Narrative Reporting Snapshot Upload & Restore

Previously, we discussed the process for downloading application snapshots in Narrative Reporting (NR) (go to post).  This is done with the NR File Transfer Utility and either from a command prompt or with a batch script.  Now we will go thru the process of uploading a snapshot and restoring the NR instance with that snapshot. 

If not already installed, please refer to the post on downloads for the steps to install the File Transfer Utility.

Open a command prompt window and change the directory to where eprcsctl.exe is saved.

From this command prompt we can use the NR commands.  A full listing of the File Transfer Utility commands can be found at

Commands can be executed from the command prompt, with batch scripts, or with XML files.  Instructions for the XML files are at the link above, our focus will be on directly entering the commands into the command prompt and with batch scripts.

Using the command “upload_dbsnapshot”, we can execute the snapshot upload from the command prompt.

The upload process can be executed using a batch script.  We have created a simple batch script to do this.

After the snapshot has been uploaded, it needs to be restored to the environment.  Go to Navigator>Daily Maintenance.

Select the option to restore using the backup from the recent upload.  Change the time for the restore if necessary, I changed it to force the restore to happen sooner instead of waiting for the normal daily maintenance time.  I will need to go back and reset the time after the restore is completed.

It may take up to 60 minutes for the restore to process.  The application should now be restored to what it was in the backup snapshot.  If this was a migration of the Test application to Prod (or vice versa), you will need to update the data sources to the appropriate URL since the backup file would have contained the URL of the source application.  Security may also need to be updated.  Also, if you changed the time of the maintenance to process the restore sooner than normally scheduled, be aware that the uploaded file may not process if the time between uploading the file and restore is within an hour. 

As I noted in my earlier post about downloading snapshots, though the Narrative Reporting File Transfer Utility is not as comprehensive as EPM Automate, it is a capable utility, and when integrated into batch scripts can be made more efficient.  EPM Automate is on the roadmap for NR, I do not know when it is expected. 

There is an important deficiency in File Transfer Utility that I want to point out.  There is not a method to use an encrypted password in the command line, either in the command prompt or in a batch script.  This is concerning, especially in a batch script, because the password will be visible.  The utility apparently is encrypting when the login credentials are passed to the web, but users will need to be careful where they save batch scripts so as to not compromise access.  One work around would be to prompt in the script to enter the password, see how I did it in the sample batch script above.

One last note: If the purpose for uploading and restoring a snapshot is to migrate an entire application from Test to Prod (or vice versa), it may be easier and more efficient to export the artifacts from the source environment and import them to the target.   

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