[feature request] automatic backup creation of workflow.knime

In some rare cases, powerfailure, hardware crash, etc. this error may appear:

java.io.IOException: Unable to parse xml: line=1: Content is not allowed in prolog.
xml: URI=java.io.BufferedInputStream@342e812c
dtd: URI=null

and is due to a corrupt workflow.knime file. This has been discussed here previously.

And even though all the other files and settings are in place, the workflow is bascially unusable after this (recreating a large, well, even some small, workflows is a major pain, if at all possible). Especially problematic if you don’t have a recent backup or any at all.

This could be easily remedied (at to least to a large extent) by simply creating a backup of the workflow.knime by Knime itself. E.g. at certain timeintervalls. It would be enough with a .bak version. Maybe not directly at startup, if that is where a potential problem lies to begin with. But after a few minutes the first backup? Any single occasion would already make a difference.

Thanks in advance.

Hi @docminus2

that is something you could solve using KNIME Server.

With KNIME Server, you can save a snapshot of your workflow whenever you are uploading a new one. You could also configure the KNIME Server that this is mandatory, than whenever one of the users uploads a new workflow, a snapshot is created before overwriting.

Cheers, Iris


Alright. Thanks.
Does that imply you won’t consider/do it because of the existing server version option?
I can understand that from your commercial perspective, but find it disappointing.

That has nothing to do with a commercial perspective. We are constantly adding features into our open source KNIME Analytics Platform, if you are watching our changelogs it always contains more feature for the Analytics Platform than for the Server. We just recently released MetaData Mapping it would have been easy to not implement this for the Analytics Platform and only for the server, but we always follow our Open Source Story

The server enriches the features of the KNIME Analytics Platform with productivity and enabling collaboration. This feature already exists on the server, where it does make sense to ensure easy recreation of older versions. There is no architecture available in the Analytics Platform which would allow us to easily add this. However, I would definitely recommend making a backup of your system regularly.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for all the things that Knime offers - for free!
The Server version though isn’t - and even if I would like to have it, my current employer is currently not considering it due to budget reasons.

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You actually can ZIP/compress any KNIME workflow or workflow group and later unzip it to a separate location and re-import it back giving a root directory.

If you would set up such a workflow and configure it to use a timestamp you can create an instant backup every time you execute that. You could also include that at the end of a workflow, but I am not suer if some sort of self-backup could cause any problems.

Having said that:

  • the KNIME server offers a lot of great functions to help you in an professional environment
  • and then you should always have a backup of your data (versioning, different location) it is just common sense since something could go wrong all the time

Oh I know that. Myself had luckily not that many troubles. But since Knime-useage is popular by some “non-coders” some “obvious” routines aren’t at home with them…

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