Restoring environments to a point in time in the past

Important

Some of the functionality described in this release plan has not been released. Delivery timelines may change and projected functionality may not be released (see Microsoft policy). Learn more: What's new and planned

Enabled for Public preview General availability
Admins, makers, or analysts, automatically Dec 2020 Feb 2021

Business value

To help protect business continuity, customers can recover their data to a point in time in the past, in case it was damaged as a result of an unintended action by a user or developer.

Feature details

Protecting your business-critical ERP data in Dynamics 365 Business Central environments and providing continuous availability of the service are extremely important to our customers.

In some situations, the data in the production environment can be damaged in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to recover by simply undoing the changes one by one. Such changes are typically introduced unintentionally, as a result of a developer or an application user mistake. To help customers recover their data, we are introducing a new data recovery feature in the Business Central administration center.

All your online environments are backed up. System backups occur continuously by the underlying technology used by the Business Central service: Azure SQL Database. Find the documentation about the Azure SQL Database automatic backups at FAQ for Dynamics 365 Business Central – How often are production databases backed up?.

With this release, Business Central local and delegated administrators (partners) can restore any environment (sandbox and production) to a certain point in time up to 30 days in the past. The restore can be performed within the same Azure Region and the same country (localization). The restore operation permission is granted to admin users, who also have a specific permission set assigned to them within the environment. The log of restore operations will be visible in the Business Central administration center.

In some situations, the users might not know exactly to what date and time they need to restore a specific environment. So before restoring the environment, they'll be able to restore it into another environment first—for example, into a sandbox environment. The admins, with the help of other company users, can then validate the data in the newly created sandbox environment. They can repeat the attempt if they discover that they need an earlier or later point in time. If the data is confirmed to be correct, the admin can then decide to restore the production environment to the same point in time. The number of restore attempts will be limited to 10 attempts per environment/per month.

When restoring a production environment, the admins follow these steps:

  1. Rename the original production environment (for example, MyProdEnv-DONOTUSE).
  2. Do a point-in-time restore of the original environment into a new production environment with the original name (MyProdEnv).

At this point, the admins will have both environments available side-by-side, so they can investigate the data. If needed, they can bring in missing data from one environment to another by using, for example, the RapidStart feature.

The recovery is allowed within a maximum of three immediately preceding versions of Business Central (including minor and major updates), but still within a maximum of 30 days (from the point of the environment creation).

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