Time Stamp Backup: How to Create Versioned Data Backups

Time Stamp Backup

Handy Backup allows performing backing up data using time stamps. The time stamp is a descriptor that defines the exact date and time of creating a particular backup. If this option is enabled Handy Backup generates this descriptor automatically in the directory name.

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This technique has some significant advantages allowing user:

  • saving storage space from keeping unnecessary copies of data;
  • reduce time needed to navigate through different backup versions of the same data set.

Starting from version 7.5.3, time-stamping backup can be applied for any task created in previous versions under the major revision of 7.x.x. Just set up version 7.5.3 over the previous version 7 software.

Benefits of Time-Stamped Backups

Automating operations with time-stamp backup

Automating external operations with time-stamped copies


Performing backup with time stamp user can automate the control over different backup copies, allowing external software selecting and using just copies with appropriate time stamps. This allows user to merge the processing of time-stamped copies with some particular workflow.

Control over time

Control over time when particular backup was created


Time stamp backup make it transparent when the particular copy of data was saved. User can extract contemporary data from just this copy, e.g. to return the time-specific version of data or to find the last error-free information.

Restore particular copy instead of last

Possibility to restore the particular copy of data instead of last copy


This function grants user complete control over time if matters touch backups. Grabbing the particular backup with timestamp, user can restore it manually or through the restoration task. This can be useful when, say, the information in last backup may be corrupt.

Database backup with time stamp

Database backup with time stamp


Versions of database content tends to change almost for every minute or faster. Sometimes a particular condition of database must be restored from backup; the timestamp can help in this task, drastically reducing overall time for finding the information just needed.

Format of Time Stamp Backup


When a user backup file with a date-time stamp, the name of the resulting backup directory has the following format: [backup_number]_[date_time]_[backup_type]

  • The backup_number is a number of version, starting with “0” (non-versioned backups are always stored at “0”’s).
  • The date_time is a set of date and time when the particular backup copy was created.
  • The backup_type can take one of three values: FULL for full backup, INC for incremental and DIFF for differential backup.

Full and incremental backups can be versioned or not. Differential backups are always versioned.

History of backup versions are always saved in files called “Backup History.xml”. These files are presented in backup storage directories along with folders containing backup copies.



Performing Backup with Time Stamp


Creating time stamp backup is easy. Just mark the checkbox called “Store versioned backups” on the Step 4. This makes the button “Versions rotation settings” active; clicking on it, you can specify all the parameters of backup with time stamp.


Time Stamp Backup in Handy Backup



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Using Time Stamp Backup


As mentioned above, backup with time stamp creates a folder with the name containing date and time of creating, along with version number. It is a simple task to find the particular time-based information using these names.

As Handy Backup stores backup copies in their native formats, requiring no special restoration procedure to use backup data, the necessary information can be extracted from backup copies automatically or manually and used as needed.

Other way is to specify the time stamp backup copy as the data source for the restoration task, automating returning of data from the particular time. It can be also helpful for restoring database backup with time stamp.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Question (Q): Which version of Handy Backup allows backup with time stamp?

Answer (A): Time stamps are available from the version 7.5.3.


Q: Can I change the format of time stamps?

A: Version 7.5.3 supports only one format of time stamp backup. If you can feel you need time stamps in other formats please tell us about it sending us E-mail at support@handybackup.net, sales@handybackup.net, or contact us using social networks. We are always glad to add your ideas and needs for the functionality of our product.


Q: Can I add or remove time stamps using existing tasks?

A: You can always add time stamps for any task created without these stamps. Removing time stamps is impossible for now.


Q: What is the number preceding the time stamp in the folder name?

A: This is a serial number of backup copy, an important part of time stamp engine. Many users need it for automation some actions with time-stamped copies.


Q: Can I remove these serial number marks?

A: Of course. If you are want to remove serial number from time stamp, please run the script doing this action after completing the backup task. The script can be obtained via E-mail (see our contacts above). Also you can write your own script; this can be highly evaluated both by our developing team and by many users throughout the world.


Download Handy Backup

Version 7.9.2, built on 13 July, 2017
65.8 MB


See also: Handy Backup Whitepaper: Versioned Backup


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