path you have previously set in the utility.  If you don't use silent mode, at the scheduled time the external backup utility will simply appear on screen and still require a users prompt to start.

After the backup has completed it would normally be compressed into a .zip format, unless you have added the /nozip argument. This can save a considerable amount of time if you have a large backup to compress, or don't need it compressed. 

As Tim has mentioned previously, please ensure someone is managing any automated backup system you have in place to ensure it is producing a usable file. It is never safe to set an automated backup and assume it is running properly without proper checks in place.