2×4 Data Collection Interviewer Server Backup Application

I have been on holiday for the last few weeks and during that time I managed to get some articles written. Whilst on holiday I was asked by 2×4 if I wanted to have a play with their backup tool and of course I excepted. This article is about that app and it shows you what it can do and how you can do it in the first release. To be honest , and I get nothing for saying this , I think this will turn into a “Must Have App” for all those users out there , and I know a few , that struggle with or do not even do backups. With a couple of clicks you have backed up a project or restored it. No Complicate procedures , just a few clicks and you are done. Anyway , here is what I did and the screen shots that go with it.

So first off , I had to install , you get two files and msi and an exe you run those and the standard install screens display and walk you through the install. Quick note here , don’t install on a 64bit machine as its only 32bit at this stage, if you do you get problems. I am sure it won’t be long before a 64bit compiled version is available. anyway , I fired up my VM 32bit server and clicked on the exe. This gives you the following screen.

Install Screen 1
Install Screen 2
Install Screen 3
Install Screen 4
Install Screen 5

I just clicked next on all the screens, and when the install was complete I rebooted. I am old school and always think a reboot after any install is a good thing. When my VM was backup I noted the new menu items shown in this picture.

Menu Options

Once you have installed then you need to run the change config app, this then updates the file found here,

	C:\Program Files\2x4\2x4 Backup & Replication							

and records your version of the DataModel DLLs it needs to have access to. This info is stored in an XML format like this.


So now to the app, clicking on the “2×4 Backup & Replication” menu item presents you with this screen. The next thing I did was to add my server. I clicked on the add button

Screen 1
Screen 2
Screen 3

and then just entered my machine name. I chose “Current User” as the login method, as the user I was logged in as was a system admin in all the required environments. Not knowing any of the other information I just clicked ok.

Screen 4

clicking ok, got me back to the main screen and from there I could see the list of my projects. The Demo version of this app only gives you access to the first 5 projects, but if you are lucky to have a license file then all your projects are made available. After clicking around abit in my project tree , I selected a project and taking all the defaults , I clicked the backup button.
Screen 5

and was prompted to enter a file name. which I did and clicked “Save”.
Screen 6

there was a very slight pause and then the message was displayed to say the backup had been completed.
Screen 7

I checked the folder where I had specified the backup to go and sure enough there were some files there. I logged into the Web Administration of my setup to see if the project has been removed, but it had not. At first , I thought this was a bad thing , then decided that I could not make my mind up if removing the project should be done, ( how do you know the backup has worked correctly ) , anyway , I took a deep breath , deleted the project from the Web Administration and then started to do a backup using the new app. I selected the restore tab,
Screen 8

specified my backup file
Screen 9

clicked open and then restore,
Screen 10

and again after a slight pause the app told me the restore had worked.
Screen 12

I then logged in to Web Administration and checked to see if the job was there again , and it was. The project I had backed up , was backed up whilst it was in an active status, and when it had been restored , so had the status and I could run a survey on it straight away. Now to me , if the app remains as simple as that and it works exactly the same in a clustered environment as it does in a standalone environment than anyone can use it.

Being the first version there where things straight away I thought of that would be good to have in later releases such as ,

  • Command line features so the app could be scheduled.
  • Remove the project after backup.
  • A feature to show status of projects in the project list.
  • And I am sure you can think of some ( perhaps post them here as a comment ) . Anyway , get a demo version from 2×4 and see what you think. I think it is well worth having.

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