See Concordance Database Files for more details about the various files used by Concordance.
There are a couple of options for backing up your Concordance databases. Before backing up your Concordance database, you need to determine how long the backup process may take, given the size of the database files. The backup process could take many hours, so having a solid estimate helps you plan backup maintenance schedules.
Research the network’s automatic server backups and how it may impact Concordance database files. Database files automatically backed up in this manner often take longer to restore, therefore, they are probably not a practical method to rely on as your sole source for database copies.
Do not perform live backups if you are using backup software that locks files, even briefly. This has been known to cause read/write functions to the database files to fail, and can cause file synchronization or corruption issues. Check with your IT group and/or backup solution provider to verify that no file locking occurs before scheduling any backups on Concordance, Concordance Image, and FYI files that are in use.
Be aware that anti-virus, firewall, and backup software can often interfere with network traffic and the locking of files, and in effect, could cause Concordance, Concordance viewers, and FYI Server software to crash.
Verify that you are not backing up your databases while they are in use. Any locking of files while users are updating those same files can produce erroneous results. Using snapshots on your data storage devices can reduce these effects because they do not lock the files.
To create a backup of a Concordance database, use the Export Wizard provided in Concordance. Exported databases do not include security or tag history. To retain security in your back up, you can also replicate the database.
When backing up databases, you should also consider the following:
•Replication of your database files within Concordance has a longer processing time, but this method retains security settings.
•If security is applied, back up the .sec files.
•Back up tags using the TagSaver<version>.cpl and TagHistoryandStoreIt<version>.cpl.
•Do not forget to copy over your list files, queries, exported security, and .gat files, etc.
•Verify that your antivirus does not scan any of the following file types: .trk, .key, .dct, .dir, .fzy, .layout, .sec
Backing up tags may take days for some databases, and loss of tagging information can jeopardize a case review. Please make time to research and test this process so you understand how to best schedule this task regularly.
Archiving of databases is standard practice for corporate environments, and you will want to adhere to those guidelines with Concordance databases. You may want to make additional archives for maintenance reasons too, ensuring that you have adequate archive files for case history and research. Reviewers are known to come back, even years later, and want to research a case history if they are working on a similar one. Many vendors offer vault storage and web repository environments for data retrieval in the event of a disaster, or merely to restore data from an archive library.
You can create a database archive using Concordance. Because the storage capacity for records is vast, an archive library may work well for your organization in researching old records and case history data.
•Run the Tag To Field command in the Tag and Issue Management dialog box, and the TagHistoryandStoreIt<version>.cpl to track and manage tags in a field.
•There are three minimum files needed to archive a database: .dcb, .ndx, .tex.
•Remember to turn off security so the file is accessible by others.
•Export to a delimited text file because it is a universal archive format that is retrievable in years to come.
•Ask yourself whether you really need to archive images; these files are huge and require adequate media storage.
•Move files to a long-term, archive-quality media.
•Schedule data destruction per corporate policies; determine how long do you need to keep the copies.
•Keep an updated list of archive files for you or another administrator to reference.