All Orders uses a SQL Server database to store all of your company’s data. Backing up the database properly is critical to recover your data in the case of a disaster. It is the only file that must be backed up as all company data for All Orders is stored in the database.
A SQL Server database consists of both an .MDF file (the data file) and an .LDF file (the log file). These are the live database files and are not typically backed up. Instead, a single .BAK file (SQL Server backup file) is created which includes both the .MDF and .LDF file and then the .BAK file is backed up (backing it up offsite is the best option).
A .BAK file can be created from All Orders by logging in as the admin and going to the File menu and clicking the Backup menu selection. A message will show you where on the server (or whichever machine the database is located) the .BAK file was placed. If this folder is already part of the backup set for your automated offsite backup software (Mozy, Carbonite, iBackup, Dropbox etc…) then you are good to go. Simply click the Backup menu selection as often as you want to backup your All Orders database. If the folder where the .BAK files are being placed is not being automatically backed up by a backup service, be sure to make a copy of the .BAK file to a flash drive or, at the very least, another computer in case of a disaster in which the server experiences hard drive failure.
We here at Numbercruncher use SQL Server databases for our own purposes internally and have developed an application to automatically create .BAK files on a regular basis, compress them, and place them in a specific folder for our automated backup service. This removes the need to manually click Backup in All Orders and will ensure .BAK files are created automatically. You can download this application along with instructions on using it from our utilities page located here:
Another option which would eliminate the need for manually creating .BAK files to backup is to use an offsite backup service which has special tools for backing up live SQL Server databases. One such example is iBackup which offers a plug in for backing up live SQL Server databases. More information is available on their website @ http://www.ibackup.com/online-backup-sql-server/ .