Two questions about backup

  1. I’ve seen Bill recommend using the “backup and optimize” script to create external backups. Does this actually backup the entire database or just the metadata? I ask because in preferences, under backup, it states that backups are only of the metadata and that I need to use something like Time Machine for full backups of the library, including files.

  2. Where are the backups made withe the script saved? I cannot seem to find them; they do not appear to be in my DTP application support folder.

Any help would be appreciated.


Backups made via backup and optimize create a backup of the metadata. The files are stored in the database file (.dtBase2 file) in a backup folder for each backup (Backup.0, Backup.1, etc.). You can view the contents of the database by selecting the file in the Finder, right-click and select ‘Show Package Contents’.

Backup & Optimize doesn’t create an external backup, but a backup of the state of the database (metadata), which is stored within one of the Backup folders inside the database. This backup does not create a backup of the document files contained in the database.

Backup Archive (Scripts > Export > Backup Archive) is the script that I recommend for creation of an external compressed and dated full backup of the database.

Backup & Optimize backups of information about the database, including metadata about the organizational structure, are stored in the Backup folders inside your DT Pro database package file. By default, there are three such folders, Backup, Backup0 and Backup1. A sequence of backups cycles through these folders. When Tools > Restore Backup is invoked, one can identify the most recent of these internal backups.

Backup & Optimize also optimizes the database, which is recommended after importing large batches of content as this will often result in a slight speedup of database operations.

By contrast, Backup Archive will produce an external compressed copy of the full metadata and file content of the database, which is stored at a Finder location chosen by the user. When unzipped, this becomes a working copy of the database, lacking only the internal Backup folders (which will be created during continued use of this copy of the database).

Obviously, it takes less time and storage space to save an archive file produced by Backup Archive to an external medium. The filename itself documents the database name and the date of the backup, which is convenient.

Periodically, I copy recent archives of my most important databases to DVD discs, then store them offsite as insurance against all the things that could go wrong with my hard drive, my computers and my Time Machine backups.

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