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Spider Backup Procedures

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Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 35 min 42 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4838
What is the recommended procedure for backups of your database when in a network environment?

Because Spider does not creates a monumental single database file but keeps the tables in separate files I believe the process of keeping backups can be more efficient by the use of incremental backups and once in a while a full backup of your data folders.

I remember when we had P3e this was an issue, even IT was involved in simple regular database backups, an issue whenever there was a software fix either for the external DBMS of about 600MB or of P3e, it usually took long, no single user could be accessing the database. More frequently than not, links were lost, especially when moving the database to another location.

I am aware of the automatic backups Spider makes, maybe there is a clue on how best to transfer the data to separate backup disk.

Please give your recommendations.

Best regards,
Rafael

Replies

Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 35 min 42 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4838
Vladimir,

Thanks for your response; I was not sure, now I can breathe. No need to need to study SQL Server or Access.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael.
we tried to make the techniques that are used in Spider Project as simple as possible.

Reference-books can be linked with any project just assigning key fields. The software finds if the project includes the objects with the same key fields and takes from the reference-books those data that shall be transfered.

For an example you can keep project materials in the reference-book and somebody manages not the projects but this reference-book. If the cost of some materials changed and these changes are entered in the reference-book all projects that use these materials will get new costs automatically if you decide to update project information. You may decide not to update if you opened some archived version. The same about resource productivity norms, etc.

The organization may have projects in different regions or countries with different norms, costs, currencies. So different projects may be linked with different sets of the corporate reference-books.

You can also choose the option to add selected objects from the reference-books. So you don’t need to enter resource, materials, costs and other information in your project. Just select what resources, materials, etc. are needed and they will be transfered from the reference-books with all their data.

Reference-books can be created from all tables of the current project. So if you entered some information in one project you can use the same information in other projects without the need to enter the same information again.
One project can be linked with any number of reference-books, you don’t need to merge them though merging the reference-books of the same type is easy.

Among user access rights Spider Project suggests to use "Only from the reference-books" option. It means that people can add resources, materials, etc. only from the corporate reference-books. It was done to prevent people to create the same objects several times (possibly with different codes and other characteristics), to enter different resource productivity for the same type of work, etc. It is easier to control and estimate project models if you are sure that everything is calculated basing on the corporate standards.

You don’t need to study SQL Server or Access to understand how it works. It is very simple to use and don’t require special skills. Spider Project is designed for using on site by people who manage projects.

We recommend to attend Spider Project courses where we discuss with our users how to organize their data. Preliminary requirement is simple - people shall have some computer skills (playing games, or printing letters) and some project management experience (to understand what and why is needed). Actually we recommend to attend two courses - first on project management, second - on Spider Project. Everything else is pure logic.

Best Regards,
Vladimir

P.S. I cannot imagine how to create coorporate project management system without creating and applying corporate norms and standards.
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 35 min 42 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4838
Vladimir,

Can I export two or several tables to a single or separate databases and knowing common key fields merge/relate them and thereafter make a relational query? Can Reference Books be used to automate the procedure if it can be done?

Does the above makes any sense? Maybe I will take a few courses about databases if it makes sense, just for the basics, perhaps MS SQL or Access. Any recommendation on where to start will be welcomed.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 35 min 42 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4838
mimoune

Your question is quite related to the issue as different databases behave differently with the operating system and how the data is backed up.

I believe the DBMS got to be of proprietary coding by Spider Team, maybe similar to what other are using. Because it is not a General Purpose Database System it uses a fraction of computer space of what those using MS SQL and Oracle.

As far as I know you search the database tables one by one within the tools provided by spider, you can also edit the individual field values and many other database functions. I believe when you edit each record it runs a subroutine to test each record, if not compatible the data is rejected and because of this is why I have not figured it out how to corrupt the database. Almost every screen in Spider has an Excel Icon that allows you to transfer the data of your current table to Excel. But there are other ways to transfer the data to excel within the functionality of Spider more powerful. Eventually Vladimir will show us the advanced features; I am still crawling and hope in a few months after running a full schedule for an actual job I will be walking.

I am not an IT person, the few things I know is by word of mouth or by my limited experience with unsophisticated software like the windows Backup utility which at times have issues with what they call Shadow Copy. I got a fix for the issue in a standalone installation for windows XP. Looking for the fix is where I read about the issues Shadow Copy has when in a network installation multiple users are accessing the database while at the same time it is being backed up.

Many years ago I used Dbase for the Mac and latter on tried Lotus Approach, the equivalent to MS Access and learned a few things by myself. I never got formal training with it. Maybe someday I will enroll on one of the many Continued Education courses available everywhere.

I can do my own backups of spider files using the Windows Backup utility, but wonder about how it is to be done in a Network installation when many users are accessing the database at the same time. This I do not know.

Best regards,
Rafael

P.S. I see Vladimir wrote someting while I was writing this posting and maybe all is already answered.
When we began Spider Project programming the selection of the database was discussed and we decided that we shall not depend on any third party product except Operating System (here we had no choice).
So everything that is in Spider was created by developers.
Besides, we decided that project management imply special requirements on the data processing.
One of them - discrete update of the project data.
Project model can be scheduled, analyzed, etc. if there is certain data date common for all program participants. So there is a need for the strict regulations for entering actual data that are common for all subprojects.
But the need for the frequency of schedule update are different for subprojects, project, program, portfolio.
So we suggested the different approach for organizing group work.
Project planner creates Resposibility WBS (Spider Project permits to create any number of parallel WBS) and after project scheduling distributes subprojects of this structure to responsible persons (database replication).
Now those who work with subprojects can use their internal regulations for subproject update and rescheduling. They can work without connecting to the project network. But all of them know that at certain moment project planner will give the command to consolidate subprojects and the project model will be automatically updated taking in all changes made in subprojects. So they shall place the latest subproject file at the specified folder that is accessible (at the local network or FTP server).
Previous project schedule version will be kept as an archive file and new file with updated schedule data will be created.
This way Spider Project keeps project history and back up means just copy project (portfolio) files to some external information carrier.
But even if the main computer will be broken and backup files do not exist the data will not be lost. It is enough to create responsibility WBS (without activities, resources, anything - just names), press Consolidate Subprojects and the project will be restored. Empty project phases will be filled with the subprojects that were stored at other computers of your network. But in this case you shall restore the links between activities of different subproject.
These links can be taken (again automatically) from earlier versions if they were not lost.
So backup is easy and does not require any delays in the work and besides you always have project data in the network that can help to restore not only current project version but also project history.

There is another backup for unintended errors.
When you save project file the previous version is not rewritten but is moved to the backup folder. If you had made an error you can always return to the previous state.

There is also automatic backup that helps if you will have problems with electricity or some other crash of the system. It is similar to the way temporary files are created by office programs.

Spider Project data can be exported (saved) to the standard relational databases (Oracle, SQL Server) and opened from there, but internal database is not relational.

Spider database query is not available but there is script language that can be used to get Spider data from within other softwares or to produce any reports. Any table and any table report can be exported to Excel with one click.

Inform me if you need additional information.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
mimoune djouallah
User offline. Last seen 21 weeks 9 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Posts: 388
Rafeal

sorry to hijack your thread, but just wondering what is the the embedded database engine used in spider, and if it is possible to query spider database using excel for example.

best regards