Differences between backup and export

There are two ways to extract data from RavenDB database. You can either backup your database by Raven.Backup.exe tool or export it by using Raven.Smuggler.exe or the Studio. You need to select the appropriate option which will satisfy your requirements. This article describes differences between Backup / Restore and Export / Import options.

  • Indexes:

    • Backup contains complete indexes - definitions and data
    • Export doesn't include index data, indexes will be rebuilt after importing based on exported definitions
  • Data state:

    • Backup is a snapshot of database data at the point when the backup was started
    • Export includes documents created during the export
  • Restored database state:

    • Restore requires an empty database (unless we restore from an incremental backup)
    • Import can be run on an existing database
  • Portability:

    • Backup / Restore only works on the same architecture / Esent version
    • Import / Export works between different architectures and Esent versions
  • Speed:

    • Backup is usually much faster than an export
  • Size:

    • Export is much smaller than backup

As an administrator, should I do backups, exports or both to be on the safe site?

You should perform backups which allow quickly restore from a failure on the same system. Note that also incremental backups are supported.