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Current loctn: downloads > zip backkup



Perl script designed to facilitate single-command backup of pre-specified files in a single directory.

Originally designed to address backup needs of organizations using the open-source Ebase database without formal backup procedures. However, the program can be set up to perform backups of any files that can be described by naming patterns specified to the program (for instance, *.txt, *.mdb, contact*.fp5, NAMES_.103, etc.)

The program performs the following actions:

Because the backup file copies are placed directly into an archive file, this backup avoids problems resulting from having multiple copies of a database, etc. available for use (often, this circumstance results in users starting the wrong copy of a database).

In addition, the backup history file contains a comprehensive record of all backups performed using the software - something that many nonprofits lack.

The program is written in a fashion that should allow a Perl programmer a relatively easy modification for use in Mac OS or Unix-type environments.

NOTE: One example is known where the file purging function does not reliably delete the oldest backup file. This seems to happen because the Perl sort() function is not correctly sorting the contents of a list variable containing names of backup files. As a result, the function sometimes will leave the oldest backup and delete a more recent backup file instead. However, the problem cannot be reproduced in the testing/development environment, and close examination of the Perl code has not revealed any recognizable errors. Users are encouraged to test the purging functions on their system to satisfy themselves that they are working correctly. If they are not working correctly, please let us know.


The user must alter Perl commands specifying:

Perl statments containing these specification are very clearly commented to make it easy for the programmer to locate them

The file can then easily be run using a Windows shortcut or similar to allow single-click backups. It is also possible to set the program to run using the Windows "scheduler" service if automatic execution at a predetermined schedule is desired.


Windows operating system used for development/testing. Should work on Macintosh OS, but not tested in that environment.

Installed version of Perl. (ActivePerl was used in development.)

One of either:

7-Zip, WinZip, PKZIP or similar software to unload the provided ZIP file

Versions available for download

zip_backup (17 Kb zip file, 02Nov2007 revision)

Planned Development

Modification to allow use on Mac OS and Linux

Modification to allow backup of sub-directories