MLS Back-up

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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wrigjef
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MLS Back-up

Postby wrigjef » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:47 am

Is the back-up that shows up in urgent tasks the same as the one that is required each time a change is made in finances? If so why are both required? I just cleared urgent tasks closing out the year and doing a backup. then when closing out of the system it had me back up again because I guess the close out changed some of the fince stuff. Eventhough ir is automated, I think I noticed the same files being backed up and I know it was to a file with the same name since I had to Ok the overwrite.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:52 am

There is only one MLS backup; no matter what the reminder is (urgent task or finance data change), when you do a backup, you back up the entire MLS database.

It's not so much that both are required, but just that there are two different reminder systems. If you've backed up recently because of a finance change (or because you did a manual backup), you won't see the urgent task. But whenever a finance change occurs, even if it is shortly after a backup done for some other reason, you will be prompted to do a backup.
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wrigjef
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Postby wrigjef » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:32 am

aebrown wrote: If you've backed up recently because of a finance change (or because you did a manual backup), you won't see the urgent task.


OK thanks I will check but I am pretty certain that I pretty much always have a urgent task to back-up regardless of when I last did a forced back-up.

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dajoker
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Postby dajoker » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:59 pm

What was noticing just this past week was that while I do not always change anything in the Finance section of MLS, merely going in there to run reports, view budgets, etc. sometimes causes MLS to think a backup is necessary (I have not tested this to find what causes it, but it's something I've seen in the past; reminds me of a word processor telling me I need to save changes when I know I haven't changed anything). I rarely (including now) have noticed an Urgent Task stating a backup was necessary, but when I went to logout of MLS I was prompted to backup because of a finance change (I just closed out the 2011 stuff, so after the pre-closeout backup several finance-related things had obviously changed). Just my two bits...

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:06 pm

dajoker wrote:What was noticing just this past week was that while I do not always change anything in the Finance section of MLS, merely going in there to run reports, view budgets, etc. sometimes causes MLS to think a backup is necessary


You didn't mention doing a Send/Receive, but these days I seem to notice that a large proportion of the transmissions I do cause something finance-related to be downloaded. That, of course, will lead to a prompt for a backup on logout/exit. I imagine some people are thinking they are transmitting only membership changes, but don't realize that every transmission has the potential to receive both membership and financial updates.
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dajoker
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Postby dajoker » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:23 pm

Good point. The last time I perceived this error was on 2011-12-30 when I did a Send/Receive that did not claim to make any changes, but it's possible that the mere act was enough to trigger the prompt. I'll test this evening when I'm back at the Stake. Thanks for remembering another possible option.

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Postby mtbaker » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:51 am

Has anyone else noticed that the backup seems to take longer and longer as the weeks go by? I'm not sure why this is happening, and it may contribute somewhat to occasional users shutting down Windows while the backup is still occurring.

We normally back up to the hard disk and to a thumb drive we store offsite, which doubles the pleasure of a long wait. Since the clerks computer does little else but run MLS, and no other processes are running to take up memory, I'm puzzled why this is happening. Plenty of disk space, no services running, do we need to add more memory to expedite quicker backups? This can take up to 15 minutes sometimes.

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dajoker
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Postby dajoker » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:11 pm

There are some lengthy threads on the backup time issue already:

https://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?7864-MLS-Backup-file-size-growing

In your case backup the file once (to the hard drive) and then just copy (right-click Copy) it to your external drive. The copy/paste should take about three seconds until you're where our stake is (~50 MB) even though the original backup directly from MLS takes much longer (~11 minutes). See the other thread for the reason why.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:13 pm

You may want to read the thread MLS Backup file size growing for discussion on how to reduce the size of the backups.

As for the speed, there's not much you can do other then reducing the size of the backup.
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Postby rickk » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:43 pm

RussellHltn wrote:
As for the speed, there's not much you can do other then reducing the size of the backup.


I agree that your statement is true - there is nothing the WE the users can do, but the other thread points out an obvious flaw in the current system in that it uses unbuffered writes. The test done by dajoker showed almost 100X faster performance when the writes are changed to buffered. I am a stake clerk and our backup takes 10+ minutes (I have timed it). I called clerk support at one time (back when it only took 6-7 minutes :-) ) and was told this was normal. That is true only if you consider broken to be normal... Copying the backup to a flash takes about 15 seconds, so the amount of data is not the problem. The real problem seems to be that adding features is higher priority than speeding up the backups, so the issue is being ignored.

PLEASE have someone look at fixing this (especially if dajoker has already identified the problem and a fix, as it sounds). Yes we are unpaid, but that doesn't mean our time is worthless...

Rick


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