SIMS .net database backup

With the increasing threat from Crypto Virus and other malware, your SIMS .net Database Backup has never been so important.  Microsoft SQL is an always on service and usually keeps a database locked open providing a small layer of protection from unfortunate events.  However modern Malware and Crypto Virus now cause servers to reboot into what is effectively a command prompt where they continue encrypting your data.  If you are looking for a good way to ensure a SIMS database backup then read on.

The default installation of SIMS will usually be installed into an Express version of Microsoft SQL. This version of SQL doesn’t have fancy maintenance tasks built in, so it is important to take a backup using third party software or running commands against the SQL Server.

The method shown below uses the Capita DBAttach.exe application which has options for taking a backup.  This method can be scheduled using Task Scheduler and will require a SIMS User account with System manager permissions.

Creating the User

First you will need to create a new SIMS.net user using System Manager.  Create a new user called BACKUP, you will need to give this user operator rights to SIMS.net (Usually School Administrator).  Once you have created the new user, log on to SIMS.net as the BACKUP user and change the password from the default random password to something a little more manageable, and make a note of the new password.  Log out of SIMS.net.

Create a Batch File

Now create a new batch file called SIMSBackUp.bat with the following line in it.  Save the batch file to somewhere like C:\Backup or maybe in your public folder D:\Admin\Public\Backup.

@Echo Off
Echo Starting to Backup the SIMS Database
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL$SIMS\Binn\dbattach.exe /backup /auto /server=<servernameinstance name> /database=SIMS /user=BACKUP /password=backup
Echo Finished Backing up the SIMS Database

 

Replace <servernameinstance> with the name of your SIMS server database, eg SERVER1\SIMS, you can find this out by looking for the SQL server manager in the Start Menu of Windows or in your Connect.ini folder in C:\Program Files\SIMS\SIMS .net.

Testing

Simply double click on your batch file, then if you have used the Echo statements, the computer will tell you what is happening, if there the Starting and Finishing wiz by then there is likely to be a problem with the user account or the command line that you are trying to use.  Try resolving the problem.  As a guide, the backup process will take several minutes depending on your computer system. You can even check what is happening by viewing the files in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL$SIMS\Backup.  The backup process is complete when there is a new ZIP file in that folder.

Now you will need to schedule your batch file to run automatically through the Windows Tasks (Search the Start Menu for Scheduled tasks).

Backing up your database in this way will certainly help you if the worst happens, although there is a hidden consequence.  This method of backing up is quite untidy and eventually there will be hundreds of ZIP files filling the valuable space on your hard drives.  You should manually tidy these backups by deleting them from the C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL$SIMS\Backup folder.  There isn’t any need to log into the SIMS .net System manager and use the Tidy procedure as this type of backup is not recorded in there.

Your data is at risk if you do not check that your backup system is working.

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