Backup Regimes

Backups of your Communicare database are critical for business continuity in the event of a disaster. Communicare is automatically backed up to the server nightly. Your site should take regular backups of these backups.

Important: Exercise care with your backups. The most recent Communicare backup is an important resource for your health service in the event of technical failure, cyber attack or disaster. If the Communicare server is destroyed, you won't be able to restore your data without a backup. For more information, see Disaster Recovery. Historical backups may also be an important reference, for example, for point-in-time medico-legal investigations.
You are responsible for:
  • Checking that the backups occur as scheduled.
  • Taking a copy of the backup and storing it on a server separate to the Communicare database.
  • Regularly storing a copy of the backup offsite.
  • Asking Communicare to adjust the time of the backup if you require a different time. The default is 5pm local time.
  • Asking Communicare to configure the backup to be copied to a network share if you would prefer this method.
  • If you use an external storage device, changing it regularly.
  • Asking Communicare to change the number of monthly backups kept if required. The default is six months.


Communicare servers have an automated system for writing zipped and password protected backups to the server. The database and the security database (containing usernames and passwords) are both backed up in this way.

The hard drive stores daily backups for the last week, weekly backups for the last month and monthly backups for the last six months.

Tip: Communicare keeps a detailed log of the last 14 backups on the server.
Communicare uses the following naming convention for backup files, where XXXX is a 3-5 letter code identifying your database and YYYYMMDDHHMMSS is the date and time at which the backup finished:
  • Daily:
    •, for example, DEMO_D7_20200101170032
  • Weekly:
    •, for example, DEMO_W4_20200101170047
  • Monthly, up to 6 months:
    •, for example, DEMO_M06_20200101170044

You may also find some legacy backup files from database upgrades and a previous database regime with an alternative naming convention.

Important: Regularly check the contents of the Backup folder on the server. In the Windows Explorer, open \\CCAREXYZ\Backup (where CCAREXYZ is the name of your Communicare server) and look at the files.
  • Order the files by Date modified and look at the files for yesterday. There should be a large database file and a smaller security file.
  • If there are no files in the Backup folder, contact Communicare Support immediately.

Backing up over a network

Your site should be taking regular backups of the daily, weekly and monthly backups.

Network administrators can back up the entire contents of the Backup folder or be selective.

Backup files can also be copied (mirrored) to a network share if required. Contact Communicare Support for further assistance.

Backing up using an external storage device

If you are using an external storage device to store backups, use one of the following strategies:
  • New storage device daily

    By inserting a new storage device every day you will always have the previous day's work. At any time you can restore a database from any previous day. Simply label each backup with the date and store safely. This is the best strategy for securely backing up your database.

  • New storage device weekly

    The previous week's nightly backups are stored on one storage device. You will have the same facility to restore a database from any previous day, but in the event of a catastrophe you will not necessarily have the previous day's backup. However, you will have a backup of no more than 7 days old.

  • One storage device

    The external storage device will always contain only one backup which will be the most recent.

  • Set of storage devices, cycled

    Use five (or seven) storage devices labeled Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and so on. Rotate them daily. At any stage you will have a backup for any day of the previous week. Periodically take a copy of one of the storage devices as permanent backup.


If a backup cannot be written to the external storage device, that day's backup is kept and will be written the next time there is a suitable storage device in the drive. If you employ a system of changing the device every day but miss a day, the next day's backup will contain the missing backups.

If no storage device is found for seven days, only the most recent seven days' backups will be copied when a suitable storage device is inserted.