TeleForm Backups

Jul 10, 2018 by Lanny Sparks

Today, we cover an issue that is of the utmost importance. Everyone knows to save their work – especially an extended document or file – frequently and to a safe location.

TeleForm Desktop Users

For Desktop users, everything (with the possible exception of a network SQL Server instance for the internal TeleForm database) that TeleForm does is on the user’s desktop system. Should the hard drive fail, it is most likely that the user will not be able to retrieve templates, configurations, forms in process and any data and form images that might be stored on the drive.

By the way, do you know your workstation is probably not automatically backed up each evening, or even every week by the IT Department, or ever?

Disaster!

Setting up the BackupTeleForm Desktop Backup Solution

In TeleForm v11.0 and above, the Utilities > Configuration > General tab > Backup subtab (available in all 5 client modules) allows for scheduled, methodical backups.

  1. Select the Backup Options subtab
  2. Click on Enable to open the dialog
  3. Click on Schedule button
    • Enter an appropriate schedule
    • Click on OK
  4. Select the Workstation/Session
  5. Select the number of Hours, Days, Weeks, Month or Years you wish to keep the backup
  6. With the ellipsis button, set the NETWORK path to the folder where the backups will be stored
    • By DEFAULT it is saved right back to your Desktop hard drive (why??)
    • Don’t do this. Just don't.
    • Save to the network
  7. Click on Apply
  8. Click on OK

Please Note: One downside: Your backup runs automatically. You must have your computer on during this time.

Consider doing the backup during your workday. That way, you won’t have to be concerned about leaving the computer on at night or over the weekend.

Workgroup & Enterprise Users

Your backups are under the control of the network administrators. Workgroup and Enterprise users might not have much, if any, control over much of the configuration of the TeleForm system. A discussion with the IT Manager about what needs to be backed up creates the certainty everything is covered. One thing that the user can control is an additional location where the form templates are stored safely.

What to do? You may need local or network permissions to do this. This procedure is the same for both Desktop (even with a backup you might want to consider this) and networked TeleForm users:

If you have only a few templates to backup:TeleForm Workgroup Enterprise User Backup Instructions

Go to an appropriate shared network drive. Create a folder, call it what you want, because it is your own parent folder for your backups.

  • Open Designer, and open the Templates dialog
  • Select a folder where the templates reside
  • Highlight the template(s) and right-click. Select Export from the popup menu
  • In Export Format, select “TeleForm (TFT)”
  • In the To Directory, browse to the parent folder you created
  • Here, in the Browse for Folder, you might want to create a child folder, named, perhaps with today’s date
  • Select the folder and click on OK
  • Click on the Export button
  • At the TeleForm TFT Export, select your version
    • NOTE: if you are exporting to be able to send the template to another site, you must know their TeleForm version, and select that version here
  • Click on OK

Your selected templates are exported and safe, especially since the server you backed them up to is (should be) backed up regularly.

If you have folders with templates to backup:

In Windows/File Explorer, browse to your parent TeleForm folder and copy/paste the entire frm folder to the backup folder. That brings in all your templates to the backup folder at once.

If you need to restore them in this manner, you will have to manually place them back into the frm folder and run the Validate Files procedure. It is usually more work than it should be.

Finally, one more way to do backups manually without scheduling:

For TeleForm v11.0 and above users, you can use the TeleForm Maintenance & Utilities applet and select “Save Snapshot” and select everything on the list. Direct it to a shared network folder. Set up a schedule for yourself to do this frequently.

That’s it. Whichever route you take, routinely do an interim backup after modifying a template, or after you have started a new template. Please do not forget about, or ignore this. Truly, I have had several clients call me in a panic because they lost their templates, configurations, data and images due to a hardware or software malfunction.

It is a dreadful time for all.