dump database


Makes a backup copy of the entire database, including the transaction log, in a form that can be read in with load database. Dumps and loads are performed through Backup Server.


dump database database_name
	to [compress::[compression_level::]]stripe_device
		[at backup_server_name]
		[density = density_value, 
		blocksize = number_bytes, 
		capacity = number_kilobytes, 
		dumpvolume = volume_name, 
		file = file_name] 
	[stripe on [compress::[compression_level::]]stripe_device
		[at backup_server_name]
		[density = density_value, 
		blocksize = number_bytes,
		capacity = number_kilobytes, 
		dumpvolume = volume_name,
		file = file_name]] 
	[[stripe on [compress::[compression_level::]]stripe_device
		[at backup_server_name]
		[density = density_value, 
		blocksize = number_bytes,
		capacity = number_kilobytes, 
		dumpvolume = volume_name,
		file = file_name]]...]
	[with { 
		density = density_value, 
		blocksize = number_bytes,
		capacity = number_kilobytes, 
		dumpvolume = volume_name,
		file = file_name,
		[dismount | nodismount],
		[nounload | unload],
		retaindays = number_days,
		[noinit | init],
		notify = {client | operator_console}
		} ] 



is the name of the database from which you are copying data. The database name can be specified as a literal, a local variable, or a stored procedure parameter.


is a number between 0 and 9, with 0 indicating no compression, and 9 providing the highest level of compression. If you do not specify compression_level, the default is 1. See Chapter 27, “Backing Up and Restoring User Databases” in the System Administration Guide for more information about the compress option.

NoteThe compress option works only with local archives; you cannot use the backup_server_name option.

to stripe_device

is the device to which to copy the data. See “Specifying dump devices” in this section for information about what form to use when specifying a dump device.

at backup_server_name

is the name of the Backup Server. Do not specify this parameter when dumping to the default Backup Server. Specify this parameter only when dumping over the network to a remote Backup Server. You can specify as many as 32 remote Backup Servers with this option. When dumping across the network, specify the network name of a remote Backup Server running on the machine to which the dump device is attached. For platforms that use interfaces files, the backup_server_name must appear in the interfaces file.

density = density_value

overrides the default density for a tape device. Valid densities are 800, 1600, 6250, 6666, 10000, and 38000. Not all values are valid for every tape drive; use the correct density for your tape drive.

blocksize = number_bytes

overrides the default block size for a dump device. The block size must be at least one database page (2048 bytes for most systems) and must be an exact multiple of the database page size. For optimal performance, specify the blocksize as a power of 2, for example, 65536, 131072, or 262144.

capacity = number_kilobytes

is the maximum amount of data that the device can write to a single tape volume. The capacity must be at least five database pages and should be less than the recommended capacity for your device.

A general rule for calculating capacity is to use 70 percent of the manufacturer’s maximum capacity for the device, allowing 30 percent for overhead such as inter-record gaps and tape marks. The maximum capacity is the capacity of the device on the drive, not the drive itself. This rule works in most cases, but may not work in all cases due to differences in overhead across vendors and across devices.

On UNIX platforms that cannot reliably detect the end-of-tape marker, indicate how many kilobytes can be dumped to the tape. You must supply a capacity for dump devices specified as a physical path name. If a dump device is specified as a logical device name, the Backup Server uses the size parameter stored in the sysdevices system table unless you specify a capacity.

dumpvolume = volume_name

establishes the name that is assigned to the volume. The maximum length of volume_name is 6 characters. Backup Server writes the volume_name in the ANSI tape label when overwriting an existing dump, dumping to a brand new tape, or dumping to a tape whose contents are not recognizable. The load database command checks the label and generates an error message if the wrong volume is loaded.

WARNING!  Label each tape volume as you create it so that the operator can load the correct tape.

stripe on stripe_device

is an additional dump device. You can use as many as 32 devices, including the device named in the to stripe_device clause. The Backup Server splits the database into approximately equal portions, and sends each portion to a different device. Dumps are made concurrently on all devices, reducing the time required to make a dump and requiring fewer volume changes during the dump. See “Specifying dump devices” for information about how to specify a dump device.

dismount | nodismount

on platforms that support logical dismount, determines whether tapes remain mounted. By default, all tapes used for a dump are dismounted when the dump completes. Use nodismount to keep tapes available for additional dumps or loads.

nounload | unload

determines whether tapes rewind after the dump completes. By default, tapes do not rewind, allowing you to make additional dumps to the same tape volume. Specify unload for the last dump file to be added to a multidump volume. This rewinds and unloads the tape when the dump completes.

retaindays= number_days

on UNIX systems – when dumping to disk, specifies the number of days that Backup Server protects you from overwriting the dump. If you try to overwrite the dump before it expires, Backup Server requests confirmation before overwriting the unexpired volume.

NoteThis option is meaningful only when dumping to a disk. It is not meaningful for tape dumps.

The number_days must be a positive integer or 0, for dumps that you can overwrite immediately. If you do not specify a retaindays value, Backup Server uses the tape retention in days value set by sp_configure.

noinit | init

determines whether to append the dump to existing dump files or reinitialize (overwrite) the tape volume. By default, Adaptive Server appends dumps following the last end-of-tape mark, allowing you to dump additional databases to the same volume. New dumps can be appended only to the last volume of a multivolume dump. Use init for the first database you dump to a tape to overwrite its contents.

Use init when you want Backup Server to store or update tape device characteristics in the tape configuration file. For more information, see the System Administration Guide.

file = file_name

is the name of the dump file. The name cannot exceed 17 characters and must conform to operating system conventions for file names. For more information, see “Dump files”.

notify = {client | operator_console}

overrides the default message destination.

On operating systems that offer an operator terminal feature, volume change messages are always sent to the operator terminal on the machine on which Backup Server is running. Use client to route other Backup Server messages to the terminal session that initiated the dump database.

On operating systems that do not offer an operator terminal feature, such as UNIX, messages are sent to the client that initiated the dump database. Use operator_console to route messages to the terminal on which Backup Server is running.


Example 1

Dumps the database pubs2 to a tape device. If the tape has an ANSI tape label, this command appends this dump to the files already on the tape, since the init option is not specified:

dump database pubs2 
	to "/dev/nrmt0"

Example 2

For UNIX – dumps the pubs2 database, using the REMOTE_BKP_SERVER Backup Server. The command names three dump devices, so the Backup Server dumps approximately one-third of the database to each device. This command appends the dump to existing files on the tapes. On UNIX systems, the retaindays option specifies that the tapes cannot be overwritten for 14 days:

dump database pubs2
	to "/dev/rmt4" at REMOTE_BKP_SERVER
	stripe on "/dev/nrmt5" at REMOTE_BKP_SERVER
	stripe on "/dev/nrmt0" at REMOTE_BKP_SERVER
with retaindays = 14

Example 3

The init option initializes the tape volume, overwriting any existing files:

dump database pubs2
	to "/dev/nrmt0"
	with init

Example 4

Rewinds the dump volumes upon completion of the dump:

dump database pubs2
	to "/dev/nrmt0"
	with unload

Example 5

For UNIX – the notify clause sends Backup Server messages requesting volume changes to the client which initiated the dump request, rather than sending them to the default location, the console of the Backup Server machine:

dump database pubs2
	to "/dev/nrmt0"
	with notify = client

Example 6

Creates a compressed dump of the pubs2 database into a file called dmp090100.dmp using a compression level of 4:

dump database pubs2 to 



Scheduling dumps

Dumping the system databases

Specifying dump devices

Determining tape device characteristics

Backup servers

Dump files

File names and archive names

Volume names

Changing dump volumes

Appending to or overwriting a volume

Dumping from a 32-bit OS to a 64-bit OS

Database dumps from a 32-bit version of Adaptive Server are fully compatible with a 64-bit version of Adaptive Server of the same platform, and vice-versa.

Dumping databases whose devices are mirrored


SQL92 – Compliance level: Transact-SQL extension.


Only the System Administrator, the Database Owner, and users with the Operator role can execute dump database.

See also

Commands dump transaction, load database, load transaction

System procedures sp_addthreshold, sp_addumpdevice, sp_dropdevice, sp_dropthreshold, sp_helpdevice, sp_helpdb, sp_helpthreshold, sp_logdevice, sp_spaceused, sp_volchanged