How do I archive my inFlow On-Premise database?

Please note: we will sunset inFlow On-Premise on July 31, 2024. After sunset we will stop selling or activating new licenses for inFlow On-Premise and stop providing support (including online KB articles).

In the meantime we will still provide technical support to customers with an active Support Plan.

Is your inFlow On-Premise database getting too big? Do you want to officially close out your year by starting afresh? If you’ve got SQL Server 2005 installed, the maximum space allowed is 4GB. If you’ve got SQL Server 2008 R2 / LocalDB 2014 / SQL Server 2014 installed, it’s 10GB.

Check the size of your database

The database files can be found on your computer in the locations listed below (based on your operating system):

Windows XP/Server 2003: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\inFlow Inventory
Vista, Windows 7/Server 2008, or Windows 8: C:\ProgramData\inFlow Inventory

PLEASE NOTE: If you’re not able to see the folders outlined below please follow these steps to show hidden files/folders: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10.

Look for a file that says inFlow.mdf (or just inFlow). You should see its size next to it. (For reference, 1GB = 1024MB = 1,048,576 KB!)

If your database file is about 4GB, you can just uninstall and reinstall inFlow with SQL Server 2014 instead. The capacity for SQL 2014 is 10GB so you will not need to archive your database at all. See the advanced instructions here for how to customize your installation.

If you’re nearing 10GB already though, you will need to archive your database following the steps below.

Creating your archive and starting over

The steps to archive your database consist of storing your information in the form of CSV files and then doing a hard reset on all of your data. Keep in mind that due to the reset, all of your preferences and settings, as well as company details and any customization will need to be re-entered/re-selected in your new database.

Before proceeding note the following:

  • Work Orders cannot be exported, so be sure to complete any open work order before archiving. You can also note down the details to re-create them as open work orders into the new database.
  • Sales Quotes can be exported but currently cannot be imported.
  • Attachments and Pictures cannot be exported.
  • Other than billing and shipping addresses, extra addresses cannot be exported.
  • Only your default pricing scheme can be exported. If you have multiple pricing schemes, you can change the default pricing scheme and then export your product details multiple times.
  • All settings in Personal, General and Print settings cannot be exported and must be set up again in the new database.

Export your data to .csv file

Some data can be exported to Excel, so we’ll save these files first.

  1. Go to Main Menu > General > Export Data.
  2. Choose your data type (each will have to be exported separately)
  3. Click to export.

The data types you’ll need to export are Product Details, Stock Levels, Customer, Vendor, even Bill of Materials if you use it. If you have any open/uncompleted orders, you’ll want to export Sales Orders and Purchase Orders too.

NOTE: This only exports active entries. Anything that has been deactivated or cancelled will not be exported. If you would like to export deactivated entries, go to the appropriate listing (e.g product list for products, customer list for customers) and then change the “Show” filter to show “Inactive”. This will refresh the list to show all inactive entries. Right-click to export these entries.

Save your other information manually

  1. Go to Main Menu > Options > Settings and note down the following information you have saved:
    • costing method*
    • user settings (user login names, and access/editing rights)
    • company settings (home currency, taxing scheme, company info)
    • references (payment terms, payment methods, sales reps, receiving addresses)
    • custom fields
  2. You may also want to export your custom documents, if you’ve not retained copies elsewhere. Go to Main Menu > Settings > Print Settings.
  3. Click the Custom Docs icon.
  4. Choose the template to export and then click the Export button on the right and choose where to save it.

Backup your data

  1. Make a backup of your current database. You might save it as Archive2011-2013.ifi or something similar, just so you know what it contains.
  2. Go to Main Menu > General > Reset All Data. You’ve already made a backup so you can easily restore to this backup at any time if you like.

Importing your information

Next, we’ll have to import the information into the newly reset database. First you should look through the exported files and trim them before importing, otherwise you’ll still run into the same problem of your database being too big.


  • For your sales and purchase orders (which is the bulk of your archives) you should delete any completed orders in the file itself so you don’t import them in.
  • Be sure to always import your stock levels LAST. Assuming that your stock levels were correct when the export was done, importing it before orders and other information may cause changes to those levels.
  • Also be sure to back up your database before each new import (so you can reverse any changes you do not wish to keep).

Ready to begin? See below:

  1. Once you’ve reset your database, set up your company information and settings. It’s important to do this first as some settings, such as your costing method, needs to be selected before importing data.

    NOTE: If your costing method is set to FIFO/LIFO, you will need to import your stock levels in as an “Initial” purchase order, because these costing methods rely solely on purchase orders to calculate your cost. Please see here for how to quickly convert your stock level file into a purchase order file.

  2. If you think you might need to archive again soon, it might be best to make a backup of your database now and name it “NewArchive” — this will ensure that you can jump straight into importing your data instead of having to re-enter your settings manually next time.
  3. When you’ve set up your company information, you can import all your information back into inFlow from the files you exported earlier.
  4. Go to Main Menu > General > Import Data.
  5. Choose your data type and import using the trimmed files. (each will have to be imported separately)
  6. Click Next and map the fields if need be, though inFlow should do this automatically.
  7. Click to import.

Once you’ve done all your imports, you’re all set! If you ever need to check the data on previous history, you can just go to Main Menu > General > Restore Data and restore to the previous database to check your information.

Please contact us at if you have any questions about this process!

inFlow Inventory
Archon Systems
260 Carlaw Ave #397
Toronto, ON, M4M 3L1
May 16, 2018

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