backup_online — perform online backup of database


int backup_online ( in file_prefix varchar ,
  in pages integer ,
  in timeout integer ,
  in dirs any );


This procedure will backup all information from the checkpoint space to a series of files named "<file_prefix><n>.bp ", where <n> is the sequence number of the file in the backup series. The first backup will be a full gzip compressed dump of database pages in the checkpoint space. Any subsequent call will only backup pages which have changed since the last backup was made. To start with a fresh full backup, use backup_clear_context to clear the change tracking data. At each checkpoint the checkpoint space will be updated, and the next "backup_online;" procedure will create new files. Once backup_online() has been called for the first time, the arguments supplied will be used for subsequent calls to it. Hence, arguments supplied to this procedure (except the "dirs" argument) will be ignored in subsequent calls.

Before a new backup series can be started, the backup_context_clear(); procedure must be called first. This procedure will clear the current backup context and mark all pages in the checkpoint space as ready for backup.

A database checkpoint cannot be performed while an online backup is in progress. Attempt to do a checkpoint will wait until the backup is complete.

This is the preferred means of backing up databases and replaces any other prior means. As an alternative, copying database files while the database is running will still work, as long as no checkpoint is made during the copy process.



A string to prefix to the filename of the backup files.


The pages argument indicates the maximum number of 8K pages that will be backed up into each file. This argument must be larger than 100. If pages < 100 an error will be returned.


This parameter has no effect.


This optional parameter must be an array of directory names (array of strings). The backup files are first stored in the first directory. When running out of disk any consecutive backup files are stored in the next directory in the list. If there are no more directories then an error is signalled and all the files written by this call to backup_online are deleted so as not to leave half made backups.

Return Types

This function will return the number of 8k pages that were backed-up.


This function can generate the following errors: IB001 IB002 IB003 IB004 IB005 IB006 IB007 IB008 IB009 IB010


Example 24.20. Performing an online backup

If there are 2010 new pages in the checkpoint space and user invokes:

"backup_online ('dump-20021010_#', 500);"

from ISQL, then the following series of backup files will be created in the Virtuoso database directory:


The first 4 files will each contain 500 8K pages. The actual length of the files will vary due to varying compression ratio.

Example 24.21. Restoring an Online Backup

The following command could be used to restore the database from the backup files created:

virtuoso-iodbc-t +restore-backup dump-20011010_#


virtuoso-odbc-t.exe +restore-backup dump-20011010_#