Database Backups & Feature Requests - 5.7.x

Concrete5 5.7+ is delightful! We love using and use it on almost all website builds for ease-of-use and user experience. Nice work, guys.

I would like to discuss the backup feature in concrete5, or the lack thereof. Backups in concrete5 are wonderful, as we all know. They give us a complete, well... backup of the entire database that we can import directly into cPanel, MySQL, and even the CMS itself. Our firm utilized the backup feature often as we manage over 400 different websites and make a lot of custom additions, but we can't with new versions of concrete5 (5.7x) as the feature is non-existent. Developers and designer desperately need and want this feature back.

Is this something that is going to be added soon? 400+ websites are a lot to manage and having a nice database feature is something on which we rely heavily.

Here are some initial feature requests regarding backups I believe would be lovely additions to the concrete5 core. These will add value to concrete5’s already stellar reputation and greatly enhance website stability if added to future cores:

1. Addition of the database backup feature.
2. Automatic backups at a customized time intervals (ex., "Every Saturday at 3AM" or "Every month on the 1st at 3AM").
3. Implementation of the same restore, download, and delete features that were in 5.6x.
4. Show size, date/time, and name of the database on the Backups page.
5. Ability to rename backups (ex., "Post-Launch Database" or "Initial Database import”).
6. 2-Step authorization (password protected imports) for database restores. I’ve accidentally hit the restore database button before and had to re-restore it from a previous backup.
7. On-site database optimization where tables could be optimized for speed, size, etc.
8. Archiving of databases so they are not deleted and stored indefinitely at the server level.

I know that was a lot of items to cover, and I apologize if this is already in the works, but this is something we as designers and developers need. You really never know how much you take items like this for granted until they’re gone.

Is this something that others would like to see added to new versions of concrete5?

I welcome any and all members to chime in. Thanks concrete5!

View Replies:
andrew replied on at Permalink Reply
Thanks for the nice words about 5.7!

These are all great ideas. In truth, we disabled the backup in 5.7 because we weren't happy with it – we weren't 100% positive it would work every time in all situations, and obviously that isn't the way you want your backup system to run. I could envision an add-on that, when combined with an on-server binary like MySQLDump, could do everything you're looking for. Or it could be a PHP-based script like the one that phpMyAdmin uses – but I do think that moving this out into an add-on that can provide these more advanced features would make a lot of sense. (Maybe once that add-on works the core could provide a basic database backup that would simply prepare the backup and immediately start a file download? So that there's basic functionality for some cases and more advanced, protected functionality for others)/

We have also started working on a suite of home-grown, not-quite-ready-for-release deployment tools that work not just on backup of a system, but also deployment to other servers, rollback, etc... It sounds like that might be more of what you're looking for as well. Thoughts?
creativesolutions replied on at Permalink Reply

Thanks for the speedy reply. I believe you are correct, and that the system needs something to allow website administrators to have a backup function for security purposes. I believe an add-on application such as the one you're referring to would work nicely.

I just know a solution is needed so we can safely and properly backup databases in the future for clientele other than phpMyAdmin.

I'm excited to hear that you guys are currently developing some more advanced features for a CMS that's way ahead of its time. Concrete5 is the best CMS we have ever used. We've known that since we started using it (5+ years ago), it would be a CMS market leader, and we're excited to push through its boundaries every day with some of our in-house development work, as well.

Thanks for the update!
jgaryt replied on at Permalink Reply
I too think C5 5.7.x is fantastic.

Glad to hear there maybe tools in the works for moving sites easily. I like to work in an authoring and production way, so they are separate sites, and migrating the content can be tricky. I look forward to seeing what is coming!
JohntheFish replied on at Permalink Reply
I agree with Andrew that backup of that level of sophistication is too much for the core. For 5.4 to 5.6 I covered many of your suggestions with my Backup Voodoo addon and it has proved to be quite popular (and you have inspired a couple of ideas for new features) .

The difficulty I have with developing Backup Voodoo for 5.7 is that the core has a habit of expanding functionality provided. Back when 5.6 was released there were some popular pre 5.6 marketplace addons that were made obsolete by core enhancements, thus removing any further market for the developers concerned. Until the backup capability of the 5.7 core is released, I don't know what enhanced functionality is worth developing (if at all).
creativesolutions replied on at Permalink Reply
Yes! I believe you would know (more than myself) the capabilities of the CMS and its boundaries. The glorious thing about PHP is that most things are possible. I just hope to have something we can utilize internally for the backup and management of the database especially since we are developing and managing more websites than ever before. Concrete5 is a large part of that infrastructure, our client love the ease-of-use, and we like designing with it.

I am not a developer, and I wouldn't know where to start developing an add-on like this, but I know it's been mentioned here in our offices that there needs to be a way of managing databases now that the standard CMS for our firm no longer has the functionality it once had in 5.6x.

I hope to find a solution soon. Please let me know if you begin some wild stuff that could benefit all concrete5 users in the realms of database backups.

Again, thanks.
apc123 replied on at Permalink Reply
To provide a little encouragement I would love to buy a backup solution for 5.7.

Even better if someone came up with a similar service to Vaultpress.
creativesolutions replied on at Permalink Reply
Yes! Something that could provide a little more peace of mind when dealing with 15 projects per designer. That way, in case something was lost, it could be recovered easier using the CMS' native backup solution.

Anything that could perform a full backup besides using phpMyAdmin every time would be fantastic.
tallacman replied on at Permalink Reply
Im in for the backup service too. Be nice to use Amazon Glacer for the periodic backups and avoid pricey subscriptions.
neurosetweb replied on at Permalink Reply
Any news for backup db tools?

MrKDilkington replied on at Permalink Reply

I know two core contributors have been working on a backup package.

I don't know when it will be ready.