How to Build A Simple Backup Workflow 0

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How to Build A Simple Backup Workflow

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Yesterday I was messing around with Apple Script and I couldn’t for the life of me make a simple work flow that would backup certain files to a network hard drive. Out of frustration I turned to Automator. Realizing what a fool I was I managed to make a simple backup work flow within a couple of minutes, after spending hours in Apple Script. This post is going to show you how to make a simple backup work flow to copy across files to a seperate disk. Although you could use Time Machine this is designed for specific files and if you only want to back up one file.

The idea behind this workflow is to copy a file, folder of selection of files to a destination disk and rename them.

Step 1) Open up Automator in your Applications folder and select a custom workflow.

Step 2) The first workflow to add is the “Get Specified Finder Items” drag and drop this from the Actions > Library > Files & Folders section of Automator. Add the files you want to copy.


Step 3) We now want to copy the file(s) to a selected location. Drag and Drop the “Copy Finder Items” and select a location.


Step 4) We are most of the way there now. All we need to do is rename the Finder item so it has a time and date on it. Use the “Rename Finder Items” block. Change the settings so it adds the current date and appends it to the end of the name. Repeat for the time.


Step 5) The last step is optional. We need to no that the task has been completed. I am going to use the growl notification system. Once as you have installed it, if you havn’t got it already, the growl block should appear in Utilies > Show Growl Notification in Automator. Simply add it and append you mesage in the text box.


You are now done. If you want it to run automatically all you have to do is go File > Save As, give it a name and save it as an application. In iCal make a new calender (so you can hide it) and then enter you event and set it to run your workflow.

Although this is simple it can be customized so it can quickly backup files and folders. It is a hell of a lot quicker than doing it manually. And takes only minutes to code instead of using Apple Script. Although Apple Script has the potential to be more powerful. This is a lot quicker and can be done by anybody.


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