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Are my school records safe in the CM Organizer?

In our previous post about why the CM Organizer is an online service, we promised to talk later about the advantage of security and backups you get with the CM Organizer.

So this week we’ve asked Doug, our webmaster, to come back and address the important question: Are my school records safe in the CM Organizer?

Using an online service can be a little different than the software we’re all used to. So it’s not unusual to get questions about it: “The one thing that makes me unsure about relying on your organizer is the fact that it’s not downloadable. What if your server crashes and all my information is lost? What if I make decisions about curriculum, use your organizer, and you go out of business?”

Those are excellent questions, and I’m happy to say we spent a lot of time planning for such things as we built the CM Organizer.

Our solution is to provide security and automatic backups. The data center where our server resides is just like you see on TV, or in our case, read about in books. Really. We’re talking about security cameras everywhere, fingerprint scanners, and swiping special badges just to get through the door.

Here’s the great part. All of your school records are stored on multiple hard drives at the same time. If one drive dies, everything keeps humming along and it’s no big deal. A technician is automatically notified and the bad drive is replaced.

We make it even better by automatically backing up all of your data every night and electronically storing it in more secure data centers in multiple cities. So we still have copies of your records even if the entire data center were to be destroyed.

I recently read a blog post where a homeschooling mom lamented having set up her school records on a computer only to have the hard drive die and take all of the records with it.

Ask yourself some questions in light of all that. When was the last time you backed up your PC? How about storing an extra backup somewhere other than in your house? Is your anti-virus software up to date? Most of us don’t do those things as often as we should. With the CM Organizer, we take care of your backups automatically and at a level way beyond what anyone would do with their home computer.

Now, about the question of going out of business or deciding to stop offering the service. I can understand that concern because I’ve personally had data tied up in software that stopped working when I upgraded my computer and the company no longer existed to fix it. You take a risk when you purchase software, and you take a risk when you use an online service. Either company can go out of business.

It really comes down to an issue of trust, so let me share our hearts on this matter. We’ve poured our lives and resources into this project because we believe in it. We certainly can’t predict the future, but we’re in this for the long haul. If for some reason our life circumstances change so we don’t think we can continue with this project, we will do everything we can to find likeminded CMers who will pick it up and carry on from there. In our minds, it’s not an option to leave you hanging. Now, that being said, you never know what the future holds; so we encourage everyone to print their records or save them to their own computers in case of anything unforeseen.

Did that help answer some of your questions? Did it raise more questions? Let us know by leaving a comment on this post.

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3 Responses to “Are my school records safe in the CM Organizer?”

  1. Christine April 19, 2007 at 5:16 pm #

    Thank you for posting the concerns, and responses. Because my DH is a very DH, he backs things up, which I am very thankful for. But, my comfort about using the CM organizer came easily because in my experience, CM people DO go above and beyond and I would say always strive for Excellence as much as possible. Still, it is great to know that you plan have continued that excellence and had/have a very re-assuring “back up” plan.

  2. Don Brown June 26, 2008 at 9:09 pm #

    Thank you for the detailed posting regarding backing up files. It was most helpful and poses only one more question. What is the best way to save the same information onto a CD? I can appreciate the thorough saves you do to protect the information but I would like to save it off annually with our homeschool books for future reference if needed. Thanks.

  3. Doug Smith June 27, 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    There are a few options to make sure you preserve a copy of your CM Organizer records.

    - You can print the report pages and file them away.

    - You can also save your report as a .pdf file on your computer. If you use a Mac, you can print then use the “Save as PDF” button in your Print dialog.

    - If you use Windows, you can download CutePDF (http://www.cutepdf.com/) for free and use it to create a .pdf file of your report.

    - Once you have PDF files saved, you can back those up to a CD as you would any other file on your computer.