Back Up and Export

ThinkUp provides two tools for exporting and restoring your data: Backup and Export.

Back Up and Restore ThinkUp’s Entire Database

ThinkUp provides both a web-based and command line tool for backing up your installation’s data. The best method depends on how large your ThinkUp installation’s database has grown.

Small Databases: Web-Based Backup (Logged-in admin only)

If your ThinkUp installation only has 1 or 2 moderately active social media accounts set up in it, and none of your database tables have more than a half million rows, then you should use the easy web-based backup tool. ThinkUp will let you know if a table is larger than that when you begin the backup process.

To use the web-based backup tool, log into ThinkUp as an administrator. Under Settings>Application, click on the “Backup ThinkUp’s database” link. On the Backup page, click on the “Backup Now” button.

The web based backup tool has two permissions requirements.

  1. Your ThinkUp installation’s database user must have “GRANT FILE ON” permissions
  2. The MySQL user must have write permissions to the data directory (data by default, or defined in‘s $THINKUP_CFG['datadir_path'] value).

If you don’t have those permissions, you can use mysqldump or a tool like phpMyAdmin to back up your database manually.

When running a web-based backup, here’s what to do if you see the error Can’t create/write to file.

Large Databases: Command Line Backup

If your ThinkUp installation has more than 2 very active social media accounts set up, chances are your database tables are large. (We consider a ThinkUp database with any table over half a million rows large.)

Depending on your server speed and utilization, it can take a very long time for database structure updates to complete on very large installations; so the web-based backup tool can time out. To be on the safe side, large installation administrators should use the command line backup tool to avoid potential time-outs.

To use the CLI backup, SSH into your web server and cd into the thinkup/install/cli/ folder. Then, run:

$ php backup.php

This command will back up your current database.

Restore Your ThinkUp Backup

In Settings>Application, you can upload a ThinkUp backup file under the “Restore Your Thinkup Database.” Click on the “Choose File” button to upload your ThinkUp backup file and restore it. This restore operation will overwrite your entire existing database; use with caution.

Export a Single Service User’s Data

If you want to move a single service user’s ThinkUp archive to another ThinkUp installation–if, say, your database has become too big and unwieldy, or a user has set up a new ThinkUp installation and wants to import their existing archive–you can do that.

Under Settings>Application, click on the “Export a single service user’s data” link. Choose a service user to export and click on the “Export User Data” button.

You will download a zip file. Extract it, and refer to the README.txt contained inside that zip file for how to import the data into another ThinkUp installation.

When to Back Up and When to Export

ThinkUp’s Backup tool exports the entire database, including internal database ID’s, to a file. Use the backup tool when you are starting with a completely fresh, new database and want to restore everything: including ThinkUp users, passwords, and plugin settings.

ThinkUp’s Service User Export tool only exports the data associated with a particular service user, without internal ID’s: posts, friends, followers, links, mentions, replies, retweets, and favorites. This export file can be imported into an existing ThinkUp installation with established ThinkUp users and existing service users. Because the export file doesn’t include internal ID’s, the data will be appended to existing data rather than replacing the entire database. Use the Export tool when you only want to transfer a single service user to another ThinkUp installation.