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How to Schedule an SQL Backup

written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 10/8/2010

Backing up a database is not only an essential part of database management and administration, but one of the most important aspects that the administrator must do. In this article, go over the steps on how to schedule a SQL backup.

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    What is a SQL Server?

    In terms of databases, one of the programming languages a user should learn is that of the Structured Query Languages or SQL. Microsoft has several versions of their SQL Server, which is basically a relational model database program that allows for building and administrating a large database. Microsoft SQL Server 

    Companies of all shapes and sizes use a form of database management systems, or DBMS, especially those businesses that work online with e-commerce websites. These databases allow for products to be shown within a webpage, track it in a customer's shopping cart, and then allow them to purchase the item. These are things that a database manager or administrator implements or changes upon any change within the company or store, such as product pricing.

    Another thing that an administrator is responsible for is to make sure that, in the case of a computer crash or hardware failure, the database will be unaffected. This is usually done by backing up the database, much in the same way a home user would back up their computer in the case of a failure in the system. The easiest way to do this is to schedule an SQL backup, whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly; this ensures that the data is safe and can easily be replace should come unexpected happen.

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    How to Schedule an SQL Backup

    Backing up a particular database is easy to, either manually or using the program that comes along with the software. To schedule a backup manually -

    1. Open SQL server to see the list of current databases
    2. Right click on the database that you want to back up and select the option of 'Tasks'.
    3. Within this option, select the option of 'Backup'. In this option, you can either make a quick backup, by selecting 'Add' or schedule a backup by selecting 'Script'. Here, select 'Script'.
    4. In this option, select 'Schedule' and then 'Add'.
    5. Here, you can add which day and which time you'd like the schedule to run. The preferred option is to back up the database on a daily basis, preferably after the work day. It is also important that you have the database backing up to another location than that of the computer that the database is on. This ensures that if something were to happen to that particular computer, the backups are located in another location. If you would prefer to be extra protective, you could have multiple locations; just make sure that all locations are current.
    6. After scheduling your backup, hit 'OK'. You can either start the backup or wait until the schedule begins.

    As the administrator, it is important to check and make sure that the backups are working. You may want to check on a weekly basis, to check that the last backup did indeed back up. Some times things may happen that may interrupt the scheduled backup, so it's important to make sure that the database has indeed backed up. The worst thing is to have a hardware failure and then discover that the scheduled backups did not backup to the desired location. Now that you know how to schedule a SQL backup, you should go do it — sooner rather than later.