Finance Manual – Backup & Restore

This is part of the manual for the Android Finance Application.

The information shown here is applicable to Finance v2.2.0 onwards.

Finance Backup and Google Drive

The safety of your Finance data is important. Imagine having a problem where the phone needs to be completely wiped and you lose all your data. The time you’ve spent entering transactions into Finance would be wasted and you would have to start all over again.

Because of this, we’ve included an option to copy the Finance Data from your device to a Google Drive account.

We’ve chosen Google Drive because:

  • Most users will have a Google account and thus will have access to Google Drive.
  • The authorisation process to use your Google account is handled by Google Play services and the application does not require you to enter your account password. (i.e. your account is more secure)
  • It offers 15GB of free storage which is more than ample for Finance data backup.
  • It does not require that you install another application to use the backup service. (Note, most people have the Google Play services installed already)

You can read more about Google Drive on the Google Drive home page.

Google Drive Authentication

Finance backup to Google Drive is a one-click process, once the account has been authenticated.

The authentication process itself is straightforward and consists of the Finance application registering an interest to use Google Drive with the Android authentication service. By using this service, the Finance application never gets to know your Google account password and it is limited to accessing the Google Drive services.

The Backup Process

From the main screen, touch the settings icon to be taken to the settings screen, and then touch the backup icon to enter the backup screen, as shown below:

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This screen includes some information on the backup process, with some links to the Google Drive home page and this page.

To start the backup process, touch the Backup Now button.

The first time you start a backup, you will be prompted to choose the Google account you would like to use when backing up.

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Select an account and press OK.

Note, if you do not have the Google Play application installed, you may be asked to install the Google Play services application.

You will now be prompted to authorise the Finance application to use your Google account to backup the Finance Data.

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The authentication screen has two sections:

  1. This section shows details of the application that is requesting to use your account. It will show details for the Finance application.
  2. This section shows details of the Google account and services that the application would like to use. It should show the Google account you selected previously and the Google Drive service details.

Press Allow to allow Finance to access your Google Drive account. Note that Finance cannot backup to Google Drive if you do not authorise the application.

If you have allowed access to Google Drive, then the backup process will start.

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Once the backup has completed, the status will be updated.

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From now on, every backup will be a one-click process.

Reset Backup Account

There is a menu option to reset the backup account. This allows you to change the Google account that you are backing up to.

Accessing your backup file from Google Drive

The files are stored in Google Drive in Google’s internet cloud. You can see the files by accessing the Google Drive site from a browser, or using the Google Drive Android application. Click on the following link to be taken there now https://drive.google.com/#my-drive

Once you are logged in, you will see a web page with the Finance application data safely stored.

If you click on the file name (1), you can see details for the file.

You can also retrieve older versions of the file in case you have made a catastrophic mistake and need to recover a previous version.

Restoring a Backup

The backup can be restored at any time. The easiest way to do this is to install the Google Drive application and select the file to be restored.

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Google drive will download the backup and open the file automatically in Finance. Note, if the ‘zip’ file does not open in Finance, you may need to ‘clear the defaults‘ associated with the program that is opened instead.

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The ‘Restore from Backup’ screen will show a dialog whilst the backup file is validated. No Finance data is being changed whilst validation is in progress.

If the backup file cannot be validated, you will see an error message like the one below. You will not be allowed to restore from an invalid file.

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After validation, you will see comparison information for the current Finance database, on the left, and information from the backup file, on the right. Check this information carefully.

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If you are happy with the information presented, then press the Restore button to begin the restore process.

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Once the database has been restored, you will see a ‘successful restore’ message.

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Note that the original database file is copied locally on the device prior to the restore taking place. The name of the file is shown at the bottom of the screen, see (1) above.

In the event that you have restored the wrong file, you can manually recover this file as described below.

Recovering from a Failed or Incorrect Restore

If you need to recover the database after a failed or incorrect restore you can retrieve the saved file (not the backup file) and manually copy it to the correct location. You will need a file manager application to allow you to view files on the filesystem.

Finance stores the main database and any copies on the SD-Card or external partition. These are commonly located as ‘/mnt/sdcard/data/databases‘ or ‘/storage/emulated/0/data/databases

  1. Exit the Finance application using the back button.
  2. Using the file manager, find the file you want to recover. Each copied database will be named something like ‘softwyer-finance.14631111111111‘. The number is a timestamp and the larger the number the more recent the copy.
  3. Rename or move the existing database ‘/mnt/sdcard/data/databases/softwyer-finance
  4. Rename the copied file, e.g. ‘softwyer-finance.14631111111111‘, to ‘/mnt/sdcard/data/databses/softwyer-finance‘.
  5. Start Finance and check the information menu to see if the data looks ‘correct’

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