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Reference Guide

This section is intended as a general reference and specification set. If you are new to SmartBackup, you will need to use the full documentation.

Editions

Since its first release SmartBackup is positioned as one of the leading backup solutions for Smartsheet. There are different editions of the product, depending on your needs, with differing capabilities as outlined further in this Reference Guide.
SmartBackup is offered in three Editions, one free and two commercial editions to accommodate the unique feature and price requirements of organizations and individuals.
  1. 1.
    Starter Edition is the free edition that includes most capabilities to help you get started.
  2. 2.
    Business Edition delivers fully featured backup capabilities for individuals and small teams.
  3. 3.
    Enterprise Edition is ideal for situations requiring centralized control, larger scale deployments and enterprise flexibility.

Starter Edition

You can download from AcuWorkflow. This completely free version allows you to try the solution without any obligations. The great thing about the Starter Edition is that there is no time limit so you can experience it for as long as you like. Bearing in mind that it is the most basic version and it has built in limitations such as the maximum number of Sheets that it will backup up.

Business Edition

You can purchase this directly from the AcuWorkflow web site. This version is packed with features and should cater for most of the situations you encounter as an individual or small team of up to 5 Users.

Enterprise Edition

Please contact AcuWorkflow by submitting this SmartBackup Enterprise Query form for more info.

SmartBackup Platform

The SmartBackup Platform primarily consist of the following components, which can be run independently or in conjunction.

Backup Component

Make an exact copy, preserving your formats, links, rules, attachments, a feature not available from standard Smartsheet backups.

Archive Component

Drain your Backup Pool automatically to a file-store residing outside Smartsheet.

Export Component

On-demand or scheduled securing of all or individual sheets to a file-store residing outside Smartsheet. Ideal for DRP.

Summary

Table with latest stable release features are shown. Terms and conditions apply.
Use Limits and Restrictions:
Capability
Starter
Business
Enterprise
# of Lic Users
1
2-5
Varies
Instances
Single
Single
Single or Multiple
Access to Smartsheet data
User API Token
User API Token
Sysadmin Token
User Provisioning
Manual
Manual
Automatic
Backup Vault Provisioning
Manual
Manual
Automatic
User defined queues for Export
No
No
Yes
Backups
Type of
Full or Incremental
Full or Incremental
Full or Incremental
Included
Sheets, Dashboards, Reports
Sheets, Dashboards, Reports
Sheets, Dashboards, Reports
# of Sheets
3
250 each
Unlimited
# of Attachments per sheet
10 per sheet
10 per sheet
Unlimited, Admin can set soft limits
# of Dashboards per User
0
100 (most recent)
100 (most recent)
exact copy
exact copy
exact copy
Archives
excel + data
excel + data
excel + data
Exports
Type of
Full, Incremental, Specific
Full, Incremental, Specific
Full, Incremental, Specific
Included
Sheets, Reports
Sheets, Reports
Sheets, Reports
zip file
zip file
zip file

Backup

Tip
Backup refers to the copying of a Smartsheet object from your Home/Workspace/Folder to a designated Workspace within Smartsheet called the Backup Vault so that it may be used to restore the original in the event of data loss or data corruption.

What can be backed up to the Vault?

  1. 1.
    Sheets
  2. 2.
    Dashboards
  3. 3.
    Folders (Reports)
Due to Smartsheet API constraints, backup of all Smartsheet objects in a consistent way is not possible.
Sheets and Dashboards are handled in the same way and can be backed up incrementally. Reports are not 'copy-able' nor contain a last-changed date and therefore can only be backed up via a folder arrangement. This way Reports or anything else included in designated folders can be earmarked for backup. The latter can only be performed via the "Specific" Backup option.

Which sheets are backed up to the Vault?

SmartBackup will automatically determine which Sheets or Dashboards to backup in ALL or INCREMENTAL mode. INCREMENTAL is based on the last modification date for every sheet or dashboard you own. By default a backup run will include all sheets modified in the last 5 days and up to 100 of the most recently changed Dashboards. This Incremental period can be adjusted based on your needs. Refer to the Administrator Guide for details.
In SPECIFIC mode you need to tell SmartBackup which sheets, dashboards or folders to include in the Backup run.

How many sheets will be backed up during a backup run?

The scope of sheets changed within the 5 day period (or period chosen) will determine the actual number of sheets backed-up.
Consideration
Starter
Business
Enterprise
Scope
All Owned Sheets will be considered for the User
All Owned Sheets will be considered for each User
All Owned Sheets will be considered for Account
Backup
Will only backup the first 3 sheets meeting set criteria
Will backup all sheets meeting set criteria for each User (Up to a soft limit of 250 Sheets per User)
Will backup all sheets meeting set criteria for Account
To exclude certain sheets from being backed-up one can rename those Sheets starting with zz2. For example, if you have a sheet called “Campaign Plan”, then simply rename that sheet to “zz2.Campaign Plan”, and then it will not be included in future backups.

What is included for every backed up sheet?

All sheets backed up will be an exact copy of the original including the following:
Feature
Starter
Business
Enterprise
Data
✔️
✔️
✔️
Formulas
✔️
✔️
✔️
Formatting
✔️
✔️
✔️
Attachments**
✔️
✔️
Cell-Links**
✔️
✔️
Discussion / Comments
✔️
✔️
✔️
Shared Filters
✔️
✔️
Forms
✔️
✔️
Automation Rules**
✔️
✔️
Shares**
✔️
✔️
** The SmartBackup Administrator can turn these options ON or OFF by editing the config.yml file. NOTE: Cell history is not backed-up.
NOTE: If Smartsheet Legacy Resource Management is enabled in a source Sheet, resource allocations in all backup copies of that Sheet will be included in the Legacy Resource Management reports. This will result in invalid resource utilization data. Instead, if you need a robust resource management solution then consider using Resource Management by Smartsheet.

What format is the backup sheet?

The backup sheet is the same format as the original Sheet, and it is saved in the User's Smartsheet environment.
For every Backup run, a folder named zz2.YYYY_MM_DD_HHMM_userid will be created within the designated Backup Vault (Smartsheet Workspace) and all the sheets and dashboards meeting the backup criteria for a particular User will be saved within that "Vault" workspace.
Sheets and Dashboards in the Vault will be prefixed with an id of zz2. followed by the original name. The reason for renaming this way is so that they can be recognized as backup copies and to help with identifying the backup copies when searching for Sheets and Dashboards. This also allows SmartBackup to identify the backup copies so that it does not create backups of the backup copies.
The SmartBackup Administrator can optionally decide to add the SheetID to the backup copy name, therefore it becomes zz2.1234567890123456.name by turning on addsheetid. NOTE: The name will be truncated to fit into the Smartsheet max size of 50 characters.

Optional Parameters

The following optional parameters can be supplied when you invoke Backup.
These optional parameters may be combined together.
For example: backup.exe -d=3 -i=incremental -q=FinDept will find all sheets and dashboards that have changed in the last 3 days and where the User is assigned to a Queue called "FinDept" and will create backup copies of those assets and save them to the User's vault workspace.
Parameter
Meaning
Example
-d or --days
Backup all Sheets and Dashboards that have changed within the last days period.
backup.exe -d=60
-i or --include
Followed by any of these keywords: all outline specific incremental. The default if no optional parameter supplied is -i=specific
backup.exe -i=incremental
all
Backup everything in each User's Smartsheet account. NOTE: Use this with caution, as it can result in a very large data transfer, with associated timeout errors, and it will result in creating a complete copy of your entire Smartsheet deployment. Contact AcuWorkflow if you have a need to perform this type of extensive backup operation.
backup.exe -i=all
specific
backup specific named sheets, reports or folders. Specify the items via Settings.
backup.exe -i=specific
incremental
backup sheets and dashboards based on last changed date. Must be used in combination with the -d parameter.
backup.exe -i=incremental -d=5
-q or --queue
queue name. When supplied only members with same queue name can be processed separately and/or in parallel.
backup.exe -q=FinDept
-l or --log
Optionally set logging level = debug, info, warning.
backup.exe -l=warning
For Logging, a rotational Log file called Backup_logx.log will be created in the ..\data directory with timestamped entries. If you encounter an error, you can review this log file for error details.

Archive

Tip
Archive refers to the archiving (copying or moving) of a backed up sheet from your Vault to a designated local drive. Optionally, the SmartBackup Admin can specify that the Vaulted (backup copy) be removed during this process by setting the flag. See Administrator Guide Settings for details.

Which sheets are archived from the Vault?

SmartBackup will automatically determine which sheets to archive. It is based on the last backup date for every sheet in the Vault. By default, an archive run will archive all sheets that were backed-up more than 5 days ago. This period can be adjusted based on your needs.

How many sheets will be archived during a archive run?

The scope of sheets changed within the 5 day period (or period chosen) will determine the actual number of sheets archived.
Consideration
Starter
Business
Enterprise
Scope
Function not available
All Vaulted (backed up) Sheets will be considered for each User
All Vaulted (backed up) Sheets will be considered for Account
Archive
Function not available
Will archive all sheets meeting set criteria for each User
Will archive all sheets meeting set criteria for Account

What is included for every archive sheet?

All sheets archived are different to the original format. Mainly due to the fact that it is re-instantiated outside the Smartsheet environment as an Excel file. Therefore most Smartsheet features cannot be archived, in part due to Excel incompatibilities and what is available in the Smartsheet API.
Consider these Archived copies as a "third level" backup copy that contains the minimum amount of data for backed-up sheets.
Feature
Business
Enterprise
Data
✔️
✔️
Formulas
Formatting
🔲
🔲
Attachments
Cell-Links
Discussion / Comments
✔️
✔️
Shared Filters
Forms
Automation Rules
Shares
🔲 Some formats will be arranged within the Excel sheet.

What format is the archive sheet?

The archive sheet is an Excel XLSX file.
For every Archive run a folder zz3.YYYY_MM_DD_HHMM_userid will be created within the designated Archive Pool (filestore) and all the sheets meeting archive criteria for a particular User will be saved within that folder.
Sheets within the folder will be prefixed with an id of zz3. followed with 100 step up number, followed by the original name. The reason for renaming these files so that they can be recognized as archive copies and the step-up number ensures unique sheet names on the file system (within Smartsheet one can have duplicate sheet names). Same file names are not allowed in file systems within a single folder and therefore must be unique.
The following optional parameters can be supplied when you invoke the Archive function.

Optional Parameters

The following optional parameters can be supplied when you invoke Archive
Parameter
Meaning
Example
-a or --archive
Archive all Sheets successfully backed up to the Vault so many days or more ago.
archive.exe -a=60
-q or --queue
queue name. When supplied only members with same queue name can be processed separately and/or in parallel.
archive.exe -q=FinDept
These optional parameters may be combined together.
For example: archive.exe -a=60 -q=FinDept will find all folders and sheets in the Vault workspace that are older than 60 days and where the User is assigned to a Queue called "FinDept" and will create external Excel-format archive copies of those sheets and save them to the Archive location on the server as defined in the SmartBackup Console.
The SmartBackup Administrator can optionally set flag to remove the associated Backup copies from the Vault on successful archiving those files to disk. See the Administrator Guide for details.

Export

Tip
Export refers to the copying of a Smartsheet sheet from Smartsheet to a designated local drive. It is ideal for creating regular copies of your data for snapshot and history purposes. The major differences between Backup and Export are that Backup duplicates the Sheet within Smartsheet whereas Export makes a copy of the Sheet and saves it to an external file store outside of Smartsheet. Therefore, the first is an exact copy preserving all information, whereas the latter may lose some Smartsheet specific details.

Which Sheets are Exported from Smartsheet?

SmartBackup will automatically determine which sheets to export or you can manually specify which sheets to include in each Export run. The options are:
Option
Description
specific
This option requires you to specify the id of the Sheet or Report to export. Using this method you may export individual Sheets or Reports.
all
This option will automatically Export all Sheets except Backup Vault contents. In the latter case the folder structures will be exported.
incremental
This option will export only sheets that were modified within the last x days. The number of days must be indicated with the -d=x option.
outline
This option will only export the Workspace and folder structures for each User.

How many sheets will be exported during an Export run?

The scope of sheets changed within the 5 day period (or period chosen) will determine the actual number of sheets exported, when using the incremental option.
Consideration
Starter
Business
Enterprise
Scope
All Sheets will be considered for the User
All Sheets will be considered for each User
All Sheets will be considered for Account
Export
Restricted to 3 Sheets with 3 attachments each
Unlimited Sheets, no more than 10 attachments each
Unlimited Sheets, unlimited attachments, but Administrator can set soft limits

What is included for every Export sheet?

All sheets exported are different to the original format in Smartsheet. This is mainly due to the fact that each sheet is re-instantiated outside Smartsheet environment as an Excel file. Therefore some Smartsheet features cannot be exported, in part due to Excel incompatibilities and what is available in the Smartsheet API.
Note that these exported copies are more comprehensive than the archive copies, and because of the unique "packing note" files that accompany each exported copy, offer the richest possible externally saved backup copies available on the market today.
Feature
Starter
Business
Enterprise
Data
✔️
✔️
✔️
Formulas
🔲
🔲
🔲
Formatting
🔲
🔲
🔲
Attachments
✔️
✔️
✔️
Cell-Links
🔲
🔲
🔲
Discussion / Comments
✔️
✔️
✔️
Shared Filters
Forms
🔲
🔲
🔲
Automation Rules
🔲
🔲
🔲
Shares
🔲 Supplied in Packing Notes files, which are .txt files included in each ZIP export. These require some detailed review when you want to use the data for restore operations. This feature is unique to SmartBackup and should be considered as a very high value feature - not available in any other solution. For example, this Packing Note data can be used to restore Formulas, Drop Down lists, Formatting, Rules, and Attachments for a User or for the organization.

What format is the Export sheet?

The export sheet is an Excel XLSX file contained within a zipped file structure. It will contain multiple folders depending on what is present. For example images and pdf attachments.
  1. 1.
    XLSX file (containing all sheet data)
  2. 2.
    Packing Notes, json based files
    • Sheet_Packingnote (always)
    • Rule_Packingnote (if rules was present in sheet)
    • Attachments_Packingnote (if attachments were present in the sheet)
  3. 3.
    Attachments sub folder
    • Attachments (if attachments were present in the sheet)
A Summary file SUMMARY.xlsx will also be created in the root folder of every user run, containing a list of exported files for the run.

Where are Exports located?

All exports will reside under the path name specified in Export Settings Path. or every Export run a hierarchical folder structure starting with Username then YYYY_MM_DD then RecoveryPointHH_MM will be created.
In the event that a duplicate sheet name is detected in the same export folder, it will be renamed as originalname_HHMM_SS_TTTTTT.zip
If a duplicate Workspace name or any duplicate Folder names within same child-folder are detected, a warning will be displayed and export operations will stop for the User being processed. The reason is that file systems do not allow duplicate folder tree arrangements since it acts as a path.

Optional Parameters

The following optional parameters can be supplied when you invoke Export.
Parameter
Meaning
Example
-d or --days
Export all Sheets changed within the last days period.
export.exe -d=60
-i or --include
Followed by any of these keywords: all outline specific incremental The default if no optional parameter supplied is -i=specific
export.exe -i=incremental
all
export everything in the User space and maintain the tree folder hierarchy. Ideal for a DRP recovery point. NOTE: Use this with caution, as it can result in a very large data transfer, with associated timeout errors. Contact AcuWorkflow if you have a need to perform this type of extensive export operation.
export.exe -i=all
outline
export only the Tree folder hierarchy.
export.exe -i=outline
specific
export specific named sheets or reports.
export.exe -i=specific
incremental
export sheets based on last changed date. Must be used in combination with the -d parameter.
export.exe -i=incremental -d=5
-q or --queue
queue name. When supplied only members with same queue name can be processed separately and/or in parallel.
export.exe -q=FinDept
-l or --log
Turn logging on with level = debug, info, warning
export.exe -l=warning
These optional parameters may be combined together.
For example: export.exe -d=3 -i=incremental -q=FinDept will find all sheets that have changed in the last 3 days and where the User is assigned to a Queue called "FinDept" and will create Export copies of those assets and save them to the Export location on the server as defined in the SmartBackup Console.