Super Simple SQL Server Express Backup to Amazon S3

There are lots of robust backup solutions out there, each with varying costs and sophistication.  They are great and I won’t claim that this post is better than any of them.  But in my case I simply wanted a cheap nightly backup of a database that could be stored in my Amazon S3 cloud.  With a little scripting I was able to do it for just the tiny price of the transfers to and storage in S3.

1. Created an Amazon S3 Account and create a bucket for your backups.  (I needed to look up my access keys in the Accounts section while I was there)

2. On the server, created a folder for my backup files and scripts (e.g. c:\backups)

3. Downloaded “S3copy Amazon S3 Command Line Copy” from  This is a simple, free EXE file (s3copy.exe) that allows you to upload a file to S3 from the command line.  I put it in my c:\backups folder.

4. Create a SQL script to backup the database, named backup.sql.  I wanted a fresh, full backup each time so my script was simply: 

BACKUP DATABASE [MyDatabase] TO  DISK = N’C:\Backups\MyDatabase.bak’ WITH FORMAT, INIT,  NAME = N’MyDatabase-Full Database Backup’, SKIP, NOREWIND, NOUNLOAD,  STATS = 10

5. Create a batch file (BackupDB.bat) that will call SQLCMD to run this script and then use s3copy.exe to upload it:

REM — Perform database backup
sqlcmd -S .\SQLEXPRESS –U <user> –P <password> -i "c:\Backups\Backup.sql"

REM — Copy to S3
c:\backups\s3copy.exe c:\backups\ <bucketname> MyDatabase.bak <accesskey> <secretkey>

6.  I then used Task Scheduler to create a nightly job that runs BackupDB.bat.

Yes, readers, this has all sorts of flaws.  It has no error checking, it doesn’t store multiple generations, it’s storing keys in the open, etc.  I will be fixing all that.  But this gives you the basic framework for how a little creative scripting can get you a low cost, easy solution.

SQL Server 2008 Express Reporting Services on Windows 7

I had a crazy, frustrating time getting my SQL Server 2008 Express Edition with Advanced Services installation to let me access Reporting Services.  I followed a lot of different blog posts and suggestions that included tweaks to trusted sites, adjusting virtual directory permissions (which isn’t even applicable because the virtual directories don’t appear in IIS) and changing permissions on the database.  While these some of this is necessary, they weren’t all needed and they weren’t the whole solution. 

No matter what I did, this is what I saw when I went to Report Manager.  Notice that “Site Settings” is not an option:


And this is what I saw on the Report Server:


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