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MIS Systems Thread, copy SIMS data in Technical; Hello Everyone, I am new to SIMS.net and what I want to do is create a training SIMS Database for ...
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    fiza's Avatar
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    Question copy SIMS data

    Hello Everyone,

    I am new to SIMS.net and what I want to do is create a training SIMS Database for myself to play around with. I would like to do this with a copy of the live SIMS Database. Is there a way to safely copy the whole SIMS data from the live system without interfering with anything else? Would restoring a backup of the SIMS mdf and ldf files onto a different location work? I would then copy these files onto my laptop/desktop to setup my training SIMS database.

    Thanking you in advance

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    If you're a newbie to MSSQL server management then I'd strongly suggest that anything you do there you do first on a test / sample database, not live data.

    In theory you should be able to backup SIMS and restore the database under a different name then be able to poke that database as much as you like with minima risk to the SIMS db. Even better would be if you could do the restore on a physically separate box as that (I think) eliminates any risk to the live db.

    Depending on your long-term goals here it may be worth finding out any licensing issues that may trip you up later (Capita can be quite protective of "their" database schema so I hear). The last thing you want is to spend time creating something that you are then told you're not allowed to use. You might want to investigate using the commandreporter.exe tool (allows you to run SIMS reports from the DOS prompt) as an alternative way of extracting your data.

    Good luck finding your way. I hear that the database is an unholy mess of hundreds of barely normalised tables. The commandreporter may actually end up being easier to use (though slightly less flexible), and still gives you access to SIMS's internal ids for some fields if you need them if you export as xml. Good luck.

    Hello
    :-Dave

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    fiza's Avatar
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    Talking

    Dave

    Thanks for the response. All I want to do is set up SIMS on a completely standalone machine for training/testing. This will be completely seperate from the "live" SIMS. I just want to have a copy of the
    live data so I have a prepopulated SIMS database to play with. Having a copy of the live data would mean it would be as close to the real thing as I could get.

    That was y question. How can I make a copy of the live data to take away and put on my standalone machine and run SIMS.

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    Slightly off topic, but something to bare in mind.. the data will need to be encrypted if you are moving it onto your laptop and taking it offsite.

    As has been said, I think a detach of the DB make a copy of it, then reattach on the second PC then a reattach the original back to the existing server should work.

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    WARNING: Don't just go ahead and do that! The hostname of your document management server (aka docstorage) is stored in the database, rather than as some path relative to the database or SIMS location... if you just do a restore of the live database and all relevant files (s:\sims directory and your docstorage directory) any edits you make which involve documents will be made on the live documents and you will end up with big headaches.

    We have a separate training server and although I don't have my typed-up process to hand, it goes something like:

    • Install SIMS from scratch on the training server (only have to do this once)
    • Copy files from s:\
    • Copy docstorage files
    • Extract database from backups and run dbattach /restoreui to import it into the training server
    • Run the SIMS client on your training server (or from a client pointed at it - more fiddly though)
    • Change the docstorage server setting in setups
    • Change the name of your school to TRAINING DATA - <today's date>


    I may have missed something, but if you're stuck PM me and I'll send you the doc I work from here.

  6. 2 Thanks to sahmeepee:

    fiza (19th May 2009), superfletch (20th May 2009)

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    fiza's Avatar
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    Question

    Sylv3r

    No I wont be taking it off site but all our laptops are encrypted anyway.

    I wanted to avoid the detach attach bit as I am apprehensive of doing anything to the live database, especially detaching it then finding I cant reattach it!!!!!

    Is this an easy thing to do? I guess I would have to shut SIMS down first?

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    A System Manager backup can be restored to another test system using dbattach /RESTOREUI eliminating the need to detach the live database

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    sahmeepee and splatthecat have covered my method essentially.

    i currently run the free VMWare Server on my desktop PC, and installed a fresh windows server, with SQL instance.

    Then just restored a system manager backup, or one of the nightly backups to it. After that, i needed to do a detach and reattach with drop logins BUT on the test server not the live.

    This then enabled the sysman basic login to work and allowed me to reset the other account passwords.

    Next as mentioned copy over the docstorage folder and point sims to the local docstorage folder.

    last important thing is to get VMWARE server to take a snapshot. unfortunately it can only store one snapshot, so if i want to have various versions in different stages i run the VMWARE converter software which makes an entire duplicate virtual instance for me.

    The one snapshot is really handy cos if you screw it up, you can revert back to base settings in less than a minute.

    I did notice a performance hit on my PC running a virtual machine on it, so now i run it on someone else's pc and remotely connect to it. It has a nice built in webserver and remote control software to allow this.

    Very simple, i now do all upgrades and patches on the test virtual server before doing anything live. it's also useful for major timetable changes and anything that might stuff up the reporting cycle!!!
    It's also a great way to recover data / files / marksheets etc that have been deleted without having to do a Full restore of the SIMS server. i can just take a backup file, attach it to the virtual server physically find the data i want and export it or copy it and then reimport or paste back into the live system.

    GREAT

    It works so well, if i can get a new server purchased in the summer, the plan is to make the real live SIMS a virtual server. supercool

  10. Thanks to vikpaw from:

    fiza (24th May 2009)



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