Backing up your Database

There are a couple of key reasons to do an additional backup of your database.
  • In anticipation of doing a mass import or mass purge of data that cannot be undone except for a restore from a daily backup.
  • Doing a year-end backup or point-in-time image of the system, you must backup the database manually.


Saving a Database

It is not necessary to make a specific backup of the database prior to installing an update. Theatre Manager updates occur automatically, which also applies any database changes without intervention.
However, please ensure that backups are setup and running.

Backup Strategies

There is a good discussion of backup strategies and decent backup devices on the internet. Please read about why you should do backups and how often. We recommend upwards of 20 to 30 backup generations.

Are my backups running?

The daily backup process tracks the last two backups.

If the TM serber thinks it fails, you will see a message when you log in and a web Log will be written to indicate the error.

However, it is wise to check your system preferences occasionally to see that the backups ran and are increasing in size.

Backup size is different or not run

Sometimes when starting Theatre Manager, you can get a message that indicates the database size is different (smaller) than the previous backup or that the backup has not been run for a period of time. If you receive a message like this, there are some possible explanations.


Backups Not Run for x Days

Please refer how to set up the backups. Then try to run a backup manually.


Backups Ran but are Smaller

Theatre Manager tracks the size of the current backup file and the prior backup file. It generally a safe assumption that data is always being added to the database. If that is true, then the size of the backup should increase each day. If Theatre Manager detects that the size of the backup shrank, it will warn you when you log in so that you can look to see if there are further problems.

Please look very carefully at the two numbers that Theatre Manager provides you and the percentage difference. If the difference in the numbers are small, it is probably not an issue. However, think of what might have happened in the prior day. Possible causes of a smaller database are:

  • Somebody deleted a number of mail lists that are no longer required
  • Some patrons have been merged
  • A number of older 'anonymous' shopping carts have been purged
  • a significant number of old credit card numbers were shredded
If you recall any data actively being deleted or merges, and the size difference is small, then do not worry.

To be absolutely sure that a backup is doing all files,run a backup manually and review that ALL TABLES are dumped during the backup in the backup.log. if there is an error in one, you'll know it -- the backup terminates.

However, please look at the actual database backup folder and see if there is a significant difference in the trend from prior to current backups. If you've lost a few bytes, don't worry. If you've lost several megabytes, then running a manual backup (per above) to see if the backup script cannot back up one file is a very wise idea. If an error occurs, please contact us immediately.

If Theatre Manager reports that both numbers for current and prior database sizes are ZERO, it means that the backup is not set up.