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An AppleScript GUI app for Mail and Entourage backups Apps
The other day I was sitting in my office waiting on a phone call, and dwelling on my failure to resurrect a user's Entourage folders. So I decided to make a simple little GUI app for everyday users that would automatically back up their Entourage mail folders to a local folder. At that point, I couldn't leave out Mac Mail, as that would be ridiculous, so I included that in the AppleScript application.

When I was almost done with that, I thought, "wouldn't it be cool to tie it into a server to allow network backups?" So I did, though I had to hardcode the username and password. When I was just about finished with that part, I thought, "incremental backups would be a much nicer feature." So I included that as well ... and threw it on both the local and network sides as well.

This happened for a couple days until it got down to 153 lines of code and a completed app that allows for an incremental network and local backup. This does all of these near seemlessly, though there are a few problems I wasn't able to tackle, like getting automated KERBEROS login and Home folders set up on the server.

You can download the project files (124KB), which includes the AppleScript source code, or download the finished application (127KB). Note that network support is nerfed unless it's configured in the project files.

[robg adds: I haven't tested the Entourage or network aspects of this one, but I did use the application to do a local Mail backup, and it seems to have worked just fine. The backups went into a new top-level directory named MailBackup. To change this, you'd have to download the source files, modify the AppleScript code, and then recompile the finished app using Xcode.]
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An AppleScript GUI app for Mail and Entourage backups | 8 comments | Create New Account
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An AppleScript GUI app for Mail and Entourage backups
Authored by: stukoch on Nov 02, '05 08:17:03AM

This is a great little app, thanks!

Some suggestions though...
- Instructions for recovery are needed
- Ability to target backups to a specific directory within the GUI
- I am not sure it this app also backs up attachements, it should state clearly whether it does or does not



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An AppleScript GUI app for Mail and Entourage backups
Authored by: mjar81 on Nov 03, '05 10:41:21AM

First of all, GREAT WORK and a great idea.

Second, i am not the computer administrator (running 10.3.9) and i run the program to only back up Mail and i get this: "AppleScript Error. mv: rename /MailBackup/mrickert/Mail1 to /Mailbackup/mrickert/Mail2: No such file or directory (1)"

Could that error have somethig to do with the fact that i do not have universal write access to the hard drive? If so, maybe i could re-compile the app to store data in the user folder.

Thanks for any input.



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An AppleScript GUI app for Mail and Entourage backups
Authored by: kainewynd2 on Nov 03, '05 11:13:45AM

I think that you've hit it on the head, so to speak. If you don't have access to write to the root directory it will not work correctly. However, my main purpose in putting the backups in the root directory were to get it out of the Users directory in case something ever happened to that whole folder. I imagine if you are able to get write access to another folder that would work great.

However, if that isn't an option, tweaking the code to let it save to the Users directory is a very viable solution.



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An AppleScript GUI app for Mail and Entourage backups
Authored by: mjar81 on Nov 03, '05 01:20:34PM

Thanks for the reply. I'm working on this right now... basically just putting a "~" in front of the save path to reference the user directory. Unfortunately, my dev machine is running xcode 2.1 and tiger and i didn't install the SDK for previous OS X builds so i'm reinstalling Xcode as we speak.

I'll let you know how it turns out!



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An AppleScript GUI app for Mail and Entourage backups
Authored by: kainewynd2 on Nov 04, '05 06:30:06AM

I had major problems getting the ~ to be recognized as a valid applescript shell script usage. That is why I put in the user variable to take it's value from the result of:
[code]
do shell script "echo $USER"
[/code]

This allowed me to point to those absolute paths without ~

Hopefully this helps you in your development.



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An AppleScript GUI app for Mail and Entourage backups
Authored by: patriquen on Nov 04, '05 01:03:59AM

Is it just me that doesn't use Entourage? I don't have it, so I can't use this script to backup Mail, as even with the Entourage box unchecked, the script looks for it ("Where is Microsoft Entourage?") and will not proceed.



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An AppleScript GUI app for Mail and Entourage backups
Authored by: kainewynd2 on Nov 04, '05 06:25:55AM

This is kind of why I added the source code for the project, just in case I forgot to test stuff (which I definitely did). The easiest solution for you would probably be to go into the XCode applescript and comment out all of the Entourage references. If you want to be relatively anal you could also take the Entourage button out of the GUI - then recompile and it should work for you.

I'm going to keep working on this and I might end up posting a new version later on to accomodate some of these bugs you guys are pointing out. Thank you so much for the feedback!



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An AppleScript GUI app for Mail and Entourage backups
Authored by: mjar81 on Nov 04, '05 12:52:16PM

...or just create a folder in your applications folder entourage.app

:)



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