BackUp and Restore the Aspect Property Manager


The Aspect Property Manager has an integrated process which backs up either selected sections of the database files in the ...\PropMan\Data directory, or all files in the entire ...\PropMan directory and sub-directories,  including the Data directory.  The files are compacted into a single "Zip" file and placed in a pre-selected location.  The companion Restore process expands the "Zip" file into its component files and places them in their original locations.  This integrated back up can only use a disk device as an output location and may be a hard disk, or CD/DVD writer.

This back up facility has been integrated within the Aspect Property Manager to make backing up and restoring simple, easy and quick.  It overcomes the difficulty many users have with the generalised back up programs which usually require fairly detailed computer knowledge.  It unashamedly only concentrates on the Aspect Property Manager.

Note  This integrated backup will allow you to perform a backup while other users continue to use the Aspect Property Manager.  Any additions or changes made to the database while the backup is being run will be included in the backup.  However, a few programs deliberately block the backup from being started.

If you have not done so please read the main Back up and Restore topic so you understand why backups are necessary and the general procedures you should put in place to ensure the safety of your system.  Also referring to the Directory topic will help you understand what directories are used, their purpose and contents.

The first time you use the Backup program the system will create a ...\PropMan Backup directory at the same level as the ...\PropMan directory which can be used for "on machine" backups.   If you wish to back up somewhere else such as to a CDRom change the location subject to the restrictions covered in the first paragraph.  The file name can not be changed and is identified by the date and time in yyyymmdd-hhmm format.  If you really wish to change the name after the backup is complete use Windows Explorer.

Do not rely upon backing up to the ..\PropMan Backup or other hard disk directory for your security back up.  Memory sticks, flash drives and other similar volatile memory devices fall into this category.  CDs and DVDs are without a doubt the most cost effective and reliable media to use (unless you leave them on the car dashboard or let the dog chew them).

You MUST have an off machine and off site back up.

Copy the file from the ...\PropMan Backup directory or back up directly to a removable medium and take it off site.

Backup and Restore

Location... File menu > Backup & Restore

This screen is used to both create a new backup or restore the database from a previous backup.

The screen fields and their uses are detailed below.  Display the Backup and Restore screen using the location shown above.

Data Path and Browse Button

File Name and Comments Panel

Backup to

Action Radio Buttons

Include Photos in the backup?

Add a comment to the backup?

Start .....

When this screen is entered the following default selection will be displayed:-
The Backup to directory will be the system default location or the last location used by anyone in a networked environment
and the file name will be completed as covered earlier in this topic
The Actions selected will always be Backup - Data only and Restore Configuration?  More on the latter below.
The Include Photos in the Backup? will default to the setting of the last backup performed
If you wish to      XXXX

Backup and Restore has a new checkbox "Restore Configuration".  When Restoring a database the default is to restore the Configuration file which contains all the user preferences settings.  This is sometimes undesirable and by unticking the checkbox the pre-restore settings will remain in place.  This will be useful where a database is transferred to another machine (notebook) on a more or less regular basis.


Start the back up process from File menu > Backup & Restore.  The location for the back up will be either the default directory or the last location used.  If this is OK select the type of back up, Data only or the entire PropMan directory.  Then press the "Start..." button and the back up will be created with the defaulted name discussed above.

For virtually all users the "Data only" back up is adequate for the "daily back up".  For users with only diskette as a back up medium this will probably be the only backup you will do because of the number of diskettes required to back up the entire ...\PropMan directory contents.

Users who have CD-Writer can back up directly to CDRom which will easily contain the entire PropMan directory contents and should make that choice "once a month", at the end of the month before running End of Period is a smart time.  Others would be prior to any major disk reorganisation or upgrades.

Because the Aspect Property Manager can be easily reinstalled is not essential to back up everything all the time.  The database itself should be backed up "daily" but the other less volatile directories which contain user data, files, photos, reports and other information created by you can be done less often according to your comfort zone.

If you use the "Mon to Thurs + 5 x Fri" approach suggested in the main Back up and Restore topic you could perform the "Data Only" back up Mon to Thur and the "All" back up on Fridays.  The main thing is to do back ups regularly and to feel comfortable about them.

In a multi-user environment it is recommended that you perform any backup, whether you are using this integrated back up or another product, directly on the server as this will avoid path conflicts and it will run much faster too.  If your backup device, say CDRom, is on another computer on the network, back up to the "server\PropMan Backup" directory first then copy the output file to the CD.

The Restore process recovers the backed up information from the back up medium and returns it to its original location overwriting the files in that location.  You have no ability to select portions of the backed up files nor where they are returned to.  When restoring from hard disk or CDRom you will be able to select the file you wish to restore the data from.  This is not the case with diskettes and the last diskette of the set must be in place in the diskette drive before selecting File menu > Backup & Restore.  The screen used is the same one used for backing up and the file required may be selected from the right hand pane.

Always back up the existing database before commencing a Restore.  If you can not back up any other way at the very minimum use Windows Explorer to copy the "Data" directory and rename it "Data b4 Restore yyyy-mm-dd".  What you currently have may be the best you will ever have and losing it could be a real disaster.