Are you a data pack-rat? Are you experiencing decreasing performance over time in data look-ups, transaction processing, or reporting in your Dynamics GP application? Do you find your backup routines are running longer and longer or that you are constantly running out of hard drive space? If any of this sounds like your system – it may be time to consider archiving some of your Financial Data.
There’s nothing wrong with maintaining multiple years’ worth of financial data in your Dynamics GP system, particularly if you have significant requirements to access older data frequently.
But if your historical data look-ups, transaction inquiries, or your report processing tasks are taking longer and longer – then it could be due to the amount of data the system has to wade through to retrieve and process the information you need.
By law you are required to maintain a certain number of years’ worth of data in your financial system. (Check with your auditor for retention periods specific to your company). If you are maintaining more years’ worth of data than you are required to, and your data look-ups or reports are taking increasingly longer to process, you may want to consider removing historical data or ‘archiving’ some of the data.
How To Approach Archiving Your Dynamics GP Data
You could use the data removal facility inside Dynamics GP and specify which cut-off dates and which sub-modules you wish to remove data from. This will decrease the size of your company database and subsequently improve performance to an extent. The downside of this is that once you’ve removed that data – it is forever gone.
If you feel you will still need to access older data from time to time, you can use the above procedure – but before running the removal, create an Archive Company and backup and restore your LIVE Company to this Archive Company (do this on a Fiscal Year Cutoff Date). In this way you would reduce the size of your LIVE Company (and improve performance) and still maintain access to the older data in the Archive Company.
Alternatively, there are add-on products available that can plug into your Dynamics GP environment and provide a more comprehensive Data Archival such as the Company Data Archive tool from Professional Advantage. This would provide more integrated data archival capabilities and allow for subsequent data retrieval. This method also allows for a reduction in size of your LIVE company database and will therefore improve performance.
Technical Considerations for Reducing Your Dynamics GP Database Size
There are some technical considerations that can help reduce the size of your database(s) and will help to improve performance and reduce backup processing and capacity requirements:
- Performing regular file maintenance (through the use of SQL Maintenance Jobs) such as Database Integrity Checks or Database Shrinking.
- Performing a Check links process (through Dynamics GP)
- Adjusting the data recovery method of your databases (i.e. if the recovery method is set as ‘Full’ but there are no scheduled Transaction Log backups – then the overall database size will continue to grow exponentially until it consumes all available hard drive space).
If you find that your Company Database(s) are growing and costing you more time in look-ups, processing power, or seem to be consuming increasing amounts of hard drive space or backup space (you may be maintaining more data than is necessary), then you should consider archiving some of that data and reviewing your database maintenance procedures.
Contact Encore Business Solutions to arrange a review of your Company Database size or data systems architecture and we can assist to reduce the amount of data being maintained, improve performance and reduce costly storage.
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