News and Information

How to Back Up and Restore an Act! Database

ACT! Product News

 

ou would like to create a backup of your database or restore a previous backup.
The following steps will assist you in creating and then restoring a backup. Please note that Act! has security features which apply to backup and restore functions. OnlyAdministrator and Manager level users have access to the database backup and restore functions. If you are unable to access these functions, please contact your Act! Administrator.

General Guidelines:
  • It is recommended that you send the backup (.ZIP) file directly to your local hard drive.
  • If desired, backing up your Act! database to a network drive requires that your Windows® user profile has adequate permissions to read and write to the network path destination. Please refer to your Windows documentation or Network Administrator for assistance.
  • When saving a backup over a network, a best practice is to use the UNC (Universal Naming Convention) path instead of the mapped drive location. Typically, mapped drives start with a similar formatting as a hard drive such as h:\. The UNC formatting is \\machinename\foldername. Example: \\Server1\My ACT Databases
  • The Act! backup (.ZIP) file cannot be sent directly to a CD or tape backup system through the Act! backup process. If you need to create your backup on CD or use a tape backup system, refer to the section below for creating a backup to these devices.
  • If you have any difficulty directing the backup (.ZIP) file to a location other than your local hard drive, you can use a Windows file manager utility such as Windows Explorer or My Computer to copy the backup file from your local hard drive, and then paste this file to a network location or removable media.
  • To backup your database automatically at specified intervals, you can use the Act! Scheduler. For more information on the Act! Scheduler to back up an Act! database, please refer to the following Knowledgebase Answer:
    Title: How to Automatically Back Up Your Database
    Answer ID: 19218
    Note: The Act! Scheduler is only available in the Premium versions of Act! by Sage 2006, Act! by Sage 2007 and Act! by Sage 2008. The Act! Scheduler is available in both the Standard and Premium versions of Act! by Sage 2009 and later.
What files are included in an Act! backup?
  • Database
  • Attached Documents
  • Layouts
  • Document Templates
  • Report Templates
  • Saved Queries
Special Note for Act! by Sage 2009 (11.0) and later users: Act! 2009 and later now has the option to reduce the size of backup files by excluding attachments from Act! database backups, allow backups to complete more quickly, particularly if you have a large number of attached documents. This option can be done by un-checking the Include Attachments box on the Back Up Database dialog box.



Special Note for Sage ACT! 2011: On the Preferences screen a new Admin tab has been added. On this tab are options to enable/disable file and e-mail attachments to the database. If these options are disabled, there will be no attachments to include in the backup. They are Enabled by default and the options are only available to an Administratorof the database.



Personal Files may also be backed up. The ability to back up Personal Files is not limited to only Administrator and Manager level users. StandardRestricted and Browse level users all have access to this function.

Personal Files include:
  • Documents that you have saved
  • Internet links
  • Spell check Dictionaries
  • Menus and Toolbars
There is a separate process for creating this backup, covered in the following Knowledgebase Answer:
Title: How to Backup and Restore Personal Files in Act!
Answer ID: 19251

Click a link below to review the corresponding section:
Database Backup
Creating a Backup on CD
Restoring a Database

Important Note Regarding Remote Databases:
The database backup function is only available to Administrator and Manager level database users. However, with a remote database, a Standard level user can backup their remote if they have Remote Administration as an added permission in their user profile.


Database Backup

Note: If you are creating a backup of a shared database, you no longer need to log out all users while the backup is created.

Follow the steps below to create a backup of your database.
  1. Click the File menu, point to Backup, and then click Database. The Back Up Database dialog box appears:

  2. Verify the location for the backup (.ZIP) file. In most cases, this backup file may go to a removable drive (such as a zip drive), to a network drive or to your local hard drive.
  3. For added security, you may password protect your backup file by enabling the Password protect file option.

    Note: Once you have set a password for this backup file, the file can not be restored and there will be no way to retrieve the data without the password.
  4. Click OK to start the backup. A Back Up progress indicator appears as the database backup is created:

  5. When finished the following Backup messages appears.

  6. Click Ok to return to Act!.


Creating a Backup on CD

Note: If you are creating a backup of a shared database, you no longer need to log out all users while the backup is created.

You will not be able to send the Act! backup (.ZIP) file directly to a CD or use an automated backup system to work through the Act! program to back up the Act! database. You will need to create the backup file separately, and then use your CD burning software to store the backup file on the CD or direct your automated backup system to your backup (.ZIP) file.

  1. Click the File menu, point to Backup, and then click Database. The Back Up Database dialog box appears.
  2. Click the Browse button. A Save As dialog appears:

  3. Click the Desktop button or change the Save In field to an alternate location on your hard drive for this backup. (the Windows Desktop is suggested), enter a new File name (if desired) and then click Save. The Backup Database dialog box re-appears.

    Hint: Including the date in the File Name will help organize your backup files and prevent overwriting of your previous backup.
  4. At this point, you have the option to set a password for your backup. A password is not required. A password ensures that only an administrative user of that database who knows the password will be able to restore the backup.

    Note: Once you have set a password for this backup file, the file can not be restored and there will be no way to retrieve the data without the password.
  5. Click OK to start the backup. A progress indicator appears as your database is backed up.
  6. Use your CD Burning software, provided with your CD Recorder, to safely store the file on CD, or use your automated backup system to back the file up to tape. If you need assistance with these products, please contact the software vendor. Sage does not provide support for these products.
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Restoring a Database

It is recommended that you restore the backup (.ZIP) file directly from your local hard drive, a network drive or from a removable drive such as a Zip drive through the Act! restore process. If you have any difficulty restoring the backup (.ZIP) file from a location other than your local hard drive, you can use a Windows File Manager utility such as Windows Explorer or My Computer to copy the backup file from the network or removable medium, and then paste this file onto your local hard drive for restoration.

Use the following steps to restore an Act! database:
  1. Click the File menu, point to Restore, and then click Database. The current database closes as the Restore Database dialog box appears:

  2. In the Select type section, enable one of the following options:

Restore:

This option is normally used when you do not need to change the name or location of the database or unpack and restore a remote database,
  1. Enable the Restore option, and then click OK. The following Act! dialog box appears:

  2. Click the Browse button. An Open dialog box appears. Browse to (if necessary) and Open the backup (*.zip) file, and then click OK. The following Act! dialog box appears:

  3. Enter your User name and (if necessary) Password, and then click OK. The following Act! warning appears.




    Important Note: Files which were included in the backup and modified later will be overwritten. Click No, restart the process, and enable the Restore As option (described below) if you do not wish to overwrite files.
  4. Click Yes to continue restoring the database. A Restore Database progress indicator appears as the database files are restored.

  5. When the Restoration is successful, the following Act! dialog box appears:

  6. Click OK to complete the process.
  7. To open this database, click the File menu, and then click Open Database, or click the Open Database  button. An Open dialog box appears.
  8. Navigate to (if necessary) and Open the database (.pad) file.

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Restore As:
  1. Enable the Restore As option if you need to change the name or location (to avoid overwriting an existing database with the same name as the backup file) or if you are restoring the backup on a different machine than the one the backup was created on. Click OK. The following Act! dialog box appears:

  2. Click the Browse button. An Open dialog box appears. Browse to (if necessary) and then Open the backup (*.zip) file, and then click OK. After selecting thedatabase file to restore, the following Act! dialog box appears:



  3. Type in a unique name for the restored database in the New database name (no spaces or punctuation) field, and then click the Browse button at the To location:field. A Browse for folder dialog box appears:

  4. Navigate to (if necessary), click the folder that you would like to restore the database to, (or create a New Folder) and then click OK.
  5. Type in your User name, and (if necessary) Password for this database, enable the Share this database with other users option here (if necessary), and then click OK. The following progress indicator appears as the database is restored:


  6. When the Restoration is successful, the following Act! message appears:

  7. Click OK to complete the process.
  8. To open this database, click the File menu, and then click Open Database, or click the Open Database  button. An Open dialog box appears.
  9. Navigate to (if necessary) and Open the database (.pad) file.

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Unpack and Restore Remote Database:
  1. Enable the Unpack and Restore Remote Database option if you would like to unpack and restore a remote database package to a remote user's computer (for the purpose of synchronization), and then click OK. The Restore an Act! remote Database dialog box appears:

  2. Browse to and open the (.rdb file) remote database in the Select the remote database file to restore field, and then (if necessary) browse to the directory that you wish to restore the database to, for the Database Location field. You may enable the Share this database with other users option here, if necessary.
  3. Click OK. A Restore Database progress indicator appears as your remote database is restored:

  4. The following Act! dialog box appears when the restoration has successfully completed:

  5. Click OK to complete the process.
  6. To open this database, click the File menu, and then click Open Database, or click the Open Database  button. An Open dialog box appears.
  7. Navigate to (if necessary) and Open the database (.pad) file.