Backup and Restore

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Backing Up And Restoring Data

The most important aspect of maintaining a properly functioning IMSMANG system is backing up and restoring data. Regular data backups are essential for maintaining the integrity of the system in case of sytem failure, software errors or accidental data deletion. Not only should information managers mandate that all IMSMANG data is regularly backed up, but more importantly a multitiered backup strategy should be used to eliminate data loss. Consider the following options below when developing a backup strategy for IMSMANG.

  • disk mirroring
  • operating system backups
  • hard disk backup
  • offsite data storage
  • IMSMANG-specific backups

Moreover, a backup is only as if you are able to restore it. As such, any data backup strategy should include plans to test existing backups to ensure that the backups are usable. If it becomes necessary to restore data, regular testing of backups helps ensure that it will be possible to do so.

Note that an event-based change to the components necessitates a backup before and after the change. Event-based changes include events such as:

  • upgrading any software on the server
  • importing data and/or Data Entry Forms
  • changing SQL views in the database.

Backing Up the IMSMANG Database

By far, the most critical component to backup is the IMSMANG database itself because it contains all of the actual data in IMSMANG and published templates, etc. IMSMANG’s Backup capability backs up the IMSMANG database by executing a PGSQL database dump command that creates a complete backup of all of the data in the database. The resulting dump.sql file, which is stored in a time-stamped directory for easy identification.

Note.jpg The dump.sql file is stored in text format and can be made smaller for storage using compression tools such as WinZIP.

Information managers can schedule backups using PGSQL Administration tools and build daily or weekly routines that back up the database automatically. These backups work similarly to IMSMANG Backup; however, any backup made outside of IMSMANG will have to be restored manually. Even so, regularly scheduled backups are an excellent component of a backup strategy.

Note.jpg In a client/server configuration, backups should be made from the server rather than the clients. Similarly, backups can only be restored on the IMSMANG server.


IMSMANG stores attachments on the server file system separate from the IMSMANG database. Because of the total file size of the attachments, it may not be beneficial or necessary to back up the attachments each time. IMSMANG Backup provides the option to exclude attachments when performing a backup which is not recommended.

For regular, complete backups, it is highly recommended to include attachments. It is also possible to take an IMSMA backup of the database and a file backup of the attachments.

GIS Database

While IMSMANG stores all coordinate data in the PGSQL database that is backed up with the IMSMANG database, IMSMANG also uses a geodatabase file (IMSMA.gdb), also known as the sandbox, to display the data in the Map Pane inside IMSMANG. These files should be included with each IMSMANG backup to shorten the time it takes to launch IMSMANG after a restore. IMSMANG automatically rebuilds the sandbox during launch of the IMSMANG if the sandbox is missing, but it can take several hours to do so. After it is backed up, the sandbox can be transferred manually to other freshly installed clients to shorten the time required to build the geodatabase during system launch.


IMSMANG map files can be loaded on a per-client basis and stored in IMSMANG Backup, providing an easy way to share maps between clients. In Map Data is also the sub-theme assignments included.

Data Entry Form Templates and iReport Templates

IMSMANG provides the capability to store copies of drafts of Data Entry Form templates and iReport templates to the file system during report design. While the published versions of the templates are backed up as part of the IMSMANG database backup, the files are only included if the option is selected on the IMSMANG Backup window. Storing these files in the backup is recommended as it makes it easier to resume drafting templates and reports.


IMSMANG stores translations of the application in several places. Translations and localisations of data elements are stored in the IMSMANG database and are backed up with the database backup. The .properties files used to translate the IMSMANG interface are stored externally to the database, but they can be added to the IMSMANG Backup as an option. If changes are made to the .properties files, it is recommended to back them up after each change as well as each time a full backup is made.

Other Backup Considerations

While IMSMANG Backup backs up all of the files used in the standard configuration of IMSMANG, there are other files that should also be backed up and/or carefully documented.

  • client and server settings including memory settings
  • C:\IMSMAng\server\gis\maps\imsma.mxd (if customized)
  • the background map(s) source files (not only the .mxd file)
  • local projection files (.prj)
  • C:\IMSMAng\migration\conf\ and any import scripts
  • fallback fonts (C:\IMSMAng\java\lib\fonts\fallback)
  • ODBC configurations
  • External tools
External reporting tools and other add-ons are not backed up by IMSMANG and information managers should ensure that these external tools are backed up manually.

IMSMA Restore

Warning.jpg IMSMANG Restore replaces all data in the IMSMANG database and copy over existing files. Prior to restoring the IMSMANG database, information managers should ensure that all necessary data has been backed up. IMSMANG Restore operations cannot be undone.

Backups created using IMSMANG Backup should be restored using IMSMANG Restore. IMSMANG Restore allows users to determine which components of an IMSMANG Backup to restore. The components available depend on the options that were selected during backup. Each option behaves slightly differently depending on whether the restore is occurring on a server or a client.

Restore on the Server

In a client/server environment, the IMSMANG database can be restored only on the server machine so as to prevent accidental deletion of data by client users. Conducting an IMSMANG Restore on the server machine (or a stand-alone machine) restores the IMSMANG database and the available attachments to the server, replacing any existing data in the IMSMANG database. When a restore is complete, IMSMANG closes and must be restarted.

Note.jpg In a client/server environment, it is recommended to stop the server prior to restoring the database to ensure all clients are disconnected.