MAY 2009


IN THIS ISSUE

ASI Mobile 3.0 to be Featured at PRISM Tradeshow

FREE ASI Mobile 3.0 Online Demo Available

Tech Support at Your Fingertips

SQL Server Database Backups - Are You Covered?


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Tana's Tech Tip

Tracking Made Easy
with VCK
Having trouble locating a box or file?  VCK's "Special Urgent Notification" (SUN) can be used when you want to track the scan activity of a box, file, or location.  When the item is entered in SUN and then scanned, VCK will display a notification on the screen and the activity will be tracked in the SUN list.


Register for ASI WebShare Webinars

WebShare provides ASI Users with online webinar training sessions including step-by-step instruction and review of neat features offered by ASI's many records and information management software solutions. Visit our Online Learning Center for details of upcoming WebShare webinar learning opportunities!


Are you using
ASI Mobile Yet?

Email to find out how you can benefit from arming your drivers with technology. 

Sales@AndrewsSoftware.com

 


Useful Links

ASI Learning Center
Here you can view all ASI product help manuals.


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Have an issue you need assistance with? Get help today by visiting our online Support Center with FAQs and more. Don't see an answer to your problem? Create a support trouble ticket. One of our support staff will respond within 24 hours, plus you can view the status of your support question at any time simply by logging in!


Upcoming Events

PRISM Int'l Conference
May 6-9, 2009
Daytona Beach, Florida
Booth #500


THE 411 ON ASI

Please send any payments, hardware and other correspondence to:

Andrews Software, Inc.
6900 W. Snowville Road
Cleveland, OH 44141

Toll-Free: 800-807-2093
(North America)
Phone: 440-546-9771
Fax: 440-627-2089

www.AndrewsSoftware.com
www.InfoKeeper.com

ASI Mobile 3.0 to be Featured at PRISM International Tradeshow
Scott Bidwell, President/COO

Like many of you, we're excited to be heading to Daytona Beach next week for the PRISM Annual Conference and Tradeshow. It's great to connect with our customers and colleagues to share ideas in a relaxing location. We're also excited to have the opportunity to talk about our RIM software solutions, such as, VCK-SQL, Veri-Shred and especially our newest application - ASI Mobile 3.0. Utilizing the latest SQL and .NET server technology, ASI Mobile 3.0 is exceptionally easy to use and loaded with tools to make day-to-day operations run smoothly.

Be sure to visit us at booth #500 for a demonstration of this application or any of our other software solutions for records centers, media vaults and shredding operations. If you're unable to attend the conference, or miss a demo while there, be sure to sign up for our FREE WebShare webinar May 12th.

See you in Daytona!

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FREE ASI Mobile 3.0 Online Demo Available
Tana Schaad, Customer Support Specialist

Sign up today for ASI's FREE online demo of its most advanced and newest software solution for the shredding industry - ASI Mobile 3.0. Two one-hour instructional webinars will be offered on May 12th at 11am EST and 2pm EST. Normally priced at $49 per connection, this is a great opportunity to see the benefits offered by this wireless network solution.

Visit our Online Learning Center for details of this and other upcoming WebShare webinar learning opportunities!

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Tech Support at Your Fingertips

Have you checked out ASI's support resources lately? Many users are finding access to common support questions simply by logging onto the Support Area of the ASI website. Here, you can access the Knowledge and conduct a keyword search for anwers to your support issue. This is also where you'll find release notes, product updates, and lots of useful info related to better utilizing your ASI solutions. If you aren't finding the information you require, it's easy to submit your question and track its progress with our support center online.

Of course, technical support is available 24/7, 365 days a year. During normal business hours, which are 8:00am to 5:00pm EST, users can reach an ASI Technical Support Team member directly by calling or emailing:

Toll-free: 800-807-2093 ( North America only)
Phone: 440-546-9771
Email: support@andrewssoftware.com

Emergency Support
It is also critical that our customer have access to emergency support. Support calls placed during non-business hours will be returned within one hour. You'll find full details on our Emergency Support Procedures on the Support home page the ASI website.

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SQL Server Database Backups - Are You Covered?
Kevin Baird, ASI Systems Administrator

A proper data backup plan is like an insurance policy for your company’s information and thus, its well-being. The better the plan and its execution, the more secure the data and the future health of your business. With the increased use of SQL server databases, it is important to take stock of your backup programs and procedures since the program you use to back up your data may not be sufficient to back up SQL databases.

Historically, the way a backup application works is by making a copy of the file and storing it in a compressed state to a backup tape or other removable medium. Most backup programs can only read the data on your computer’s hard drive when it isn’t in use by another program. In most cases, if the file is in use, the backup program will skip it and attempt to back it up later in its cycle. If it can’t back up the file, it will fail and produce a report saying that the file was being used exclusively and it couldn’t be opened. Generally this isn’t a big problem because most people run their backups in the evening after-hours when most programs aren’t in use. However, if you have a program that always holds onto a file, regardless of time of day, securing a proper backup requires specific considerations and software functionality.

As backup software has become more advanced, many will now try and back up a file that is opened by another program. This is generally effective if the file is one that doesn’t get changed very often and/or isn’t very large. If the backup program only takes a few seconds to back up the file, it will typically be a complete and perfect copy. However, if the backup program is making a copy and the file does change, it is likely that the backed up file is no good. Some backup software can run a verification test to make sure what was backed up is correct, however in the case of ever-changing data, such as database files, the verification results will almost always be negative.

This is the case with SQL databases, which are very large, and extremely dynamic. They change often and are constantly in use by SQL Server. For example, in the case of ASI’s VCK-SQL records center software, even when you are not in the VCK-SQL application, the SQL application itself may be optimizing the data within your database for performance reasons. Therefore, because of the size of the data and the nature of it always changing, the typical backup program is not capable of making a good backup of your data. The net result is that, in the event of a minor or major emergency situation, you may not be able to properly restore your data.

To avoid SQL database backup issues and ensure your data is easily retrieved in the event of a disaster, it is imperative that you only use a backup program that is SQL aware. There are a variety of SQL-aware programs available. If you own a standard or better version of Microsoft’s SQL, there is a backup option within the Management Studio. However this feature does not exist in the Express (Free) version of MS-SQL, and so may not be an option if you aren’t running the larger version of SQL. At ASI, we use a backup application known as ArcServe. ArcServe has an additional add-on named SQL Agent which assists in the backup of SQL databases. It works in tandem with SQL Server to make a complete backup of the data without interrupting SQL.

The complexities of setting up an SQL backup are many, but manageable. SQL databases are secure, and knowledge of your network security and SQL security setup are necessary to configure a proper SQL backup. Each operation is different and has a different setup with different needs. This is why we suggest that you consult with an experienced IT Database Administrator (consultant, onsite IT or otherwise) to make sure your backup strategy is sufficient and that you have the ability to perform a proper restore in the event of a man-made or natural disaster. The backup is a critical component of your operation, and making sure it is set up and operating flawlessly and with the proper rights and security is imperative to guard against data loss. Like an insurance policy, you hope you never need to engage your backup plan. Should circumstances require that you do, however, it’s good to know you’re protected.

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