A few possible improvements

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Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:27 pm

A few possible improvements

Post by tranglos »

Just a few suggestions for improvements coming from almost 4 years of using Backup4All daily...

1. The left-hand pane with the list of groups and backups cannot be navigated by keyboard. It seems very strange that the control does not respond to keyboard input at all (arrow keys, etc).

2. In general, keyboard support across the whole program is relatively weak. Many controls in dialog boxes do not have keyboard accelerators (underlined letters for fast Alt+letter access). This isn't consistent in the program - some controls have the accelerators, but most do not. It really slows down the configuration process having to switch between keyboard and mouse all the time.

3. The log file is quite hard to read. The single major reason to look at the log file at all is to find the mentions of any warnings and errors, but Backup4All structures the log files in such a way that this important information is kept near the end of the file, and interspersed with many other messages. Ideally, it would be great to have a dedicated log viewer pane, where one could filter and show only errors and warnings, perhaps color-coded for better visibility. Or, perhaps a simpler solution, could be to display any errors and warnings from the most recent job in the "Brief" view. I realize the log is shown in the Summary view, but this is exactly the form in which it's very hard to find the most important information - or even to tell if there were any errors or warnings in the first place.

4. It would be useful to provide a rough estimate of the time left to complete a running backup job. It's not critical, but would be nice to have a ballpark number of minutes/seconds remaining.

5. When using the "tree" view in the backup jobs pane, I can right-click a group and select "Backup (name) Group". However, the "Backup" button on the toolbar is disabled when a group is selected. It would help to enable the Backup button for groups as well.

6. When backing up a group, it would be good to run the jobs either in alphabetical order or (even better) in the order in which they are displayed in the list. Currently the jobs seems to be executed either in random order, or perhaps in the order in which they were created, I'm not sure - but this isn't very helpful. A specific order would be useful in two ways: first, if the jobs were ran alphabetically, it would be easier to monitor the progress. Currently I cannot tell how many jobs have been completed and how many are still to run (I have a group with almost 20 jobs that together take about about half an hour to run, so monitoring progress of the group is useful to me). It might also be useful to have a separate progress bar for the whole group. Secondly, if the jobs ran in a user-defined order, it could be used to design the backup strategy. For example, I mirror certain folders to a secondary local drive (my backup archive), and then mirror that backup archive to an external drive. That operation must be done last, so currently I have to schedule it separately from the group of jobs that do the initial backup.

Adrian (Softland)
Posts: 1936
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:46 pm

Re: A few possible improvements

Post by Adrian (Softland) »


Thanks for your suggestions.
We added them to our Wishlist.

About the remaining time on (4), that is not possible as it is hard to tell how much time the compression will take and also the upload of zip file to backup destination.

At (5): the Backup button from toolbar is related to backup jobs only. We will think about how to improve that without creating confusions.
Do you know you can monitor your backups remotely with Backup4all Monitor? You can read more here: https://www.backup4all.com/backup4all-monitor.html

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