Tips from Tech Support
OnLine Plus Tools to Protect Your Work
- by Jim Hodge -
Accidents happen. Whether is it accidently deleting a needed truss or someone tripping over your computer's power cord, accidents can mean the loss of hours of work, typically at the worst times. Whenever something happens while working on an Online Plus job, it is important to remember that there are several tools to help you recover from problems. These tools are working for you as long as you are in a job. Closing the job will clean out the folders containing the files used for these tools, so it is important that you DO NOT CLOSE the job if you need to recover from a system problem or error.
Close and Restore
First, let’s talk about the Close and Restore tool in Job Manager. This tool allows the user to restore the job to the condition it was in when the job was first opened. It works by saving the contents of the job folder at the time the job is opened. After working on a job for any length of time, the user can use Close and Restore in the File menu of Job Manager to put the entire job back to the condition it was in at the time it was opened.
As a precautionary note, remember that this tool completely restores the job folder. This includes any extraneous files that are stored in the job folder. If the user has saved other files such as spreadsheets or documents in the job folder, these too will be restored. If changes are made to these files while the job is open in Job Manager, these changes will be lost if the Close and Restore tool is used. If newly created files are saved in the job folder while the job is opened in Job Manager, and Close and Restore is then used, these files will be lost. Also, any linked jobs (stored in the same folder) will be affected.
The Restore Points function added in version 20 is a great tool for recovering from errors or problems. This tool automatically saves restore points at regular intervals as you work on a job.
The frequency of these automatic restore points can be changed, as well as the maximum number of automatic restore points to retain before deleting older ones. I usually recommend changing the settings to create an automatic restore point every 5 minutes, and to save 100 restore points. This will provide you with almost a full day’s worth of restore points at 5 minute intervals.
You can also create a user defined restore point to preserve the current job state before going on to a phase of the work that you feel may need to be “undone”. You can name these restore points descriptively, so that you can easily restore back to them later.
Selecting the Restore a Restore Point tool allows the user to select from a list of currently saved restore points, sorted chronologically. When a restore point is selected from this list, the entire job will be rolled back to that point, including all changes to the layout, trusses and any changes done in Job Manager (i.e. truss deletions, quantity changes, name changes, etc.)
When a restore point is used, all restore points newer than the selected restore point will be removed from the list. Therefore, the user should take care to pick the most recent restore point that he thinks may recover the job information he wants. Once a restore point is used, YOU CANNOT GO BACK to a newer point.
All restore points will be flushed when a job is closed, so be sure you don’t close a job if you think you may need to “back up” using this tool. Suppose there is a glitch that causes a layout file to be “trashed” and you cannot get back into the layout. In a situation like this, you will likely be able to use a restore point to recover the layout in a usable condition if you DO NOT CLOSE THE JOB.
Job Manager Crash Recovery
Online Plus also has a Job Manager Crash Recovery function for jobs in case of an unexpected system shutdown. Because Online Plus saves all of your work in the temporary job folder on your local drive, it is rare for you to lose work. Even in the event of a total system lockup, these temporary files remain on your drive. If your computer shuts down unexpectedly due to power failure, these temporary files are still there.
When Online Plus is first started, the program checks for the presence of the files in the temporary folders. If they are found there, the program notifies the user that the unsaved job was found and asks the user if he wants to recover the unsaved changes. If the user clicks “No” the temp folders will be cleared and the user can then open whatever job he needs to work on. If the user clicks “Yes” then the unsaved job will be opened, and the layout and / or any trusses that were open at the time the system went down will be opened again.
The Crash Recovery process will not salvage the restore points, nor the Undo / Redo information from the session prior to the crash. However, the entire state of the job at the time of the crash will be recovered.
These various tools provide a high level of stability for Online Plus users. If the user is aware of the various tools available, there is usually a way to recover from an unexpected problem while working on a job. If while working on a job in Online Plus you encounter a problem, be sure to try whichever tool is appropriate before closing the job.
If you need help to recover your work, please talk to tech support before closing the job. If you feel you have lost some work, we can sometimes help you to recover it, but if you close the job, you will almost certainly have removed all of the files that are there to help you to recover from these problems. So please resist the natural impulse to close Online Plus and restart it if you have a problem. If you call us first, we can likely help you, but once the job has been closed our hands will be tied.
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