Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
How to create metadata backup for M-Files vault
Posted by Ariful Mahmud (M-Files) on 29 March 2019 12:50 PM

1     Overview

In some cases, M-Files support may ask client to send a metadata backup for investigating critical issues. This document describes the process for creating metadata backup for M-Files vault.

2     Impacted Products and Versions

For MS SQL Servers, these instructions are only valid M-Files Version greater than 11.2. For Firebird databases there is no version dependency.

3     Steps to follow

M-Files support may ask to send metadata backup for deep analysis of client's vault for resolving critical cases that might be related to metadata configuration or objects structure in the vault. There are two database system that can be used with M-Files: Firebird (default) and MS SQL Server (recommended for large document vault). The process of creating metadata backup differs based on database that is used with M-Files vault. Process for generating metadata backup for both database systems are as follow.

3.1      Firebird as database engine

When you are using Firebird as a database engine you need to bring the document vault offline before taking the metadata backup.

  1. Check the location of the vault data on server from M-Files admin window. M-Files Admin > Expand Document Vaults > Properties (right click) > Advanced > Define (under user firebird). Go to that location. By default, the location is as bellow:

        C:\Program Files\M-Files\Server Vaults\<vault name>

  1. Bring the vault offline.
  2. Copy MetaData.fdb and in another location (folder) from vault's file data location. By default, locations are as bellow:

        C:\Program Files\M-Files\Server Vaults\<vault name>\MetaData\MetaData.fdb

        C:\Program Files\M-Files\Server Vaults\<vault name>\FileData\

  1. After copying process is finished, you can now bring the vault online.
  2. Compress both files using 7-Zip, for example, and use password encryption. Send us the zipped and encrypted file with M-Files file-share (instructions for this available from M-Files support).


3.2      MS SQL Server as database engine (File Data not stored in vault's database)

If you are using MS SQL server as vault's database and File Data is not stored in MS SQL server database, you can follow below steps to generate to metadata backup.

  1. Connect to your MS SQL server instance with Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. Expand databases in left pane under your database server name.
  3. Backup your vault's database by right clicking the database name (vault's database) > Tasks > Backup.
  4. You can change the location of your backup by adding backup destination from backup window.
  5. As backup process is finished backup file (.bak) will be stored in backup destination.
  6. Compress the backup file (.bak) and send to us via M-Files file-share.

3.3      MS SQL Server as database engine (File Data stored in vault's database)

If you are using MS SQL Server as vault's database and storing File Data inside the MS SQL server database, please check below instructions.

  1. Use copy vault from M-Files admin. To make a copy of the SQL vault, M-Files Admin > Document Vaults> Vault Name (right click)> Operations > Copy Document Vault. Set a new vault name in destination (new document vault) section.
  2. select "All" in data to copy section and then click on Advanced > select exclude File Data from the vault copy.
  3. Hit Ok to start the process, it may take a while depending on your vault's metadata structure. This operation will create a new vault with a MS SQL Server database with metadata information.
  4. After the copy document vault operation succeed, backup new MS SQL Server database that is created by the copy document vault process (New document vault name). You follow processes from section [3.2], please make to sure to select new vault database while backing up.
  5. After backing up you can destroy the copy vault (** Please make sure you don't destroy the production vault by mistake).

Copy Document Vault (M-Files Admin)

Fig: Copy document vault (M-Files Admin)

*** Note: While backing MS SQL Server document vault, it's not required to bring vault offline. <vault name> refers to the document vault name. For your information, metadata copy doesn't include any file documents.

4     Reference Documents

Using Firebird as the Database Engine -

Using Microsoft SQL Server as the Database Engine -

Copying a Document Vault -

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