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My wish list


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Retrospect has many great features, but after maintaining it in a SMB environment for several years there are a number of areas where I'd like to suggest improvements. The following feature requests, in no particular order, would go a long way towards making Retrospect much more enjoyable to use.


1. Separate the UI process from the backup processes (not just different threads). It doesn't happen frequently, but on fairly regular occasions the UI crashes at unexpected times. When it happens while a backup is running, it usually corrupts a catalog file and sometimes an entire disk backup set. The UI crashes have occurred at different times and were often unrepeatable (opening a help file, saving a selector, reconnecting to the Exchange server, etc.). UI crashes are maybe not completely avoidable, but they shouldn't impact a running backup. While you're at it, make the backup processes run as a Windows service. For now, I try to avoid using the UI while backups are running.


2. Ability to repair a catalog file without removing the backup set from all the scripts. I recently reported this in another thread.


3. Ability to select and forget multiple snapshots at a time in a disk backup set. When a client is renamed or deleted, its last 14 snapshots remain in the backup set forever. Removing them one at a time is very tedious, especially in large backup sets where it takes several minutes for each.


4. Ability to sort by any column in history, sessions, and snapshot lists. Might as well support it in all grid-style lists.


5. Report that shows all volumes sorted by time since last successful backup.


6. Export and import settings to/from user-editable text files. This would be especially useful for scripts and selectors, to make it easier to create, edit, verify, document, and back them up.


7. A single report that shows all settings and configuration data. Similar to #6, it would be very useful for documenting, troubleshooting, and restoring backup settings.


8. When a selector excludes a particular path, completely exclude it. Currently, it seems to scan files and folders under excluded paths and stores them in the catalog, even though they are never backed up. This can greatly increase backup times and the size of the catalog file. We have a folder containing a large number of small files (>1 million) that we back up with other methods, and we'd like Retrospect to simply skip over it.


9. Show backup sizes in bytes (or KB, MB) in History, Sessions, and Snapshots lists. Backup time, performance, and file counts are also useful, but when verifying a script or selector I usually want to see byte counts.



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