Backup and Restore Outlook Business Contact Manager

Different from other Outlook data, Business Contact Manager (BCM) for Outlook stores its data in a separate SQL database. This means that backing up your pst-file is not sufficient to also backup your BCM data.

This guide provides several methods for how you can backup and restore your Outlook BCM data and how to migrate/transfer your BCM database to the same or a newer version of BCM located on a new computer. In addition, you’ll find instructions to perform a disaster recovery when all you have left is the mdf- and ldf-files.


Built-in backup and restore options in BCM

The built-in method of performing backups and restores is probably all you’ll ever need if you are working with BCM on your local computer. There are a couple of simple tricks needed to transfer your BCM database to a new computer.

You can find the backup and restore option for BCM in the following location;

  • BCM 2003
    Business Tools-> Manage Database…
  • BCM 2007
    Business Contact Manager-> Database Tools-> Manage Database…
  • BCM 2010
    File-> Business Contact Manager-> BackUp and Restore
  • BCM 2013
    File-> Business Contact Manager-> BackUp and Restore

From here the backup and restore process is quite straightforward; select the backup location and provide the password for the backup of the database.

Make sure you set the location for the backup to a separate disk (not a separate partition) or an external disk. If your backup is on the same disk as your original database and your hard disk fails, then your backup would be gone as well.

Business Contact Manager - Database Backup
The BCM backup option is so easy to use; there is no excuse not to make any.

Tip!
If you want to be able to backup BCM without needing to open Outlook, you can use the Business Contact Manager Database Tool.

Restore a backup from a previous version of BCM

If the database that you are trying to restore has been created in a previous version of BCM you’ll be prompted to upgrade the database during the restore process;

Business Contact Manager for Outlook - This backup file was created in an earlier version 3.0.5625.0. It must be migrated to the current version 4.0.9812.0.
Upgrade notice when restoring a BCM 2007 in BCM 2010.

Note:
The migration process is one-way only. Once you’ve upgraded your database to a later version, you cannot downgrade it anymore to or use with an earlier version of BCM. The reverse is also true; you cannot use an older version BCM database in a newer version of BCM without upgrading the database.
Additionally, if you are sharing your BCM database with other people, these people must use the same version of BCM as you are in order for them to connect.

Restore a BCM backup from a different machine or user

If the database that you are trying to restore is coming from a different machine or user, you could get the following error;

Business Contact Manager for Outlook - Cannot restore this database because you are not the owner of the database.
Owner permissions error when restoring a backup from a different user or machine.

To overcome this, close Outlook, restart it as an administrator and rerun the restore process. Once the database has been restored, close Outlook and start it normally again.

To start Outlook as an administrator, hold SHIFT when right clicking on your Outlook shortcut and choose Run as administrator. For a screenshot see; Starting Outlook as Administrator on Windows 7.

In Windows 8, this can also be done by right clicking on the Outlook icon in the Start Screen. For a screenshot see: Starting Outlook as an Administrator on Windows 8

Import and Export BCM data

Aside from the backup and restore options, BCM 2007 and BCM 2010 also hold the option to export your data to bcm-files (Business Contact Manager export files). These export files are not considered to be proper backups and should not be used for that purpose either. Only use the export/import feature of BCM when you want to merge the exported data with already existing data in another BCM database.


BCM Database tool

Business Contact Managemer Database ToolAlthough the BCM Database tool is actually intended to manage and share BCM databases on SQL servers which don’t have BCM installed, even when you are using BCM on your own computer, I can highly recommended to also install the BCM Database tool. While BCM does provide several built-in database management tools within Outlook, the BCM database tool has the additional benefit of being able to make backups when Outlook isn’t running.

The instructions below to backup and restore BCM with the Database Tool can be used both on a computer with BCM installed or on an SQL server holding the BCM database but doesn’t have BCM installed itself.

Download: Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2007 Database Tool
Download: Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2010 Database Tool
Download: Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2013 Database Tool

Once installed, you can find the tool in the Start Menu under;
All Programs-> Microsoft Small Business-> Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2007/2010/2013 Database tool

In Windows 8, you’ll find it in the “Microsoft Small Business” group of the Start Screen or simply type “Business Contact Manager” directly after opening the Start Screen or press Windows key + S to bring up the Search pane.

Main dialog of the Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2010 Database Tool (click on image to enlarge).
Main dialog of the Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2010
Database Tool (click on image to enlarge).

Note:
There is no Database Tool for BCM for Outlook 2003. You can still use the BCM built-in backup solution or SQL Management Studio.

Backup a database with the BCM Database tool

The instructions below walk you through the backup process;

  1. Start the BCM Database Tool.
    Make sure you are logged on as an Administrator (Windows XP) or start the the tool as an administrator (hold SHIFT and right click on the application shortcut) on Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8.
  2. Select the option: Backup a database.
  3. After a few seconds, the tool asks you to select the SQL Server instance which holds the BCM database. In the default stand-alone installation, only 1 instance will be shown; MSSMLBIZ.
  4. Click on Next to continue.
  5. A list of available databases for the SQL Server instance will be shown. Select the database that you would like to back up.
    If you have multiple BCM databases that you would like to back up, you’ll need rerun the “Backup a database” command after you’ve finished backing up this database.
  6. Click on Next to continue.
  7. Select a location to place your backup on and optionally, protect your backup with a password.
    • Tip!
      Place the backup on a separate disk (not a separate partition) or an external disk. If your backup is on the same disk as your original database and your hard disk fails, then your backup would be gone as well.
  8. Click on Next to start the backup process.
  9. Click Next for the confirmation windows and then click Finish to return to the Welcome screen. If you have multiple BCM databases which you want to backup, return to step 2.

Restore a database with the BCM Database tool

The instructions below walk you through the restore process;

  1. Start the BCM Database Tool.
    Make sure you are logged on as an Administrator (Windows XP) or start the the tool as an administrator (hold SHIFT and right click on the application shortcut) on Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8.
  2. Select the option: Restore a database.
  3. After a few seconds, the tool asks you to select the SQL Server instance which holds the BCM database. In the default stand-alone installation, only 1 instance will be shown; MSSMLBIZ.
  4. Click on Next to continue.
  5. A list of available databases for the SQL Server instance will be shown. Select the database that you would like to restore to. If no database exists yet, return to Welcome screen of the BCM Database Tool and select to create a new database first.
  6. Select your backup file (sbb-file or msbcm-file) and supply the password if you had password protected the file.
  7. Click on Next to start the restore process.
  8. Click Next for the confirmation windows and then click Finish to return to the Welcome screen. If you have multiple BCM databases which you want to restore, return to step 2.

Restore a database from another computer or user

Restoring a database from another computer or user is similar to the restore instructions listed above.

The only thing that would be different is that when this backup is coming from a previous version of BCM, you’ll immediately be prompted to upgrade the database. After this, the restore process with the Database Tool continues the same.

However, if you directly start Outlook BCM 2010 or BCM 2013 after the restore, you’ll be presented with the following error:

Business Contact Manager database cannot be loaded. This action cannot be completed because Business Contact Manager cannot access the database. Cannot open database MSSmallBusiness requested by the kogin. The login failed.
You’ll get a database load error if you restore without Administrator permissions.

To prevent this from happening, you should open Outlook as an administrator the first time after the restore process. Outlook BCM 2010 and BCM 2013 will then properly assign you as the new database owner.

If you did not do this, and cancelled the “Create or Select a Database” wizard that you get after the error, you’ll find that your database gets disconnected and BCM will be disabled. To recover, follow the following steps;

  1. Close Outlook and restart it as an administrator.
  2. Re-enable BCM again via the File-> Business Contact Manager-> Enable
  3. When prompted how to start BCM, select Custom
  4. Select; Connect to a Local Database
  5. Select the name of the database that your restored.
  6. Click Connect.
    Outlook will now go through a process where it resets the database permissions.
  7. Click Finish.
  8. Close Outlook.
  9. Start Outlook normally.

Business Contact Manager is installed on your system, but is not enabled.
You can re-enable BCM via the File tab in Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013.

Migrate BCM database to a different SQL server

The “Migrate a database” option in the wizard of the BCM 2010 and BCM 2013 Database tool is not for moving a database from one computer to the other but to upgrade the version of a database.

For instance, when the database is placed on a server and the clients get upgraded to a later version of BCM. In that case, you would run the Database tool of that version of BCM with the “Migrate a database” option on the server.

To migrate a database to a different SQL server, simply use the backup and restore method as mentioned above and rerun the sharing wizard to provide all clients access again.

Note:
If you are sharing a single BCM database between multiple users, all these users must use the same version of Outlook and BCM.


Backup and restore BCM via SQL Management Studio

As the BCM database is a SQL database, you can also back it up it up by using SQL Management Studio or 3rd party tools capable of backing up SQL databases. SQL Management Studio is the tool that Microsoft offers to manage SQL server installations. The main benefits of this tool are that it also allows you to change the location of the database files and to restore the BCM database if all you have is the mdf- and ldf-files of your previous installation.

As the default installation of BCM only installs core components of SQL Express, you must download and install SQL Management Studio first. When the installation is done, run Windows Update (repeat until no updates are offered anymore).

Download: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express (for BCM 2010 and BCM 2013)
Download: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Management Studio Express (for BCM 2007 and BCM 2003)

Installation instructions Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express

Installing the Management Studio is a bit counter intuitive for SQL 2008. Below you’ll find a quick walkthrough for the steps in the installation process;

  1. Section Installation-> New SQL server…
  2. OK-> Install Setup Support Files
  3. Next-> Perform a new installation of SQL Server 2008
  4. Next-> Next-> I accept the license terms.
  5. Next-> Management Tools – Basic
  6. Next-> Next-> Next-> Next-> Install
  7. Next-> Close
  8. Close SQL Server Installation Center.
  9. When installation is done; run Windows Update (repeat until no updates are offered anymore)

Backup BCM database via SQL Management Studio

After installing SQL Management Studio, you’ll find a link to it in the Start Menu under “Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2008”. When stating it, make sure you are logged on as an Administrator (Windows XP) or right click on the shortcut and choose “Run as administrator” (Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8). If you don’t see this option, hold SHIFT while right clicking on the shortcut.

  1. When starting SQL Management Studio, you’ll be presented with a connection dialog. By default it wants to connect to the SQL server on the local computer so simply press “Connect” to continue launching the application.
  2. Expand the Database folder.
  3. Right click on the database that you want to backup and choose;
    Tasks-> Back Up…
  4. In the “Destination” section at the bottom you can change the backup location. When you add a new location, make sure you also remove the other location.
  5. Press OK to proceed making the backup.

SQL Management Studio - Back Up Database - MSSmallBusiness - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
All you need to change in this SQL dialog is the backup location.
(click on image to enlarge)

Restore BCM database from SQL backup

If you need to restore a SQL backup of your BCM database, you can do so in the following way;

  1. Start SQL Management Studio as an administrator and Connect to the server when prompted.
  2. Expand the Database folder.
  3. Right click on the database that you want to restore and choose;
    Tasks-> Restore-> Database…
  4. SQL Management Studio will try to locate your most recent backup by default.
    If you moved this backup file, select “From device” and press the “…” button to select a backup. In this dialog, press “Add” and browse to and select your backup file (you might need to set the file types to “All files” to see it if your backup file doesn’t have a .bak or .trn extension). Once selected, press OK to close the dialog and to return to the Restore Database window.
  5. At the bottom half of the Restore Database window you can select which backup you want to restore.
  6. In the left panel, select the Options page.
  7. Enable the option; Overwrite the existing database
  8. Press OK to start the restore process.

SQL Management Studio - Restore Database - MSSmallBusiness - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
Select your backup location and which database to restore from
the backup set (click on image to enlarge).

Note:
Restoring a SQL based backup of a BCM database is only really intended to be used as long as the database continues to be used on the same server/computer, by the same user and by the same version of BCM. If this is not the case, you’ll need to do a Disaster recovery but instead of attaching the database (step 2), restore it to a new empty database.


Disaster recovery – Recovering BCM with mdf and ldf-files

If you had a fatal crash on your machine and had to rebuild it but still have access to the disk or a backup thereof, you may be able to recover the BCM database by copying the database files of the old installation and reattach them via SQL Management  Studio. The files you need can be found here;

  • Windows XP
    C:\Documents and Settings\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Business Contact Manager
  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8
    C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Business Contact Manager

By default the database files required are named (but could be named differently for you);

  • MSSmallBusiness.mdf
  • MSSmallBusiness._log.LDF

If you have both the mdf- and ldf-files of your BCM installation then you can try to recover your BCM database in the following way;

  1. Start SQL Management Studio as an administrator and Connect to the server when prompted.
  2. Right click on the Databases folder and choose “Attach…
  3. Press the “Add…” button and browse to the mdf-file.
  4. Press OK in the Attach Databases window to attach the database.
    • Tool Tip!
      If the attach process fails, the database files may need to be repaired first or might not be recoverable. You can use a Stellar Phoenix SQL Database Recovery to find out if there is anything left to recover and repair the corruptions.
  5. Expand the Databases folder.
  6. Expand the database you just restored.
  7. Expand the Tables folder.
  8. Right click on the dbo.OrgTable and choose “Open Table” (SQL 2005) or “Select Top 1000 Rows” (SQL 2008).
  9. Write down the values of the following columns (only 1 row should be shown here).
    • LocaleID
    • DbVersionMajor
    • DbVersionMinor
    • DbVersionBuildMajor
    • DbVersionBuildMinor

     
    Results of the dbo.OrgTable query in SQL, required for your BCM disaster recovery.
    You must scroll the results dialog to the right to see the columns for the LocaleID.
    (click on the image for the full dialog)

  10. Create an SQL backup of your database.
  11. Browse to your backup file and rename it with the values you have written down in the following format;
    <LocaleID>#<DbVersionMajor>.<DbVersionMinor>.<DbVersionBuildMajor>.<DbVersionBuildMinor>
    • Examples for the US English version of BCM 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013;
      en-US#2.0.3606.0
      en-US#3.0.5625.0
      en-US#4.0.9812.0
      en-US#4.0.12006.0
  12. Compress the file into a zip-file with a password (non-password protected backups fail to restore for BCM 2007, BCM 2010 and BCM 2013).
    • Note:
      As you cannot create zip-files with a password in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 via the Send To-> Compressed Folder feature, you must use a 3rd party compression tool such as WinRAR (which I used when writing this guide), WinZIP or 7ZIP.
  13. Rename the file to .sbb (BCM 2007, 2010 and 2013) or .msbcm (BCM 2003).
    • Examples;
      bcm2003.msbcm
      bcm2007.sbb
      bcm2010.sbb
      bcm2013.sbb
  14. Restore the file as normal via the restore option in Outlook BCM or the Database Tool.
    Don’t forget to start Outlook as an administrator when restoring within Outlook or when launching Outlook for the first time after restoring it with the BCM Database Tool.