There’s More to Backing Up Dynamics GP Than Meets the Eye

Dynamics GP provides a mechanism inside the application to set up regular backups. Administrators simply go to the Microsoft Dynamics GP menu and select Tools->Maintenance->Backup. From there a wizard walks you through the process of the first backup and setting up recurring, scheduled backups.

Simple, right?

Not so fast. The built-in backup process in Microsoft Dynamics GP only backs up the data in the SQL tables. This is a fine place to start, but it's really just the minimum backup for most companies.Not covered are customized forms, reports, and financial statement formats-which many companies accumulate in significant numbers-- that would be costly and time consuming to replace. Then there are integrations, notes, collection letters and more that make up the full Dynamics GP ecosystem.

A Dynamics GP system is more than just data, it's the infrastructure around that data as well.

How can companies make sure that they are backing up all the pieces of their GP environment? Here are the things to make sure you back up:

-Dynamics GP SQL - Back up the Company, Dynamics, Master and Model Databases. This is the core backup and unfortunately, it's as far as most people get.

-Business Intelligence SQL - Back up any Reporting Services, Analysis Services and Sharepoint Databases, if applicable. Since Business Intelligence solutions are often built over time, these items can take a long time to rebuild, if lost. Companies using Business Portal and Sharepoint will want to make sure that both the databases and file repositories are backed up as well.

-Other SQL - Backup SQL Integration Service Packages and SQL Server Agent jobs If you have important SQL integrations or scheduled jobs, they probably took a while to build and are not easily replaced.

-FRx - Backup the FRx Sysdata file. Rebuilding your financial reporting from scratch could be a nightmare. This is a critical component.

-Integration Manager - Back up the IM.mdb file. This holds the integration definitions.

-Customizations - Back up your customizations. Not just the Forms.dic and Reports.dic files, but modified reports and forms dictionaries from any third party dictionaries that you may have customized. This would also include any other VBA customizations or custom modules written from scratch. Review the locations and items in the Dynamics.set file to make sure that you have all the locations. Another option would be to export your customizations using the Export functionality in Tools->Customize->Customization Maintenance and then keep this file with your backups.

-OLE Notes and Letters - OLE notes and attachments usually hold important information designed to explain, clarify or provide backup to a transaction. Letters provide the framework for communicating with customers using data from Dynamics GP. You don't want to lose either of these important pieces.

-Other Items - How about that Excel sheet used to calculate commissions outside of Dynamics GP? Are you backing up the month-end checklist? There are all kinds of support tools that you may be using, so make sure they get backed up. I learned this the hard way when we lost a customized Excel sheet used for landed cost calculations. It was a pain to recreate from scratch and it never worked quite as well as the original.

For Microsoft Dynamics GP, SQL backups are just the beginning. It's important to make sure that you are backing up the entire Dynamics GP ecosystem, not just the data.
About Mark Polino

Mark Polino is a Microsoft MVP for Dynamics GP and a Senior Consultant with Integrated Business Group in Central Florida. He is author or coauthor of four books on Microsoft Dynamics GP. Mark has been working with Dynamics GP and its predecessors since 1999. He is a Florida licensed CPA and holds an MBA from Rollins College.

Building Dashboards with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and Excel 2013Mark's new book, Building Dashboards with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and Excel 2013, is available now.

 

 

 

 

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