Setting Backup Reminder Frequency and Options



Setting Backup Reminder Frequency and Options

Note: In the Web Network Version of the program, backups are done for you automatically on the server, so you do not have to do your own backups, and the following section does not apply.


When you select the Backup/Restore Backup Frequency and Options menu option, the following window appears:




By default, the program reminds you weekly to backup your database, as you are exiting the program. If you wish to be reminded with a different frequency, you can use the radio buttons in the top section of this window. They give you the option of Never, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. If you don't set it, it defaults to Weekly.


Unless you are using the Local Network Client version of ACCOUNTS, and a different user (probably the one whose computer is running the Local Network Server version of ACCOUNTS) is definitely making regular backups, it is strongly recommended that you do not select the option Never. If you are not making regular backups off of  your hard drive (and someone else or some automated process is not doing so), you might as well not be using the program - there is real possibility that your hard drive and/or computer will die at some point, and you will then have no data!


If you have not done a backup within the configured period of time (with either Backup/Restore ⇒ Backup Database or the Backup/Restore ⇒ Email Backup option), you will be prompted to do a backup the next time you exit the program.


The middle section of this window governs how many sequential backups of each database are stored in any one backup destination, such as a folder on your hard drive, or a USB memory key. Backup files include the date in their filename, for instance OrganizationName-2012-12-31.S4ABackup (where the OrganizationName is your File Name from the Maintenance ⇒ Organization Info window) for a backup made on December 31, 2012. So normally, backups done on different days have different filenames, and they will accumulate in whichever folder or drive you are saving them in.


To let those backups accumulate indefinitely, select the "Retain all backups (never delete)" radio button. To only keep a certain number of the latest backups you have made, use the "Retain only the latest" radio button, and set a number in the field following that. (You can only change that number after you have selected "Retain only the latest".) Allowable values in that field for the number of backups to retain range from 3 (fewer would be unsafe!) to 20. If you think you want more than 20 backups to be retained, just use the "Retain all backups" option instead!


Trick: If you are making a backup and don't want it to be deleted by the "Retain only the latest" option, perhaps a year-end backup, change the backup filename as you are making the backup to not start with "OrganizationName". For instance, you might call it "2012YearEndOrganizationName-2012-12-31.S4ABackup (or whatever the actual date is on which you are making the backup). When the "Retain only the latest" option is turned on, only old backups whose name starts with "OrganizationName" will be deleted.


Note: The setting to retain only the latest "N" backups does not apply (and thus cannot be set!) for the Local Network Client version of ACCOUNTS, because it cannot "see" the other backups on the Local Network Server version's computer, in order to decide which to delete. (And it couldn't delete them either.)


Configuring Internet Backups


The controls at the bottom of the window determine whether or not a backup to a secure Internet location is made after every regular backup. The "Do an Internet backup after each regular backup" checkbox starts out unchecked, in which case the Setup Storage button below it cannot be used. If you do wish to do Internet Backups, check that checkbox.


Note: Users of the Local Network Client version of ACCOUNTS cannot do Internet backups or restore Internet backups - that must be done from the Local Network Server version. (They can configure the Internet backup setup in this window, though.)


After checking the "Do an Internet backup after each regular backup" checkbox, you need to click the Setup Storage button to set up a secure storage area in the Internet storage for backups, associated with your database's internal Unique ID (which you can't normally see), and a with a password that you will be prompted for. For greater security, the password you enter must be a strong password.


Note: There is no way to recover your Internet backup password if you forget it, so please be sure that multiple people in your organization know what it is. Passwords are case-sensitive.


To help ensure that you cannot lose your database's internal Unique ID, two additional steps are taken by the Setup Storage button, after the basic setup has been completed. First, you are prompted with an option to email your Unique ID (but not your password!) to Cooperstock Software, for safe storage. That way if you lose everything else (but at least know your Internet backup password), we can supply the Unique ID back to you, and you can recover your latest Internet backup. A copy of that email will also be sent back to you, so you can forward it to others in your organization, for safe-keeping.


After that email is (optionally) sent, a report is displayed listing your Unique ID, and with a place on which you can write in your password, if you feel secure about doing so. Please Print that report, and keep copies of it in a safe place.


If you need to send that email or print that report again in the future, you can come back to this window and click the Setup Storage button again - it will not change the Unique ID.


Please note that Cooperstock Software will not store your Internet backup password for you. If we did, our computers would become a potential place of attack for hackers trying to access all ACCOUNTS program users' databases, and that is not desirable!


Internet Backups when you have Multiple Databases


If you have multiple databases for multiple organizations, using the File ⇒ New Database and File ⇒ Open Database menu options, each one needs its own configuration for Online Backups.


Internet Backups when you have ACCOUNTS on Multiple Computers


Many users keep copies of ACCOUNTS on multiple computers, and transfer their database between those computers. (When you do this, you must be sure to keep track of who has the up-to-date copy, on which changes can be made, because changes made in two copies of your database cannot be merged!)


When you do have copies of the same ACCOUNTS database on multiple computers, you must be sure that they are using the same internal Unique ID for Internet backups and Internet backup encryption password in both databases. The Unique ID is stored in the database, so any method of transferring the database (other than restoring an Internet backup, prior to the configuration of the second computer!) after you complete your Internet backup setup will get the same Unique ID onto the other computer. That includes transferring regular backups on a USB memory key, or using Email Backups.


Alternatively, you can forward the email with your Unique ID to the user on other computer, and select an option on the Startup Options window to start by restoring an Internet backup, which will prompt for that Unique ID. You also must inform them of the Internet backup encryption password you are using (but preferably not by email - sending passwords by email is not very secure!).


See Also: Making Internet Backups, Restoring Internet Backups, Internet Backup Security