Apologies for the infrequency of posts, readers. When clients need IT work, we drop everything to help. Sometimes that even includes blogging!
We’ll continue with “Playing in the Sitefinity 7.0 Sandbox” soon. For now, let’s talk backups.
The Sitefinity CMS stores uploaded files in content modules called libraries. Much like Windows 7, these libraries are where you store images, documents, videos, etc. in the CMS for use on your website. Essentially they’re file storage.
As we’ve all heard, a critical consideration when dealing with file storage is: BACK UP YOUR FILES.
But the thing is, how do you backup a Sitefinity library? They’re located on the database server, not your desktop. The images, documents, etc. are lurking in a SQL database as software objects. (I presume your database servers themselves are backed up. If not, your sysadmin needs to start right away!)
There are two methods to backup when it comes to Sitefinity library contents:
1. Back up the files separately from Sitefinity CMS, on a user’s desktop or file server, using standard backup software.
2. Link your Sitefinity libraries to Dropbox.
Dropbox: A Backup You Never Have to Manage
Dropbox 101 in case you’re not familiar: “Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, documents, and videos anywhere and share them easily.” What makes Dropbox especially useful is that it synchronizes files between all the locations you have connected to it.
Ordinarily these locations are computers – your work machine, your tablet, and so on. Thanks to Telerik though, you can add your Sitefinity libraries as locations.
It does take a little backend work to setup. Telerik has documented how to do it here:
- Configuring Dropbox File Hosting Service – Sitefinity.com
- How to Create a Dropbox Libraries Data Provider – Sitefinity.com
- Using the Sitefinity Dropbox Synchronization Module – Sitefinity.com
Your web developer will know how to implement Dropbox as a data provider. (If not, ours does.)
Once Dropbox is integrated into your Sitefinity CMS backend, your libraries are backed up every time there’s a change. Someone uploads a new image? Dropbox has it. Someone adds a PDF for user downloads? Dropbox keeps a copy of that too.
Do Files Uploaded in Dropbox Appear in Sitefinity?
By now those of you familiar with Dropbox are wondering something. “Dropbox pushes uploaded files out to all linked locations. If I were to upload a file into Dropbox, would it appear in Sitefinity’s library too?”
And the answer is, Yes! Any items uploaded to respective folders in your Dropbox will appear in the appropriate Sitefinity library. If you were to upload 50 new images into Dropbox’s synced Images folder, they would show up in Sitefinity under Content -> Images. All at once. No click, wait, click, wait…
This is all done automatically; once Dropbox is in place, it does not need extra maintenance. Your administrators should make sure the servers are backed up & tested regularly. Adding Dropbox just provides some extra backup reassurance. And an alternate avenue to uploading multiple files.
Do you use Dropbox and Sitefinity CMS? Have you integrated them? Please comment or email. We’d love to hear your experience with using both together.