TechTip: Use GO BACKUP to Uncover Holes in Your Backup Strategy PDF Print E-mail
Tips & Techniques - System Administration
Written by Steve Pitcher   
Friday, 11 June 2010 00:00

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Do you know when your libraries were backed up and whether any changes occurred since then? Here's the easy way to find out.


Whether you're backing up your system using a custom CL program, a third-party product, or the Backup Tasks menu is irrelevant. Missing objects and libraries in your nightly backup is not.


You can access the Backup Tasks menu by entering GO BACKUP on a command line. From there, you'll see a variety of options for backing up your system instead of using a custom CL program. While CL gives you a more granular approach (e.g., message- and error-handling, operational tasks, the ability to specify individual objects and IFS directories to back up, etc.), the Backup Tasks menu offers the basic ability to back up your system and provides invaluable information on what you may be missing.


From the Backup Tasks menu, take option 10 (Set Up Backup) and then take option 10 from the Set Up Backup menu to get the Change Library Backup List screen. Here, you see a list of libraries and their backup frequency (daily/weekly/monthly). The real value displayed on this screen is the date the entire library was saved and information about whether any objects have changed since the last backup.



Figure 1: Find out when your libraries were backed up and whether anything changed. (Click images to enlarge.)


Here's a great tip. Press F14 and you'll be prompted with a screen called Select Other Libraries. You can filter by library name with the first parameter. The second parameter allows you to filter by backup type or check for libraries that have not been backed up at all. If you alter the third parameter, called Changed, to 1=YES, the program will filter the list of libraries to show which ones contain objects that have changed since the last backup.



Figure 2: Parameters allow you to determine which libraries have changed since the last backup.


If you're using Backup Tasks and notice a library changed today but hasn't been saved since Abba was popular, then you're in luck with a quick fix. Just put a 2 next to it, hit Enter, select the backup frequency you want, and you're done like dinner. Otherwise, you have to add this library manually to your CL program and take care of it there.


The same functionality exists for DLO folders as well.


Unfortunately, the Backup Tasks menu doesn't offer you the ability to select specific IFS directories to monitor whether data changes or has been backed up. You can backup your IFS using Backup Tasks, but it doesn't give you any granularity compared to what you get with a CL program. For instance, during my Lotus Domino backup (Domino objects reside on the IFS), I need to bring down each Domino server before I attempt to back up those IFS directories.


For monitoring purposes, you could always build an application or report that references data from the contents of RTVDIRINF output, giving you information on when an IFS directory was backed up and whether any data has changed since then. Of course, this is only relevant if you're using a custom CL program or a third-party backup and recovery solution.

Steve Pitcher
About the Author:

Steve Pitcher is the Director of Information Services for Scotsburn Dairy Group in Nova Scotia, Canada, and is a specialist in IBM i and IBM Lotus Domino solutions since 2001. Visit Steve's Website, follow his Twitter account, or contact him directly at

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 June 2010 12:25
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