Microsoft Dynamics GP and Schrödinger’s Cat

Microsoft DynamicsOne of the points I make (repeatedly until I see a confirmation they’ve done so) to clients when implementing Microsoft Dynamics GP is that they need to make sure that a maintenance backup of the SQL databases and other resources are being made.

In some cases the maintenance backup is a once a night job, other clients have had one done every twelve hours with log backups made every hour. As long as a regular backup is being made I’m happy and stop nagging them.

With Microsoft Dynamics GP, however, there is more than just the SQL databases which need to be backed up. Depending on how you’re using GP there may also be:

  1. Modified Forms and Reports and associated VBA
  2. Letters from the Letter Writing Assistant
  3. OLE Notes
  4. Excel Reports
  5. SSRS Reports

If you use Integration Manager then there will also be it’s Access database.

If you’re using FRx then there is both the sysdata and io_data folders which will be on a mapped network drive, or if you’re using Management Reporter there will be another SQL database.

There may also be other files which need to be backed up for GP or related third party add-ons.

Backups are a little like Schrödinger’s cat; until you restore the backup and check the data it contains, you don’t know if you actually have a backup of your data. Whereas in Schrödinger’s cat, the cat may be alive or dead, you don’t know this until you open the box. With a backup, you don’t know if your data is saved or lost until you restore the backup and check.

So when I am advising clients to make backups I also recommend they restore the initial one, at least, to make sure the backup is good and that they should also do the same periodically to make sure everything is still being backed up correctly. Nothing is worse than hitting a problem and then finding out that you don’t have a good backup for the last six months.

This post brought to you by the guy who was storing his upcoming blog post ideas, screenshots and unposted but completed blog entries on a pen drive which has unexpectedly broken. Things might be a little slow around here while I try to remember what I was going to post and come up with some new ideas.

Fortunately, my data loss is not business critical but losing your GP backups would be so, please, make sure you have backups of all GP related data being made and check your backups regularly to make sure your cat is still alive.

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