CA Tuesday Tip: APM CE Backup, Config and Business Transaction Export

Discussion created by Hallett_German Employee on Oct 6, 2012
Latest reply on Oct 8, 2012 by MaryGreening
CA Wily Tuesday Tip by Hallett German, Sr. Support Engineer for 10/6/2012

Once a month a ticket is opened. "My APM database had issues and I lost my definitions -- What are my options?"

To answer this question, it is helpful to take a step back in time and review the history of APM CE Backup and Export.

CEM pretty much always had a backup command. It was accessible from the UNIX Console and could be modified to send to another file location or to use a third-party backup. Then in CEM 3.3, a GUI interface was added for backup and also for Configuration Export/Import. Only by receiving an email could one tell if the backup/restore or configuration export is completed.

So what were the differences between these two features? Backup was automatically done each day at 3 AM. It used a compressed ddbackup format. It would include everything CEM related -- Configuration, definition and statistics. The Configuration export was only created manually and did not have an automatic option. It used an unpublished xml format which produced large files. The difference from backup was that it included the configuration and definitions -- but not statistics. Note that neither option backed up and restored the operating system.

Both options would wipe out the existing configuration if restored/imported. This was not helpful for those administrators that just wanted one definition that wanted to keep the existing configuration and statistics. In CEM 4.1, a new option -- business transaction import/export became available. This allowed one to bring in just the needed definitions without wiping out an existing CEM setup. The import/export file used a different unpublished XML uncompressed file format. This useful feature has some quirks -- 1) It can only be run manually and not automatically. 2)If doing each business process/service, one had to go into each business transaction to export. 3) One had to create the Application/Business Application and Business Process/Business Service BEFORE importing teh business transaction. And 4) If the export/backup was corrupt, there was no repair utility.

Let's move ahead to APM 9. The CEM database was renamed to the APM database to reflect its new functionality (of storing triage maps). All three options are still available. However, the GUI option was no longer available for backup/restore and configuration export/import -- only the command line. And backups were no longer automatically done -- it was now the Administrator's responsibility to add backup to the job scheduler. Also at present time, APM backup is for Postgres not Oracle only. (Please see the Oracle Tech Note/Tuesday Tip for Oracle Backup options).

One question that I was often asked was "which of the three options should I use?" I would always say - "For greatest flexibility, use all three. That way you have multiple options at the time of restore and import. This is particularly useful for upgrades, migrations, and maintaining definitions in multiple environments. And then I'd launch into "the talk" which was the abbreviated version of the above.

So let's get back to the original question:
"My APM database had issues and I lost my definitions -- What are my options?"

If this is the case and one has not implemented any of the three options, then your choices are
1) Recreate the definitions from any appropriate recordings
2) Use Script/Advanced Recorder or Transaction Discovery to re-record the definitions
3) Manually recreate the definitions. However by doing this, you are likely to have a minimum of transaction components and not capture the complete customer experience.

These are the discussion questions for this article:
1. Do you have an automatic backup scheduled for APM database? How often is it scheduled?
2. Are you using third party tools to backup APM ?
3. If you are not backing up, which restore option will you use?