Using Automated Build Studio to automate offsite backups

The importance of an offsite backup of your data is well known.  There are companies out there that do simply that – offsite data storage.  Take for example Iron Mountain’s service.  Depending on the amount of data you have to protect, LiveVault can be  great service.

I’ve been using (ABS) for some time now to ensure consistent, and fast builds of our products.  I’m incredibly pleased with it.   One of the key benefits to ABS is its versatility.  Yes, the primary goals of this product is to automate the software build process – and a lot of specific tools are provided in the product to accomplish this (e.g. working with source control, easy tools to automate compiling etc).  Build systems are really just a collection of tasks, usually very small tasks – but often there are dozens, hundreds or even thousands of these tasks.  Task as small as running a dos command line statement, copying files, making a zip file.  When I noticed that ABS gives you the ability to automate FTP operations, it got me thinking – this “build” tool could be used to automate so many of those little tasks I’ve always meant to ‘just write a small batch file’ for – but never got around to doing…

One of our most critical pieces of data is our database for our source code version control.   No source code, no software company – don’t think I need to say much more.   Vault uses SQL server to store its bits.  Well would you look at that.  ABS has a “backup database” component.  The workflow of what I want to accomplish is quite simple:

  1. 1. Backup and verify SQL server databases
  2. 2. Zip up said backup files
  3. 3. Upload the zip file to an FTP server that cannot burn down or blow up at the same time as our database server.


Pretty simple – and ABS will do everything we need – and then some.  So let’s get started.  First, I have to assume you have an SQL server running with databases in it.  I also assume you have an FTP server setup and running.  If you really wanna get fancy – get an FTP server that supports SSL running.  I recommend .

ABS Installed on same machine as SQL ServerAutomated Build Studio SQL Server Backup Operation

If ABS is installed on the same machine as SQL server we can make use of the built in macro operations to backup SQL server.  Start up ABS and create a new macro.  We’re going to start off simple – and maybe we’ll add some cool later.  First we’ll add a database backup operation.  From the left hand Operations “toolbox” click on SQL to expand the operations available there.  Double click on “Back Up Database”.  This will add a database backup action to our macro.  On the right hand side of the screen in the “macro” section, double click on the new macro operation and fill in the needed information to connect to your SQL server.  Be sure to specify the database, destination path and that the type of output is File.  If you have more than one database you want to backup – add another backup operation and repeat the process.  To backup Vault – we need to backup the sgvault and the sgmaster databases.

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