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 multitired 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 good as the ability 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.

Backing Up the IMSMANG Database

IMSMANG contains several stores of information that can be backed up. By far, the most critical store is the IMSMANG database itself because it contains all of the active data in IMSMANG including published reports, form templates and geographic data in addition to the typical mine action information. IMSMANG’s Backup capability backs up the IMSMANG database by executing a MySQL database dump command that creates a complete backup of all of the data in the database including any additional tables, views and other customisations. The resulting dump.sql file, which is stored in a time-stamped directory for easy identification, includes the necessary commands to recreate the database with all of the existing data.


Information managers can augment the IMSMANG Backup capability with other scheduled backups using MySQL Administration tools, for example, 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.



IMSMANG stores attachments on the server file system separate from the IMSMANG database. Because of the size of some 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.

For regular, complete backups, it is recommended to include attachments. But, if the size of a backup file is a concern, the attachments can be manually deleted. This is a better alternative to creating a backup without attachments since attachments cannot be added back to the backup file. Excluding attachments from a backup is an option that should be used with caution.

Backing Up Other IMSMANG Information

In addition to the IMSMANG database and attachments stored on the server, IMSMANG Backup allows users to back up certain settings from the IMSMANG client. These include:

  • GIS database (.mdb file)
  • map files (.mxd, etc)
  • field report template files
  • iReport template files
  • translation .properties files

GIS Dataabase

While IMSMANG stores all coordinate data in the MySQL database that is backed up with the IMSMANG database, IMSMANG also stores coordinate data in a geodatabase file (IMSMA.mdb) on each client computer to allow data to be displayed on the map. This file should be included with each IMSMANG backup to shorten the time it takes to launch IMSMANG after a restore. IMSMANG automatically builds this file during system launch if the file is missing, but it can take several hours to do so.

Because the geodatabase is built on a per-client basis, it is also recommended to launch the client to fully update the geodatabase prior to backing it up. After it is backed up, the geodatabase 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.


Field Report Templates and iReport Templates

IMSMANG provides the capability to store copies or drafts of field report 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.