We often get questions that come in hot over escalations about retrieving lost data. The fact that Electrical data is created and stored live often leads to users not planning their off-site backup processes with their respective IT staff. In this article, I will be covering electrical data, the types of backups and when and what data to restore.
What exactly is SOLIDWORKS Electrical data?
The application has an SQL back end as such every file created is an exported package file with the ‘*.tewzip’ extension. To develop design projects within the environment there is no need for the user to physically move files around within a project. Below is a list of types of data and their relevant extensions available in SOLIDWORKS Electrical:
“A data restore is only as good as the back up file.”
There is no other substitute that can restore missing or unbacked up data. The quality of the file, the type of data and what instance in time the back up is taken generally dictates the success in data restoration.
What type of backups are available in SOLIDWORKS Electrical?
Backups can vary from specific data files, project files, environment files and up to an infrastructure backup. Depending on the severity of restoration requirement below are some of the available options:
An infrastructure restore allows for tackling a major restoration in case there was a major corruption or attack to existing system. If the entire system needs to be rebuilt and all data needs to be repopulated Environment restore might be the way forward. Projects can be simply restored using the Project Archive and unarchive process.
Archive is equivalent to ‘save as’ and Unarchive is equivalent to ‘open and restore as new copy’. Often overlooked is another feature called Snapshots. Snapshots are backups of a project at an instance in time. Users have the ability to restore and roll back any design deviation.
In 2021 SOLIDWORKS Electrical released an Environment Archiver tool. Windows Task Scheduler can trigger this backup tool and ensures the entire data archive is taken as per configured options. This could be as frequent as a bi-weekly or monthly back up. The files created here are very large and aging files need to be purged routinely.
When and what data to restore?
The conditions below should provide some direction on your data restoration journey in SOLDIWORKS Electrical:
- If everyone is affected, generally an infrastructure level restore using a 3rd party software or virtual machine restore of server is a good place to start.
- If there is a software upgrade or migration of data, environment restore is recommended.
- If a project needs to be restored, you can simply unarchive a project archive file to restore a new copy.
- If you intend to roll back a step to correct a design deviation, the snapshot management process is generally another good option to consider for restoration.
- If you have PDM professional and are using SOLIDWORKS Electrical PDM connector, your project’s states and files should reside in that PDM system. The project data can be restored from any point in time.
Symbols, 2D footprints, title blocks, macros, cable references, manufacturer parts, projects and other software system data are generally a subset of Environment Archive file. These subset data points can also be backed up separately by their respective management tools available in SOLIDWORKS Electrical.
Most cases the above tool set for archiving is only used when data needs to be shared or consumed off-site on a remote machine when disconnected from main setup. It may also come in to use when sharing data with sub-contractors or isolated users.
When restoring data there are default wizards present to help understand through color codes and present you with conditions for restore. For every data item you can either ‘Add’, ‘Do nothing’, ‘Replace’ or ‘Keep both’.
This blog and webinar are intended to give both users and IT admins a perspective in to SOLIDWORKS Electrical and it’s data restoration options. Please reach out to us if you have more specific questions to your data restoration scenarios within SOLIDWORKS Electrical.
Sign up below to watch the on-demand webinar "Restoring Your Electrical Data" to learn more.