backup - reopen

davet65's Avatar


09 Jul, 2020 11:41 PM

I thought I understood MD's backup process, but now I'm confused again after reading the exchange in the Discussion “backup” - now closed. I running MD 2019.4v1899 in Mac OS10.13.6

Aren't there THREE potentially different locations for the MD file "backups"? I have defined a folder named MD Backups as the destination for my backups. The file that is saved when shutting down MD goes to that folder with a file name of yourdatasetname.yyyy-mm-dd.moneydancearchive. Also placed into MD Backups folder is the file that is saved when I File/Export Backup with a file name of yourdatasetname.yyyymmdd-tttt.moneydancearchive. The last 10 [my setting] of those two file types are saved in that folder. That is as stated in the previous Discussion thread.

But the “working” file for MD, that changes with each change in data, is saved in myhome/Library/Containers/com.infinitekind.MoneydanceOSX/Data/Documents and has a file name of yourdatasetname.moneydance.

So is this last file not considered a “backup” in MD terminology? Is it considered the working file or the “data set”? If so, I understand the difference, but didn’t before. And it apparently is always stored there, where MD wants it?

This does bring up a gripe of mine that I pointed out years ago but has not been addressed. When setting up the backup file location under Moneydance/Preferences/Backups, I have checked the box for “Save backup daily / Keep no more than 10 backup file(s)”. MD does NOT backup daily!! In order to backup a file, I must Quit or Export Backup. I don’t quit MD regularly, so unless I remember to Export Backup, I can go for days without a current backup file, except for the “data set” that is always kept up to date. That should be fixed to save to a real backup daily, or at least not tell me that it is doing that!

  1. 1 Posted by dwg on 10 Jul, 2020 12:53 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow user.

    The last "file" you mention, well it is really a folder, is your data set i.e. the working copy of your data, it is not a backup. A backup is a point in time saved copy of your data whereas the working copy is the data as it exists now.

    There is no scheduler built into the inbuilt backup process, and that would be required to do a set time backup. I doubt if the developer envisaged personal systems being turned on 24/7.

  2. 2 Posted by derekkent23 on 10 Jul, 2020 08:05 AM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.
    Hi davet65

    Moneydance has two backup types. Manual, EXPORT BACKUP and automatic set under PREFERENCES – BACKUP. A backup is a snap shot of your active (working) data, that is a snap shot of your live Data Set. In the past active data was stored in a single file, hence Data File. In more resent version of Moneydance to accommodate Moneydance’s internal sync engine, the data is now stored in a folder that contains other folders and files. So, the term Data Set is a more accurate description, although it is still sometimes incorrectly called a Data File. A Moneydance backup file is in fact a compressed Data Set. Copy a backup to a safe place and use Zip to uncompressed and you will see a snap shot of your Data Set with all its folders and files.

    There is a default location for you Data Set, see under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER as there is a default location for backups, see under HELP – SHOW BACKUP FOLDER. In both cases you don’t have to use these default locations. I fact for backups their location should be on an external drive or even better on a free cloud server such as Dropbox in case your hard drive fails. There is no advantage in not using the default location for your Data Set. The Data Set can be move to another location if you really must, but it has to stay on your hard drive and then be opened using OPEN – OPEN OTHERS... From then on Moneydance will remember this new location. Don’t move your data set to a remote location, drive or cloud server as it can become corrupted.

    As you have found for an auto backup to be performed you have to close Moneydance, no backup on a time schedule. For the small number of users that don’t close Moneydance at the end of each day this would be a useful feature. But I am not sure I am really in favour of leaving programs you are not actually using open.

    Hope this helps.

  3. 3 Posted by davet65 on 10 Jul, 2020 06:42 PM

    davet65's Avatar

    dwg, derekkent23,

    I really appreciate your taking the time and effort to clarify this for me. I do feel a bit "stupid" for not seeing the difference between MD's Data Set and the 2 Backup files; I understand. While I don't send my Backups - neither one - directly to a safe place, I use Apple's Time Machine to back up my HD automatically and continuously to 2 different external drives, and also use SuperDuper once a week or so to make a bootable copy of my HD.

    I will disagree that it is likely a "small number of users that don't close MD at the end of each day"; I suspect there are many like me. I keep my email client, browser, spreadsheet and MD programs open whenever my computer is on, and use Mac's Sleep function to put things to rest every night instead of closing or shutting down. While it wouldn't be a major nuisance to start MD each day, it takes 30 seconds to shut down and 45 seconds to start up, and inputting my password.

    We have exchanged several earlier messages regarding Quote Loader, which I really like and appreciate your efforts. It has a daily scheduler. Why is that necessary or desirable if QL refreshes at start-up? I don't know if MD knows what time it is internally, but it knows what day it is; trigger a backup when the day changes? At least don't have a checkbox for "Save backup daily", as that is just plain wrong.

    Thanks again.

  4. 4 Posted by jeff_l on 10 Jul, 2020 09:03 PM

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    As you are running Time Machine & SuperDuper you already have more backups that you could possibly need. The problem I’ve seen here, is that too many folk use Time Machine but seem to have no idea how to retrieve their files.

    However, all Computer Operating systems benefit from being restarted. Your MD data is obviously important to you, as it is to all of us who run MD. If I were you, I would get into the habit of doing a manual Expert backup (only 3 mouse clicks) before you put your computer to sleep, then you can also sleep more easily!

    It is debatable as to whether either of the above applications can consistently & reliably copy an open MD Dataset.

    Fellow user

  5. 5 Posted by dwg on 10 Jul, 2020 09:59 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow user.

    To guarantee a usable backup from an open data set Moneydance would have to be crash consistent, its not, so while copying an Open data set will often be recoverable it is not guaranteed to be so.

    Backup vs Quote Loader is an apples and oranges comparison. Quotes are constantly changing through the trading day and to just have the ability to obtain quotes on startup can be undesirable. Many people look to have a quote at a consistent time every day or after the market closes. Different markets close at different times and there is also the consideration of after close trades. I personally look to get quotes at around 9pm, QL is regularly polling the time to do this. Mike was good enough to give us various options with a fallback of obtaining a quote on startup if the software was not running at the appointed time.

    The descriptive text on the option is likely to be the subject of much debate and this is not the first time, Some may think that something like Back on Exit is better but that can be misunderstood as well. There is only so much space and a short story is not all that desirable. Backup on Exit is not correct either as the software will only allow for one backup per day, so you are then down to Backup on Last Exit, but I'm sure many would question what this also means.

    Personally I do not think it is worth getting hung up about, there are more important shortcomings in the software in my view that are way about this in the priority scale. If necessary explain the option in the documentation. It is a daily backup as it will take a backup on each day the software is run, but it only creates it on exit and will only keep the last backup of the day when you open and close the software multiple times on a day.

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