Using the backup procedure to perform an online backup

Use the SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE procedure to perform an online backup of a database to a specified location.

The SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE procedure takes 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/2005-06-01 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/2005-06-01')

The SYSCS_UTIL.SYSCS_BACKUP_DATABASE 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.

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 2005-06-01, the previous commands copy the current database to a directory of the same name in c:/mybackups/2005-06-01.

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:
  1. Index creation.

    Only CREATE INDEX is logged, not all the data inserts into the index. The reason inserts into the index are not logged is: if there is a failure , it will just drop the index.

    If you create an index when the backup is in progress, it will be slower because it has to be logged.

    Foreign Keys , Primary Keys create backing indexes. Adding those keys to an existing table with data will also run slower.

  2. Import to an empty table or replacing all the data in a table.

    In this case also, data inserts into table are not logged. Internally, Derby creates a new table for the import and changes the catalogs to point to the new table and drops the original table when import completes.

    If you perform such an import operation when backup is in progress , it will be slower because data is logged.

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