Backup and Recovery

Top 5 Questions About Dataverse Backups, Answered

Alan Garcia
Principal Solution Engineer at OwnBackup
April 4, 2023

Microsoft does a good job (arguably the best in the industry) at providing visibility and access to backup features and tools for the cloud applications they sell. And as the world commences with the loving bear hug we are giving to low-code/no-code application development (aka Power Platform), we are starting to hear more demand for non-functional requirements in backup and recovery.

As a result, I have compiled the top five questions Dataverse customers (Dynamics 365 CE and Power Apps) have been asking about what Microsoft is already providing in the Power Platform Admin Center for backup and recovery.

1) Can I restore my production database at will?

Answer: No. Production environments are protected from disruption by being forcibly filtered out from the restore UI in PPAC. Customers can, however, restore to a Sandbox environment, then promote it to production. Meaning, you can demote your prod environment to a sandbox state (forcing all users to get kicked out when it goes into admin mode), then promote the sandbox back into a prod environment type (which then sets it back to admin mode again). However, be prepared for many hours of waiting and manually monitoring for the backup restore jobs to complete.

2) How far back can I ask for a database to be restored?

Answer: Production environments will store daily full backups for 28 calendar days. Sandbox environments will store for 7 days. If you are using Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse, the analytics data will store according to the retention policies you maintain in your Azure tenant. - Because it is a consumption-based licensing cost though, storage costs will balloon over time.

3) What happens if I temporarily change a prod database to a sandbox database?

Answer: The backup retention policy changes from 28 days to 7 days, so 21 days of backups will purge without the ability to recover them.

4) Can I query a backup before restoring it?

Answer: No. The only way to query against a Dataverse backup is to restore it to an active environment in the same tenant. Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse was built to help with analytics of databases but it will require some effort to build the queries and reports, so there is no native "Advanced Find" option like there is in the native UI.

5) Can I restore the results of a query, a table, select row(s), or select field(s)?

Answer: No. The only option for native PPAC database restoration is to restore the entire database. This includes both data and metadata, so best practices dictate to re-release all sequences of versions for metadata from the date of the restoration moving forward to the date of the restore event.

So there you have it, five great questions to ask yourself and your database team when it comes to your backup and recovery posture with your Dataverse environments!

Interested in learning more? Find out how to streamline efficient Dynamics 365 and Power Platform backups and restores with OwnBackup today.

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