Did you know- How to navigate the user interface and find tasks in Backup Exec 2012?
The newly designed Backup Exec 2012 interface, like any new UI, will take some getting used to. If you are upgrading from Backup Exec 2010 to 2012, you can expect a different navigation experience as well as a shift in how you access your tasks in the toolbar. Initially there will be a learning curve, but to get you up and running faster, I’ll deconstruct the core navigation and the toolbar layout. If you understand the basic principles that were followed when designing the UI, you may find it easier to navigate and locate tasks.
Let’s start with navigation. Backup Exec 2012 has four main tabs, Home, Backup and Restore, Storage, and Reports. The Home tab is a configurable user interface that gives you a high level overview of your environments. It includes information about alerts, backup status, storage usage, help and documentation links, etc.
The Backup and Restore tab has three levels of navigation, the Servers view, the Details view, and Properties. The Servers view displays a list of servers that you are backing up as well as high level information about servers such as backup status, a snapshot of the last seven days of backup, active alerts, and the next scheduled backup. The Servers view is the main location where you will configure backups. The Details view includes information about the server such as scheduled jobs, job history, backup sets, alerts, and credentials. The Properties view filters the data even more granularly and is only available on certain content in the Details view, such as backup sets. To navigate to the Details view, you can double-click a server or select a server, and then click the navigation arrow labeled “Details.” The properties view is accessed in the same way from the Details view.
The Storage tab has the same navigational hierarchy as the Servers view. The three levels of navigation are: All Storage, Details, and Properties. The All Storage view has high level information about the configured storage devices and media such as alerts, trending, state, capacity, etc. The Details view includes information that is specific to the storage device you selected. It has details about the jobs, job history, alerts, backup sets, etc for a storage device. The third level of navigation is the Properties view, which shows particular properties of the storage device. Navigating to the different levels is the same, no matter what tab or view you are in. Double-click an item or select an item and click the “Details” arrow.
The Reports tab has only one view. You can use the report groups to view the custom reports that you create, to view scheduled reports, or to view the regular reports by topic.
Now let’s move on to the tasks in the toolbar. Understanding the toolbar layout will help you discover tasks quickly. Each tab and level of navigation has a different toolbar. All of the content on the toolbar is specific to the tasks you can perform in a view. Depending on what is selected in the content area of the user interface, the tasks will be enabled or disabled. If a task is disabled, it’s a task that cannot be performed on the item you selected.
The items in the toolbar are organized into groups. The group name is identified at the bottom of the group box. Card sorting activities were conducted with customers to understand how tasks should be grouped and named. The results of the card sort showed that users wanted tasks that had similar functionality in the same group. For example, tasks that apply to a backup are in the Backups group and tasks that are restore-related are in the Restores group.
The order of the tasks was also considered and tested. The tasks that apply to multiple views are all in the same location. For example, the Views group has tasks for filtering, sorting, and changing how the view looks. These tasks apply to multiple views in the application and are therefore always accessible as the first tasks in the ribbon on any tab that you visit.
The next group includes tasks that are most frequently used. This group is strategically placed under the tab header since eye tracking data has shown that users look under the tab header more often than any other location in the toolbar. The tasks that are most commonly used are the backup, restore, and configuration tasks.
The Details view all have the same set of core groups. The last group in the toolbar changes depending on which Details tab you are viewing. The tasks that are specific to that view will appear. For example, if you are in the Jobs tab, you will see a group called Jobs with tasks that are specific to jobs. You won’t need job tasks when you are in the Backup sets tab view, so the Jobs group is removed and the Backup sets group takes its place.
I hope this explanation of the newly designed Backup Exec 2012 interface helps you get up and running quickly.