February 4, 2014

Tips for Backing Up Your TestTrack Data

Helix ALM
As January comes to a close, you may have already given up on your New Year’s resolutions, but keeping your TestTrack data backed up is an important one to keep! If a hardware problem, data loss, or other issue occurs, a current backup can get your organization up and running again in TestTrack quickly. If you do not currently have a TestTrack backup strategy, now is the time to put one in place. Or, if you already back up your data, take a few minutes to refresh your memory about the options available for backups and revisit your strategy. Keep in mind that your backup strategy depends on the type of database you use for your TestTrack Server and project databases, and your hardware and software environment. Here are some tips to help make sure you are on the right track with your TestTrack backup strategy.

1. Establish a regular backup routine

Determine an appropriate frequency to back up your TestTrack data. Work with your IT organization to determine the days and times to perform backups. You may want to run backups when TestTrack usage is low, such as overnight, to avoid performance issues. The TestTrack Server database contains information displayed in the TestTrack Server Admin Utility, which does not change as often as project data. You may want to back up the server database less frequently than the project databases.

2. Use an appropriate backup method

The backup method you use depends on the database type (native or RDBMS) and purpose (server or project). You may automate backups using a script or batch file.

TestTrack native databases (SQLite)

  • TestTrack Server database: Stop the TestTrack Server and then copy the contents of the TTServDb directory in the TestTrack application directory on the server computer. You only need to back up the subdirectories if you are using TestTrack 2011.2 and earlier. When the backup is complete, restart the TestTrack Server.
  • TestTrack project databases: If you use TestTrack 2012 and later, use the TestTrack Native Database Backup Utility on the server computer. It is a command line utility you can use to back up project databases without stopping the TestTrack Server. The utility does not back up the server database. You need to follow the instructions above for backing up the server database. Information about using the utility is here. If you use TestTrack 2011.2 and earlier, stop the TestTrack Server, copy the subdirectories in the TTServDb, and restart the server.
See the TestTrack help for more information about native database backups.

 TestTrack databases in other RDBMS types

If you use SQL Server, Oracle, or PostgreSQL databases, ask your DBA for help with backups. Your organization may already have a backup strategy in place for these database types. When you back up RDBMS databases, also copy the project subdirectories on the TestTrack Server to back them up. These directories contain attachments, report stylesheets, and SoloBug files.

3. Make sure backups are successful and safe

It is critical to make sure backups are complete and successful. For example, the TestTrack Native Database Backup Utility returns error codes to indicate problems that occur during a backup. Review any errors and rerun the backup to make sure it is successful.  If you use another backup method, make sure part of your process is to check any errors or warnings, and rerun the backup when necessary. Make sure backups are stored in a safe place. For example, you may decide to store backups off site in case of a disaster.

4. Upgrade your backup tools regularly

Backup tools are updated over time and it is important to use the latest version to take advantage of enhancements, bug fixes, or compatibility updates. If you use TestTrack Native Database Backup Utility, always check the release notes to see if a new version of the utility is available and upgrade as soon as possible. (The TestTrack Native Database Backup Utility was recently updated, so make sure you install the most recent version.)

5. Review your backup strategy periodically

Periodically, take the time to review your TestTrack backup strategy. Review the frequency and timing of backups, make sure all data is part of your backup process, and make sure your tools are up to date. This can help save a lot of time and frustration if a data loss occurs.