Using the backup procedures to perform an online backup

Use the SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE procedure or one of the other system backup procedures to perform an online backup of a database to a specified location.

The backup procedures are as follows:

Use the SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE_AND_ENABLE_LOG_ARCHIVE_MODE or SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE_AND_ENABLE_LOG_ARCHIVE_MODE_NOWAIT procedure if you want to make it possible to perform a roll-forward recovery of a damaged database. See Roll-forward recovery for details.

The NOWAIT versions of the procedures do not wait for transactions in progress with unlogged operations to complete before proceeding with the backup; instead, they return an error immediately.

See the Derby Reference Manual for details about these system procedures.

All four of these system procedures take a string argument that represents the location in which to back up the database. Typically, you provide the full path to the backup directory. (Relative paths are interpreted as relative to the current directory, not to the derby.system.home directory.)

For example, to specify a backup location of c:/mybackups/2012-04-01 for a database that is currently open, use the following statement (forward slashes are used as path separators in SQL commands):

CALL SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE('c:/mybackups/2012-04-01')

The SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE or SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE_NOWAIT procedure puts the database into a state in which it can be safely copied. The procedure then copies the entire original database directory (including data files, online transaction log files, and jar files) to the specified backup directory. Files that are not within the original database directory (for example, are not copied. With the exception of a few cases mentioned in Unlogged Operations, the procedure does not block concurrent transactions at any time.

A backup made with the SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE_AND_ENABLE_LOG_ARCHIVE_MODE or SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE_AND_ENABLE_LOG_ARCHIVE_MODE_NOWAIT procedure is not a full copy of the database, but depends on the log files created in the database since the backup. An attempt to access the backup directly will invalidate the backup. The result could include a corrupted database, missing data, errors during a subsequent attempt at restoring the database, or database corruption errors encountered only once the restored database is being used. The only supported way to access this kind of backup is to restore the database as documented in Roll-forward recovery.

The following example shows how to back up a database to a directory with a name that reflects the current date:

public static void backUpDatabase(Connection conn) 
        throws SQLException {
    // Get today's date as a string:
    java.text.SimpleDateFormat todaysDate = 
        new java.text.SimpleDateFormat("yyyy-MM-dd");
    String backupdirectory = "c:/mybackups/" +

    CallableStatement cs =
        conn.prepareCall("CALL SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE(?)"); 
    cs.setString(1, backupdirectory);
    System.out.println("backed up database to " + backupdirectory);

For a database that was backed up on 2012-04-01, the previous commands copy the current database to a directory of the same name in c:/mybackups/2012-04-01.

Uncommitted transactions do not appear in the backed-up database.

Note: Do not back up different databases with the same name to the same backup directory. If a database of the same name already exists in the backup directory, it is assumed to be an older version and is overwritten.

Unlogged Operations

For some operations, Derby does not log because it can keep the database consistent without logging the data.

The SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE procedure will issue an error if there are any unlogged operations in the same transaction as the backup procedure.

If any unlogged operations are in progress in other transactions in the system when the backup starts, this procedure will block until those transactions are complete before performing the backup.

Derby automatically converts unlogged operations to logged mode if they are started while the backup is in progress (except operations that maintain application jar files in the database). Procedures to install, replace, and remove jar files in a database are blocked while the backup is in progress.

If you do not want backup to block until unlogged operations in other transactions are complete, use the SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE_NOWAIT procedure. This procedure issues an error immediately at the start of the backup if there are any transactions in progress with unlogged operations, instead of waiting for those transactions to complete.

Unlogged operations include:

Related concepts
Using operating system commands with the freeze and unfreeze system procedures to perform an online backup