Today we talk about the “elephant in the room”, backing up of project data. We all make mistakes and then we are on the receiving end of this on a daily basis often picking up the pieces of a data entry mistake or even worse a server failure.
There is still a void between IT and BIM/ Architects where each party decides it’s the others responsibility to keep the project data safe, or worse assumes that the other party is taking care of it.
This is a dangerous place with 1000’s of man hours invested in this data with commercial value beyond the project that’s being worked on.
What can we do about this? – Your insurance policy
Opening the CodeBook Export dialog is a great place to start, they say talk is good, talk to your IT team, IT team, talk to your users. Find out who is working on what. Ask the question “is this being backed up” if so how often and how long are the backups kept for? This should be a critical element of your BIM Execution Plan (BEP).
Day to Day Project Activity
There are tasks that can be actioned for which there isn’t an undo. If about to carry out such a task, it can be useful to create a temporary backup, so that an instant restore can be achieved if something goes wrong. And being able to do this without having to resort to backup tapes or IT departments.
The Database tab on CodeBook has the option to allow users to manually create database backups, saving them locally, so they can easily be recalled.
This should not replace a proper backup procedure and disaster recovery plan, but it allows for greater flexibility should an issue arise due to a bulk data change.
You also might want to consider creating an occasional image database, either at project work stages, or monthly. An image database is a snapshot of your project and libraries. This can be compared with previous or subsequent image databases, so that a report of revisions between the two points in time can be created. Such as changes of room names, areas, ff+e items that have been added, removed or relocated.
Note: the image database can only be used for reporting, it cannot be reverse engineered, and so isn’t a backup technique.
Periodic Check of the Backup Process
Final thought of the post?, a backup and recovery plan is only as good as your last test. When was the last time a backup was last restored to test the procedure is working, that it is backing up the correct data files and that the data is readable? There are many documented cases of companies coming to restore data, only to find the tapes blank or incomplete.