Background documentationbackup_start Locate this document in the navigation structure


With this command you start backing up the data area or the log area of the database.

After the system has executed this command, information about the backup is output. The information is only given when the backup operation is completed or interrupted. For this reason, the response to this command can take a long time.

You can display the status of the backup operation with the DBM command backup_state.

Note Note

Pay special attention to the Returncode reply field, which contains a numeric value for a message.

End of the note.

If it is clear from the message number that the backup operation was interrupted and not completed, continue the session with a succeeding command (backup_replace, backup_ignore), or terminate it (backup_cancel).


  • You have the server permission Backup.

  • You have opened a database session (see: db_create).

  • If you want to perform an interactive log backup, a complete data backup for the relevant database must have been carried out at least once.


backup_start <medium_name> [<backup_type>] [AUTOIGNORE]





Name of the backup template

When backing up on a group of parallel data carriers, specify the name of the group. (See medium_put, Database Administration, Backup Templates and Data Carriers)


Type of backup

You only need to specify an entry here if you did not specify the backup type when you defined the backup template to be used (template definitions in earlier versions).

Possible values are: DATA | PAGES | LOG

DATA: complete data backup

PAGES: incremental data backupLOG: Interactive log backup

If you do not specify an entry here, the system uses the value which you specified during the definition of the backup template.


This option is only relevant when backing up to a group of parallel data carriers in the background.

You use it to define that the system continues backing up to the remaining data carriers when one of the data carriers is full. This prevents you having to react interactively (see: backup_ignore, Database Administration: Backing Up to a Group of Parallel Data Carriers).

Note Note

Only use this option when you are sure that the complete amount of backup data will fit on the first set of data carriers in the group (i.e. no succeeding data carriers are required).

End of the note.





Values for the Reply Fields






Start time of the backup


Name of the database computer


Name of the database

Kernel Version

Version of the database kernel

Pages Transferred

Number of pages transferred

Pages Left

Number of pages still to be transferred


Number of data carriers used


Name of the backup template


File or device name


Error message text

See also:

Messages documentation


Backup ID

Is Consistent

Only for data backup: Backup is internally consistent

First LOG Page

For data backup: First page of the log backup to be read

For log backup: First page saved in the log area

Last LOG Page

For log backup only: Last page saved in the log area

DB Stamp 1 Date DB Stamp 1 Time

Time stamp for the first page of the log backup

DB Stamp 2 Date DB Stamp 2 Time

Time stamp for the last page of the log backup

Page Count

Total number of pages backed up

Devices Used

Number of backup devices used

Database ID

Database ID used to identify data and log backups that belong together

If an error occurs while you are using a backup tool, you will receive a reply with the following information:

Reply in the Event of an Error




Error Message Number

See: Messages documentation


Description of the error


Cause of error

The following errors may occur:


Error Message Number

Error message text



ERR_TOOLCHK: the external backup tool was not found

The backup tool could not be found or has been installed incorrectly.


ERR_MEDIUMCHK: the medium cannot be used with this external backup tool

The backup template specified cannot be used with this backup tool.


ERR_PREPARE: prepare of the backup operation failed

The preparations required to use the backup tool could not be completed correctly.


ERR_DBREQ: cannot start database kernel request

The database was unable to start the backup.


ERR_TOOLREQ: cannot start external backup tool correctly

The backup tool could not be started correctly.


ERR_OPCHK: cannot check state of backup operation

Unable to check the status of the database or the backup tool.


ERR_POSTOP: cannot finish backup operation correctly

Although the backup was successful, the required post-processing steps could not be performed.


ERR_BACKUPOP: backup operation was unsuccessful

The backup failed due to a problem with the database or with the backup tool.


ERR_CLEANUP: cannot clean up correctly after backup operation

Although the backup was successful, the system resources used during the check could not be released.

More Information

Messages documentation

Database Administration, Backing Up Databases