Open IP Office Backup files – Part 1

In most of my posts I try to have a look into several problems I faced. This can be errors or vague descriptions. But it can also be challenges, where I have to find my own solutions.

In those posts I try to document, what I learned and I hope that I can offer you some kind of value.

The idea

During my work it has been necessary several times to have a look into different IP Office backups. Either because some config changes had been done by someone else or to reuse special config ideas from one customer on another’s customer’s system. It has always been a challenge to find the correct backup at the correct location.

That is why I had the idea to build a small tool, that searches for IP Office backups below different paths and presents the result in a nice list. From that list it should then be possible to open the backup,directly.

Programming instead of scripting

In the past I solved my programming challenges with Powershell scripts. But this leads into situations, where it gets difficult to have a clean structure in the code. Furthermore the users will get some warnings if a script is shared (even if it is build into EXE files) and it is necessary to make some adjustments. So I decided to switch to Powershell’s bigger brother and write programs in .NET. Or more specifically I use C# to write the code.

Main structure of the Tool

I currently have some ideas, what the tool should do. I will start to create a console application. My plan is to create a graphical user interface for the application, so that it looks nicer and will hopefully be easier to use.

My idea for the tool

  • The configuration should be stored in Windows registry und should be adjustable by the user
  • Search for Manager.exe under it’s default path – if not found, ask to chose the path manually and save it
  • Set paths to search for backups – auto detected and optionally add more manual
  • Search for .cfg and .bak files and present them in a list
  • Offer an optional filter
  • Make found backups selectable
  • Language files DE/EN. Check system language but let it be configurable if wanted
  • Check if the option to save configs automatically in Manager is enabled. If it is not enabled, offer to change that.

Project planning

To plan such – in this case in comparison straightforward – projects, I like to use Meistertask.

With Meistertask I can organize all the parts of the project in various columns. There is a backlog with new ideas, that are planned for a later version. Additionally there is a backlog for the upcoming version – I am looking forward to your ideas. Here I can find the tasks to be done for the next releas.

In the doing column I list the features, I currently work at. And in the done column… the done tasks.

I heard about Meistertask in Thomas Mangold’s Podcast. I got to know and appreciate it. I can recommend you to check Thomas’ (German) Podcast. You can also check his audiobook which will go much deeper.

Is it worth it to follow my project?

Different to my other posts about solving problems, I will not provide you a solution directly so that you will not get any added value immediately. Nevertheless you can follow how I come towards the – hopefully one day – finished program. By sending me comments, you have the opportunity to put in your two cents. You can correct me, if you see errors in my thought. You can also contact me, if you have further ideas, what I should add to the tool.

I’m looking forward to your feedback. So please send me comments like crazy. At the end you will have added value again, when I provide you the finished tool that will hopefully filled up with your ideas.

Even for me it is something new, because I solved anything for myself, before I asked someone else for his opinion. This time I want to work transparently and looking interesting forward to your opinion.

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If you need further help with IP Office you can contact me through my main website: https://www.fwilke.com/home

Open IP Office backup files – Part 2 >>

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