'On Site Backup' free on MAS until end of November

I have made my Xojo application ‘On Site Backup’ free on the Mac App Store until the end of November 2015. After this free period it will revert to a paid app.

This may be useful for people to need to easily make a backup of their Xojo project directory each night (e.g. to a DropBox folder), keeping the last few versions. It can also backup many SQL databases (using SQLDatabaseMBS) and FTP sites (using MBS CURL). It caches the FTP and Directory backups making subsequent backups very fast (I was doing 40 GB in a few hours over the internet).

If you want the version for Window or Linux version please contact me from the web site (www.onsitebackupapp.com) and I’ll send you a serial number. The Mac version can even backup MS SQL databases using the FreeTDS library!

It’s only two limitations are: it has a problem when a RecordSet downloaded is larger than the 4 GB RAM that a 32-bit app allows, and it defaults to converting BLOBs to Hexadecimal.

In theory you could use is to build a nightly backup business for clients’ web sites, or a tool to cross-convert databases from one SQL type to another.

I am open to comments (and criticism) re the app so I can ensure it is the best it can be. If any one has questions on how the Xojo works then ask me below.

Nice - I was not clear how versioning works on it, but versions appear to be supported. Can you explain that in a little more detail please?

It started when I created a number of MAS apps that used MySQL through my web host ten years ago — I needed a way to back it up nightly. This was an extra cost from my host, required extra cost for the extra space and was not off-site. I wanted an app that I could run from home on an old Mac with a large drive.

Later I created some PHP apps and Xojo Web apps that saved files to the web server. This meant I needed to add FTP backups to the mix. The problem was I was backing up hundreds of audio files every night, most of which never changed. For this reason I added a caching facility — it compares the name/date/size of the file and, if unchanged, copies the locally cached version into the backup.

I added the Directory backup for two reasons: to backup my DropBox folder and to recover faulty drives. When people give me a faulty memory stick they ask me to “copy off what you can”. OS X won’t do that. If it can’t copy the whole folder it copies nothing. This app makes a copy of what it can and keeps going. It tells you the error later for what it can’t. Plus you get a list of all file paths.

I wanted a system which I could recover quickly, so the latest backup is always called ‘Latest Backup’! I wanted to be able to back up an unlimited number of items and turn them on/off at will. I wanted to choose to zip each item and potentially the whole set. I also wanted it to only keep the last XXX versions — so the drive wouldn’t get too full if I forgot about it!

There is no versioning. There are no incremental backups — this was too hard for databases and too easy for files and directories. Massive hard drives are too cheap (I put an 8T into my Time Machine!) for incremental backups, plus incremental backups confuse users at recovery time.

The latest version allows the backup of MS SQL Server on Mac thanks to the FreeTDS. The other SQL databases were a painstaking stroll through manuals and web sites for the capabilities of every database. Converting an FTP path to an OS X path was quite hard as I moved from AbsolutePath’s to NativePath’s as well.

I used to have memory leak problems with FTPSuite since I never quit the app for months and it was copying many thousands of files. Using MBS’s CURL FTP means no memory leaks anymore.

Most other capabilities have been from people using the product and asking me to add a feature or two.