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Dedoose Update—Significant Data Recovery Successful! How to Save a Project Locally!

5/14/2014

Dear Dedoosers,

DATA RECOVERY UPDATE

First, we remain terribly sorry for the impact of our system failure on so many of you.  Our mission is to support high quality research and this event was certainly not part of that plan.  It is also important to be aware, as some have inquired, that this failure in no way represents a data breach, as all data have remained fully encrypted and contained within our system control.

At this point, we are very happy to report that we have recovered data entered to Dedoose through March 30th.  We are still working on the details of how these data will be safely merged into the master database.  This is an unprecedented task, so are working very cautiously to assure that the merge will not disrupt any data added to projects since the system failure.  Details on timing and results will be communicated after we’ve taken a test run at all of this.

TAKE A PEEK AND KEEP WORKING

Immediately, you can take a look at the resurrected March 30th database at stage.dedoose.com/app.  You can also continue working on your project, but you MUST be doing this work on the regular Dedoose service—NOT the stage environment that you would access with the URL above.  The merge will simply marry these two databases as cleanly as possible.

WHAT ELSE ARE WE DOING?

Certainly our biggest regret is that this is only a partial restoration.  And, if you have yet to become aware, for data that cannot be restored, we are working with many users on a case-by-case basis to address their account status and help rebuild project data.  Many users have saved exports and other files that can be used to rebuild a database in relatively efficient ways.  Please contact us if this is a service from which you can benefit.

SAVING YOUR PROJECT LOCALLY

We’ve often been asked about how one can get their data out of Dedoose.  The short answer?  Export all excerpts from the Excerpts Workspace using the default settings: select all, click export icon, leave all default settings, submit.  The result will be an Excel spreadsheet with all excerpt text, media title, character or time-point start and end position, all codes and code weights applied, and all associated descriptor data.  With this file and your source media, we can recreate your project in Dedoose.  Thus, this has always been a way to essentially to save your project locally.

MORE DEDOOSE SECURITY NOW AND COMING SOON

Our first response after recognizing the system failure last week was to bring Dedoose services back up with the most recent sound backup available.  We then realized that our Achilles heel was our dependence on transferring our nightly backups to remote storage with a service provided by Gladinet that failed to perform as designed, thus leaving us with corrupted backups.  We immediately activated two mechanisms to assure more robust protections: 1) a new backup transfer system that saves to an independent and remote location on the Azure platform (and works) and 2) another redundant backup channeled to the Amazon S3 storage system.  Other measures will be put into place in the coming weeks and we will communicate details on these efforts as they come to fruition.

Finally, within a few weeks we will release a new ‘project download’ feature that will provide users with a simple one-click way to save a snapshot of their project on their local computer.  This file can be later be uploaded to recreate the project and can also be shared with others.

All in all, these measures will greatly strengthen Dedoose data security from both the system and user side.  Clearly, this development will not serve those irreparably harmed by the system failure of last week.  However, we remain committed to the development and evolution of Dedoose so we can continue to bring its strengths and unique features forward as we do our utmost to serve the Dedoose user community.

With all due regrets and respect,

Eli and the Rest of Team Dedoose

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