Surviving that OMG moment

Well you’ve really put your foot in it this time, you’ve just accidentally deleted the record of your most valuable client. Panic sets in as you work out how to explain that massive multi-million dollar hole in the budget where that client’s revenue used to be. The CEO is not going to be happy about this.

First of all let’s just take a step back and relax a little. Often the delete button is not as permanent as you might think.

Permanently deleting a record from a database is surprisingly difficult for a database designer do to. It often requires far more coding and configuration effort than any other type of record management. It is a common technique for database developers to simply “hide” deleted records so that they don’t show up on searches. This means that whilst to the users of the database the record will look like its deleted, a database administrator (or DBA) will be able to find the record and restore it without even thinking about the backup tapes.

The second type of delete is sometimes called a purge. It is a much more permanent delete than the first in that the record is removed completely. This can be much more difficult to restore and would require the DBA to restore data from your backup tapes.

This is when a support agreement will really pay off, as the software designers DBA is usually able to restore everything from backup’s regardless of how large or complex the clients details where.

This week, have a look at what software you are using and ensure you have appropriate support coverage for that. Also double check that your IT department is doing appropriate backups of your main databases. Databases can be more difficult to back up than normal files, so it may even be an idea to ask your IT provider to provide proof that they can restore your database from last night’s backups. It may be the thing which saves that multi-million dollar client’s records

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