Chris21 archiving is vital if you are to ensure your database is correctly maintained and to avoid potential issues with data integrity. See my blog Chris21 Housekeeping – What You Need to Know for some background information.

Archiving is part of the role of Chris21 housekeeping and essentially means selecting data that can be removed from the database but retained for future reference. The main reason you would do this is to reduce the size of your Chris21 database. This in turn will make it quicker and easier to back up your database and also during upgrades. I discuss this in more detail in my blog Chris21 Archiving – the Pros and Cons.

How to archive your data properly

When you archive data in Chris21 the process will produce a file containing your archived data. You can then move this file to another location on your file server for safe keeping. Upon completion of this task it would appear that the job is done and you have successfully reduced the size of your database. But this is not the case. There is a separate process that you must complete to make sure you have recovered this disk space.

Note: this is a job for your database administrator as it involves running a process on the Chris21 server.

As an example, let’s say you have archived your file repository. This will archive data from the CHFRD.DAT file. An archive file will be created and saved in your Chris21 system DAT directory. You then move this archive file to another location. It’s important to note however that the size of the CHFRD.DAT file remains the same because the archive process only copied the data. To recover disk space, use the VUTIL utility in Chris21 to rebuild the file. The rebuild process deletes the data that was archived, thus reducing the size of the CHFRD.DAT file.

To run the VUTIL utility, logon to the server and open the Command Prompt. Switch to the drive where the Chris21 system is located and change to the relevant DAT directory.

Chris21 archiving

Note: Prior to running the VUTIL utility, check the size of the DAT file to be rebuilt. Use this information to confirm the rebuild was successful after the process has been run.

Enter the Rebuild command. The command shown above will rebuild the CHFRD.DAT file.

The rebuild process may take a few minutes, depending on the size of the file. When the process is complete, you will be prompted to replace the original file with the new one. Enter ‘y’ at the prompt and press the Enter key.

Chris21 archiving

Check the size of the file that was rebuilt. It should now be smaller than prior to the process being run.

To successfully complete your Chris21 archiving process make sure your database administrator has completed the job by running the VUTIL process. This will ensure your Chris21 system is properly archived and you will reap the benefits of a well maintained database.