Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to understand AMS data is to think of your Online data as the files you have on your desk. They are in plain view and can be seen easily.
Archive data is similar to the files you have placed in a file cabinet. You still have easy access to them but you have to open a drawer to get to them. In this way, the Archive (or Online Archive as it is sometimes called) can be Activated to allow you to look inside or even make changes to the data if needed.
The Archive function was created to help you clean off your desk, so to speak. You have the option of archiving files that are older than 15 or 30 days, for example. You should choose the setting that is best for your site and is based on the amount of volume you have.
The Backup function was created to help you keep your data safe. The only way to keep your data safe is to move a copy of it to another location. This means you can't keep your backups on your AMS machine. The best place to keep backup files is on a network drive that is backed up daily by your IT department. Another option is to write the files to a USB drive, CD/DVD, or other media. If anything happens to your AMS data or your computer's hard drive, you will be able to restore your data easily. You may want to discuss your options with your local IT support.
AMS can also be used to create Permanent Archive Disks. This function was originally used to create monthly floppy disks of old data before deleting it from the AMS database. Many users find that they don't need to delete old records with their current hardware configuration. If you find that you need to delete old data from AMS, please contact our helpdesk support team for assistance in creating backup files before deleting any data.
The best way to ensure that your data is protected and properly maintained is to follow the recommended backup procedure outlined in the next FAQ below.
It is recommended that backup files be created daily for Online data and weekly for Archived data.
The first step is deciding on the means for backup and setting it up in AMS. You may decide to backup to CDs/DVDs, USB drive, diskettes, or a network drive. Your preferred backup storage location will determine your AMS setup. To setup AMS for backups:
Now you are ready to Backup. This function extracts data from both the Online Active files and Online Archive files. Additionally, the system setup information is collected. All information collected is compressed into zip files in the location you selected in system setup. In case of a system malfunction, you can use the files for data recovery.
The Restore function allows you to reinstate previously backed up data to the database on the computer's hard disk. This data is saved using the Data – Backup function.
Note: AMS will restore data from the location specified in the system setup. Please see the previous FAQ on how to do this.
In order to recover data, it must have been backed up prior to being deleted. Refer to the FAQ question on “the recommended backup procedure” and “How do I recover data from my backup files?” for instructions on backing up and recovering data.
Note: Any data not saved cannot be restored and is permanently lost.
The Activate/Deactivate Archive function is designed to allow you to search the Archive for data and print reports without making changes to any of the records. This is a good way to view historical data or find the BL # or Date Received for a record you wish to recall from the Archive.
The Recall From Archive function is designed to retrieve records that need to be edited in some way. For example, there may be a tally sheet that was archived before it was closed out. In this instance, it would be appropriate to recall the record and close out the tally sheet. After closing out the tally sheet, run the Archive Records function to re-archive the records.
First, it is important to note that recalling Archive records will do no harm to the AMS database, although you may notice slower network operations. The easiest way to recover from this is to run the Archive Records function. This will re-archive the recalled records and clean out the online database. This should take just a few minutes, depending on the number of records you are archiving.
The Activate/Deactivate Archive function opens or closes the Online or Permanent Archive database. This menu option works as a toggle. Once opened, the archived data is available for searching or reporting. Log information is retained so that quarterly reporting functions can be accomplished.
The Change – BL/TCMD function is designed to allow you to correct data entries pertaining to the BL or TCMD numbers.
The Change – TCN function is designed to allow you to correct data entry mistakes pertaining to the TCN.
The Change Document Number function allows you to globally change a document number in the AMS database.
This means that the program that zips and unzips backups is not properly registered on your computer. This doesn't happen very often, but it can be fixed. You must first be logged onto your computer as an administrator.