Requesting Backups of Your Actionstep Data

Modified on Wed, 01 May 2024 at 02:18 PM

In this article:

The documents and data that you upload to Actionstep are your property. You can request a backup copy of your data and documents at any time. This takeaway backup is a downloaded version of all of the real-time data and documents within your system to date.

Requesting a Backup

NOTE:  Your documents and data are replicated across multiple locations. This eliminates the risk of an isolated storage system failure.

To request a backup:

Note the following about your backup request:
  • You will be required to provide your orgkey, which you can find by hovering over the organization menu. 
  • You will also need to provide the email address you would like the link for the backup files sent to.
  • In order for your request to be processed, the support team will need to verify that you have the necessary authority within your organization to receive the backup. You will need to be an Admin with Authority in order to receive a backup. Or, we need to receive a confirmation from an Admin with Authority in order to send a backup to a user without these permissions. 
  • Most backup requests will be completed within 1-2 business days of receiving the request however if you have a particularly large data set then this might be slightly longer.  When the backup has been completed you will be sent an email message with a download link. You will be called or emailed separately to provide you with a password to decrypt the backup. (We don't send the password and the download link in the same email message for security purposes.)
  • If your backup is too big for you to download then you can request that we ship it to you via courier. The cost for this service will vary depending on courier costs, storage media, and the time taken to process the request.

What's Included in Your Backup

The email you receive will contain a link/s to download one or more password-protected, ZIP files (for large backups we spread the data across several zip files to make it easier to download). You should download the zip files and then un-compress them using the password that was provided to you by support.

The first zip file will contain your database data and possibly some documents. Subsequent zip files (if any) will contain the rest of your documents.

WARNING: Please note that the password will expire 7 days after receiving your backup. Be sure to download and un-compress them with the password before it expires! If it expired before you had the chance to access your files, you can request another backup from 


Working with the Data

In the first zip file, there will be a folder called "Data". Inside this folder, there will be several CSV files that you can view in Microsoft Excel or any text editor. 

Each data file contains rows of data and their associated unique keys (usually numeric with a column name containing "id"). You can use the keys to relate rows of data together from several data files. This makes it easier to import this data into another relational database system. Here is an explanation of what is contained in each data file:


actions.csvaction_idAll your actions (our generic name for matters, projects, etc) and who they are currently assigned to
action_types.csvaction_type_idThe defined "types" for each action. This governs the workflow and configuration of each action
action_folder.csvfolder_idThe default folder structure for documents stored within each action type
action_participants.csvaction_id, participant_type_idThe participants of each type that are linked to each action
chart_of_accounts.csvac_account_idAll the accounts defined in your general ledger
check_series.csvcheck_idAll checks (cheques) for banking check printing
custom_action_data.csvdata_collection_name, data_field_nameAll custom data values linked to actions. Fields are grouped into rows using the record_id key
disbursements.csvdisbursement_idDisbursements loaded against actions
document_log.csvlog_idA list of all documents saved to matters. The file_name field should match to documents in this backup. You can use this file to match the actions to the files listed in the "documents" folder of the backup zip files
email.csvemail_idMessage headers and subject. The message contents can be found in the linked attachments.
email_associations.csvassociation_idWhat items an email is linked to within Actionstep (actions, invoices, contacts, etc)
email_attachment.csvattachment_idEmail attachments. You can use this to match the email messages to the attachment files listed in the zip folders under "email/attachments"
general_ledger_transactions.csvtransaction_idA full extract of all your accounting entries
participant_document.csvdocument_idA list of documents saved to contact records. You can match these to the files in the zip folders under "participant/documents"
participants.csvparticipant_idContact records
participant_types.csvparticipant_type_idThe types of parties (client, lawyer, witness, etc) defined for each action type
primary_participant_types.csvparticipant_type_id, action_type_idThe main participant type for each action type (usually "Client"). In other words the person shown in the action header area on the screen inside Actionstep
receipt.csvreceipt_idReceipts issued for payments received
sale_purchase_line_items.csvline_item_idThe line items of quotes, orders, and invoices
sale_purchase_payment.csvpayment_idPayments received against invoices
sale_purchase.csvsale_purchase_idHeader information for quotes, orders, and invoices
time_records.csvrecord_idTimesheet entries
rate_sheets.csvrate_idRate sheets
transaction_references.csvtransaction_reference_idAny additional reference information for the general ledger transactions
trust_*.csvtransaction_id, action_idTransactions related to the trust account for each action

Working with Documents

Other than the "data" folder, all other folders contain copies of all documents you have uploaded to Actionstep in their original format. The documents are arranged in a folder by functional area. In many cases, the file name of the document is prefixed with the corresponding database key. For example, 7865_some_file_name in the "documents" folder will relate to action ID 7865.

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