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How to recover deleted data - agileChilli

Firstly, there are many measures in place to reduce the likelyhood and impact of any data loss, from the general measures explained in the  data protection page to organisation and individual user settings.

However, don’t panic if you do manage to overwrite or delete data and want to get it back. Just follow the steps below.



Preventative measures

It’s a good idea to ensure any relevant measures from the below are in place whenever a new system is set up or a new user added.

Roles and privileges

A comprehensive roles and privileges system ensures that only the people who should  have access to change a particular type of information do. Other users can be set to read-only, or no access at all. Privileges can be set on a per-table basis.

Row level access

Even if a user has access to edit data from a particular table, you may only want them to see a subset e.g. sales opportunities they own. An administrator can set that up

Record level locking

You may only want records to be available to be edited for a certain amount of time, e.g. sales orders might be editable before dispatch but not after.

Field level locking

Certain fields may be very important for example product codes. An extra level of protection can be added to those to lock them against accidental edits, requiring a ‘reason for changing’ to be entered to unlock, which is logged with username and timestamp.

Customisable logout time

Each user can choose a period of time after which the system will automatically log them out if they’re inactive. Choosing a low number like 5 minutes can protect against e.g. leaving their laptop open whilst away at lunch.

Dependency rules

Data is often, even usually related to other data in the system. For example, there’s a link between a contact and the organisation they belong to. 

When a user tries to delete a record such as an organisation that has linked contacts, the system can prevent that, allow it (removing linked items as well) or remove only the main organisation record, leaving contacts in place but removing their links to the organisation. Prevention is the default, forcing the user to manually delete each dependency first.

These rules can be set individually for each type of data by an administrator

Retrieval mechanisms

Depending on the quantity of data overwritten or deleted, there are a number of steps you can take.

Data in a field deleted or overwritten

The record history feature can be used. Just scroll to the bottom of the screen when editing the record, click ‘history’ and you’ll see a list of all changes, when they were made, who made them and what the previous data was. Simply copy and paste that back into the relevant field

A record is deleted

An administrator can download the recent history of all changes in the system to a spreadsheet. It will show data removed in any record deletion, though not necessarily linked records – you can search the spreadsheet for edits to those records or see below

Restore from backup

Full backups are made daily, weekly and monthly. Whilst we’re not able to just restore a snapshot from the past with the click of a button (because other data may have changed since it was taken), we can restore it to a separate location that can be perused at leisure.

You can log into this separate instance, export any data necessary and import back into the live system.

There is a small cost associated with restoring the backup to cover the setup of a new temporary server instance.

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