Purpose of the Online Backups

Full backups are performed of the entire Paua database every day and kept in multiple locations so that in the event of some unexpected event causing data loss the backups can be restored safely.

The online backups described here are in addition to the standard full backups and they are intended to simply give agencies a copy of their own data for their peace of mind. Actually using these backups would require some knowledge of databases and database administration specifically MySQL.

Enabling Backups

Online backups will only be created for your agency if you tick the option Enable online backups in General Preferences. Once this option is ticked online backups will commence the following night.

Obtaining the Backups

The online backups are performed automatically every night. The backup of data from your own agency is available to download from the Paua application for users with Sys Manager privilege.

To access the backups simply go to the main admin menu and select the Backup option.

You will see a list of backup files that can be downloaded by clicking on them. The files are in reverse date order with the most recent backup at the top. The date of the backup is included in the file name and is also shown in the list of files. Online Backups are only retained a short time for space reasons. (currently 5 days)

Using the Backups

These instructions are brief and not intended as a full guide for using the backups. Rather they are intended as an aid to understanding what might be involved if you wanted to independently extract data from these backups.


In order to use the backups you first need to install MyQSL onto a computer. MySQL can be obtained here

Detailed instructions can be found in various places on the internet and are not included here.

Data Definitions

The files with the name <agency>database_definition<date>.sql.gz contain the database definition or metadata. In order to create a database with the correct structure for loading the data you need to do the following: In this example we are going to create a database called paua_backup_database from the data definition backup called demo_database_definition_2015-Nov-23_17-50-19.sql.gz

Unzip the backup file using your unzipping tool of choice. eg form a command line on a Posix system

gunzip demo_database_definition_2015-Nov-23_17-50-19.sql.gz

Create a blank database

create database paua_backup_database;

Log out of MySQL


Import the data definitions into the blank database

mysql -u root -p<root password> paua_backup_database < demo_database_definition_2015-Nov-23_17-50-19.sql

You should now have a database called paua_backup_database with the correct structure.



The database backups do not contain attachment data. Attachment metadata is stored in the database but the attachments themselves for space and performance reasons are not stored in the database.