autosave v5.3

Autosave automatically saves the values of EPICS process variables (PVs) to files on a server, and restores those values when the IOC (Input-Output Controller — the business end of EPICS) is rebooted. The original author is Bob Dalesio; I made some improvements; Frank Lenkszus made some more improvements, which I folded into the version I've been maintaining. A bunch of people contributed to getting the software running on PPC hardware, including Ron Sluiter, Andrew Johnson, and Pete Jemian (APS), Markus Janousch and David Maden (SLS), and I'm not sure who else. Zheqiao Geng (SLAC) extended the NFS-mount management to RTEMS, and made other improvements, such as connecting to PVs that weren't live when autosave was initialized. I folded those changes back into a version that preserved the previous API. Michael Davidsaver (BNL) extended support for info nodes to nodes of arbitrary length. Lots of other EPICS developers and users contributed by reporting problems and suggesting solutions.

Autosave is a two-part operation: run-time save, and boot-time restore. The run-time part (the save_restore task or thread) is started by commands in the IOC startup file, and persists while the IOC is running. Its primary job is to save PV values to files on a server, but it also supports manual restore and other management operations. The boot-time part (dbrestore.c) is invoked during iocInit, via an EPICS initHook. It restores PV values from files written by the run-time part, and does not persist after iocInit() returns.

In addition to the autosave software, the autosave module contains a client program, asVerify, to compare written autosave files with current PV values. This program can also write an autosave file from which PV values can be restored. Because one use of asVerify is to retrieve PV values from an IOC that is having trouble (the save_restore task has crashed, for example), asVerify connects with only one PV at a time. This makes asVerify rather slow. In one trial, it took two minutes to verify a .sav file containing 5000 PVs.

Autosave also contains a facility, called configMenu, for creating, saving, finding, restoring, and verifying IOC configurations (that is, sets of PV values). configMenu is roughly comparable to the EPICS Backup and Restore Tool, BURT, but it uses autosave files, and is driven by EPICS PVs, so it can be used manually, by software clients, and by other IOC code.


Important nuances



How to use autosave


This software can be used in many different ways. I'll describe what you have to do to use it as it's commonly used at APS beamlines to save PV values periodically, and restore them on reboot. A complete example of how autosave is used at APS can be found in the synApps xxx module. The relevant files in that module are the following: Here's a step-by-step program for deploying autosave. Some of the steps are optional:

1. Build (required)

Build the module and include the resulting library, libautosave.a, and database-definition file, asSupport.dbd, in an IOC's build. For example, add
	AUTOSAVE=<path to the autosave module>
to xxx/configure/RELEASE, add
	xxx_LIBS += autosave
to xxxApp/src/Makefile, and add
	include "asSupport.dbd"
to iocxxxInclude.dbd.

2. Write request files (optional, though this is the intended and most common use)

Create "request" files (e.g., auto_settings.req, auto_positions.req) specifying the PVs whose values you want to save and restore. The save files corresponding to these request files will have the ".req" suffix replaced by ".sav". Here's a sample request file:
	xxx:m1.VAL
	xxx:m2.VAL

Request files can also contain macro variables, whose values will be defined in the call that causes the request file to be processed. For example, the above request file could also be written as shown below, with the macro P defined by the command create_monitor_set("auto_settings.req", 30, "P=xxx:"):

	$(P)m1.VAL
	$(P)m2.VAL

Request files can include other request files (nested includes are allowed) and macro substitution can be performed on the included files (using William Lupton's macro library), with the following syntax:

	file <request_file> <macro-substitution_string>
e.g.,
	file motor_settings.req P=xxx:,M=m1

I've tried to defend against forseeable variations in syntax, so that "file" commands with embedded whitespace and/or quotes, macro strings without commas, and empty macro strings will be parsed as one would want. Generally, quotes are ignored, whitespace implies a comma but otherwise is ignored, and everything after the second sequence of non-whitespace characters (that is, after the file name) is taken as the macro-substitution string. Macro substitution is performed on the entire line, so it's possible to parameterize names of included files, as well as PV names. It is also possible to define a macro that replaces its target with nothing.

NOTE: Beginning with autosave 5.1, it's no longer legal to have a comment on the same line as a file command. This change was made to permit the use of the '#' character in a macro definition.

Most synApps modules contain autosave-request files that are intended to be included in an ioc's autosave-request file(s). For example, calc/calcApp/Db/scalcout_settings.req contains a list of the fields one might want to autosave for a single scalcout record. This file is included in calc/calcApp/Db/userStringCalcs10_settings.req, which, in turn, is included in xxx/iocBoot/iocvxWorks/auto_settings.req.

Beginning with version 4.3, autosave can generate request files from info nodes contained in an EPICS database. See the function makeAutosaveFiles(), below, for more information on this topic.

Note: Beginning with synApps version 5.2.1, synApps contains software to generate autosave-request files from information contained in command and database files. See synApps/support/utils/makeAutosaveFiles.py.

3. Set request-file path (optional, recommended)

Specify one or more directories to be searched for request files, using one or more invocations of the function
	set_requestfile_path()

4. Set NFS host (optional, only available on vxWorks and RTEMS)

Specify the NFS host from which save files will be read at restore time, and to which they will be written at save time, by calling the function
	save_restoreSet_NFSHost()

When autosave manages its own NFS mount, as this command directs it to do, it can fix a stale file handle by dismounting and remounting the file system.

5. Use NFS (required on vxWorks)

Use NFS, preferably as described above, or by including an nfsMount() command in your startup script. Save_restore is only tested with NFS, and probably will not work with vxWorks' netDrv .

When autosave runs under operating systems other than vxWorks, it simply uses whatever mount the operating system, or a system administrator, has provided.

6. Set save-file path (optional, though this is the intended and most common use)

Specify the directory in which you want save files to be written, by calling the function
	set_savefile_path()
in your startup script, before the create_xxx_set() commands, to specify the path to the directory. If you are using NFS (strongly recommended), ensure that the path does not contain symbolic links. In my experience, VxWorks cannot write through a symbolic link. (I don't understand all the ins and outs of this limitation. It may be that symbolic links are OK if they contain absolute path names.)

Beginning with autosave v4.3, you can also specify the path and/or filename, to which an autosave .sav file is to be written, with an EPICS PV. See the documentation of create_xxx_set() for details.

7. Give the ioc write permission to the autosave directory (required)

Give the IOC write permission to the directory in which the save files are to be written. If you forget this step, save_restore may be able to write save files, but the files will be corrupted because save_restore will not be permitted to change their lengths. Save_restore attempts to detect this condition, but cannot work around it if the file length must increase.

8. Specify restore files (optional, though this is the intended and most common use)

Specify which save files are to be restored before record initialization (pass 0) and which are to be restored after record initialization (pass 1), using the commands
	set_pass0_restoreFile()
	set_pass1_restoreFile()
Place these commands in the startup file before iocInit. In versions earlier than 4.4, autosave would attempt to restore "auto_positions.sav" and "auto_settings.sav", if no restore files had been specified. Beginning with version 4.5, only files specified in calls to set_passn_restoreFile() are restored.

To disable boot-time restore completely, delete or comment out all set_passn_restoreFile() calls.

Notes on restore passes:

  1. Link fields cannot be restored (by dbStatic calls) after record initialization. If you want save/restore to work for link fields you must specify them in a pass-0 file.

  2. Device support code for the motor record uses the value of the field DVAL, restored during pass 0, only if the value read from the hardware is zero. If the value from hardware is nonzero, it is used instead of the restored value.

  3. Arrays cannot be restored during pass 0.

  4. Scalar PV's which have type DBF_NOACCESS in the .dbd file, and are set to some other DBF type during record initialization, cannot be restored during pass 0.

  5. It is not an error to attempt to restore PV's during the wrong pass. The default strategy, implemented with auto_settings.req and auto_positions.req, is to use both passes for everything except PV's that shouldn't be restored in pass 1. (Motor positions aren't restored in pass 1 because doing so would overwrite any values read from the hardware.)

9. Load initHook routine (required for boot-time restore)

Load a copy of initHooks that calls reboot_restore() to restore saved PV values. The copy of initHooks included in this distribution is recommended. This will happen automatically if the ioc's executable is built as described above.

You can disable boot-time restore by refraining from loading the initHook routine, but this is not always practical. Another way to disable boot-time restore is described in step 8. Specify restore files, above.

10. Select save-file options (optional, recommended)

11. Start the save task (required to save files)

Invoke the "save" part of this software as part of the EPICS startup sequence, by calling create_XXX_set() — e.g., adding lines of the form
	create_monitor_set("auto_positions.req", 5, "P=xxx:")
	create_monitor_set("auto_settings.req", 30, "P=xxx:")
to your EPICS startup file after iocInit. The third argument to create_monitor_set() is a macro-substitution string, as described above in the discussion of request files (step 2). If supplied, this macro-substitution string supplements any macro strings supplied in include-file directives of request files read for this save set.
Note: if you want to start the save task without also creating a save set, you can call create_monitor_set() with no arguments.

The macro string can also be used to override the default path and name to which the .sav file will be written. If the macro SAVEPATHPV=<pv-name> is included, autosave will write the .sav file to the path read from the EPICS PV <pv-name>, instead of writing to the path specified in set_savefile_path(). If the macro SAVENAMEPV=<pv-name> is included, autosave will write the .sav file to the filename read from the EPICS PV <pv-name>. (By default, the .sav file name is the request-file name, with .req replaced by .sav.)

NOTE: If either SAVEPATHPV or SAVENAMEPV occurs in the macro string, autosave will not attempt to save backup or sequence files for the save set.

For each create_monitor_set(<name>.req, <time>, <macro>) command, the save_restore process will write the files <name>.sav and <name>.savB every <time> seconds, if any of the PVs named in the file <name>.req have changed value since the last write. Other create_xxx_set() commands do the same thing, but with different conditions triggering the save operation.

Note that in versions prior to 2.7, create_monitor_set() used an argument of type double to specify the period (in seconds). This doesn't work on PowerPC processors, under vWorks, so the arguments for this and similar functions were changed to int.

If your IOC takes a really long time to boot, it's possible the PVs you want to save will not have the correct values when the save_restore task first looks at them. (If you are restoring lots of long arrays, this is even more likely.) Under vxWorks, you can avoid this by putting a

	taskDelay(<number_of_60_Hz_clock_ticks>)
before create_monitor_set().

asVerify


Autosave is not completely bulletproof. Most APS beamlines have at least one autosave related problem every year. If autosave fails, you might be able to detect it, or work around it, using asVerify. This client-side program reads an autosave .sav file and independently verifies that the values it contains agree with current PV values. The program can also be used to write a .sav file, given a list of PVs. The list of PVs is normally an autosave .sav file, but a file containing nothing but PV names, one per line, would also work. Here's asVerify's command line:
usage: asVerify [-vrd] <autosave_file>
         -v (verbose) causes all PV's to be printed out
             Otherwise, only PV's whose values differ are printed.
         -r (restore_file) causes a restore file named
            '<autosave_file>.asVerify' to be written.
         -d (debug) increment debug level by one.
         -rv (or -vr) does both
examples:

    asVerify auto_settings.sav
        (reports only PVs whose values differ from saved values)

    asVerify -v auto_settings.sav
        (reports all PVs, marking differences with '***'.)

    asVerify -vr auto_settings.sav
        (reports all PVs, and writes a restore file.)

    asVerify auto_settings.sav
    caput <myStatusPV> $?
        (writes number of differences found to a PV.)

NOTE: For the purpose of writing a restore file, you can specify a .req
file (or any file that contains PV names, one per line) instead of a
.sav file.  However, this program will misunderstand any 'file' commands
that occur in a .req file.  (It will look for a PV named 'file'.)

Note that asVerify cannot read an autosave request file; it will understand any PV names contained in the file, but it cannot parse the "file" command, perform macro substitutions, or include other request files.


configMenu


configMenu is a facility for creating, saving, finding, restoring, and verifying sets of EPICS PVs ("configurations") on a running IOC. It is roughly comparable to the EPICS Backup and Restore Tool, BURT, but it saves configurations as autosave files, and is driven by and reports back to EPICS PVs, so it can be used manually, driven by any CA client, or driven by IOC-resident code. configMenu operations can be driven by a ca_put_callback to an EPICS PV, so the loading and saving of a configuration can usefully be driven as part of a larger sequence of operations. For example, any EPICS record that can do a ca_put_callback can load or save a configuration and wait for the operation to complete before perhaps triggering additional execution.

Example

Suppose we want to configure a set of three sscan records to perform any of 10 different types of scans. Here are the steps needed to implement a menu of scan types, and to give the user a GUI display for creating scan types and loading them. (In the following, scan1 is the name of this instance of configMenu. The files it loads and saves will be named "scan1_<config Name>.cfg".)

  1. Create an autosave request file, which I'll call "scan1Menu.req", with the following content:
    file configMenu.req P=$(P),CONFIG=$(CONFIG)
    file scan_settings.req P=$(P),S=scan2
    file scan_settings.req P=$(P),S=scan1
    file scan_settings.req P=$(P),S=scanH
    
    This is required only if scan1 config files are to be written at run time.
  2. Add the following lines to st.cmd:

    dbLoadRecords("$(AUTOSAVE)/asApp/Db/configMenu.db","P=xxx:,CONFIG=scan1")

    This goes before iocInit. You can disable the saving of scan1 config files by specifying the macro ENABLE_SAVE=0.

    create_manual_set("scan1Menu.req","P=xxx:,CONFIG=scan1,CONFIGMENU=1")

    This goes after iocInit, and is required only if you intend for scan1 config files to be written at run time, or if you need to have macro substitution performed on a scan1 config file to be loaded. The macro CONFIGMENU tells autosave to refrain from writing backup (.savB) and sequence (.sav1, .sav2, etc.) files for this save set.
  3. Add an MEDM related-display entry to bring up a configMenu*.adl display.
    label="scan1Menu"
    name="configMenu.adl"
    args="P=xxx:,CONFIG=scan1"
    
  4. If all of the PVs in a configuration are being autosaved, and you want the current configuration name and description, and the enableSave selection also to be autosaved, add the following line to auto_settings.req:
     file configMenu_settings.req P=$(P),CONFIG=scan1
    
    I'm not sure this is really a great idea, because the autosaved values aren't guaranteed to be the same as the values in the .cfg file. (The user might have loaded a .cfg file and then made some changes, for example.) But it's disconcerting for a user to reboot the ioc and not have everything come back just as it was, so I normally do this.
Here an example of what the user might see:


configMenu_small.adl

configMenu.adl

configMenu_more.adl

In configMenu_small.adl, the menu of configurations is displayed by and selected from the enum PV, $(P)$(CONFIG)Menu, (e.g., xxx:scan1Menu). This is the most convenient way for configMenu to be driven by CA-client software, because a single PV contains the menu choices and is also the PV to which choices are written to cause loading. This display cannot cause a configuration to be written. When the menu is repopulated, MEDM will not automatically retrieve the new names for display by $(P)$(CONFIG)Menu. This must be done manually, by closing and reopening the display, which is what the "Refresh menu choices" button does.

configMenu.adl and configMenu_more.adl show the menu choices as separate PVs, for which no manual refresh is needed, and provide buttons for loading and saving configurations.

configMenu_more.adl also shows description PVs. When the menu is populated by searching for config files, descriptions are extracted from those files. Otherwise, if configMenuNames.req is included in an autosave-request file, names and descriptions will be restored at boot time. If the enableSave PV (labelled "permit save?") has the value "No" (0), the "Save" buttons will not be displayed, and users will not be able to save configuration files.

Details

  1. Configuration names in the display, configMenu.adl (e.g., "align entrance slit") will correspond with autosave ".cfg" files whose names are similar, but with non-alphanumeric characters replaced by '_' (e.g., "scan1_align_entrance_slit.cfg"). A ".cfg" file is exactly like a ".sav" file; the ".cfg" extension is purely to make them easier to find and distinguish from ".sav" files.
    You don't want to make two configurations whose names differ only in non-alphanumeric characters; configMenu will gleefully treat them as the same configuration.
  2. configMenu_small.adl has a problem when the menu of config files changes: MEDM doesn't monitor the menu (enum) strings, so the display must be closed and reopened when they change. That's what the "Refresh menu choices" button is for. (Channel access clients that specify the event-type flag DBE_PROPERTY when they subscribe to an enum PV will be notified when the enum strings change.)
  3. configMenu can save and restore most kinds of PVs from other IOCs, but currently it can't handle array or long-string PVs in a remote IOC. If you use configMenu for remote PVs, you should tell autosave to retry connections periodically, by including the following line in save_restore.cmd:
    save_restoreSet_CAReconnect(1)
    
  4. When configMenu overwrites an existing .cfg file, it makes a backup copy of the current version, named filename_YYMMDD-HHMMSS. For example: scan1_blank.cfg_130401-140546 was written at 2:05:46 PM on 4/1/2013.
  5. You can load .cfg files that contain macros. For example, softGlue standard example circuits can be loaded without modification into any softGlue instance by specifying macros as follows:
    create_manual_set("SGMenu.req","P=xxx:,CONFIG=SG,CONFIGMENU=1,H=softGlue:")
    where the macros "P" and "H" agree with their definitions in softGlue.cmd.
  6. configMenu needs to get a directory listing to search the autosave directory for .cfg files. At APS, we've encountered a problem using nfs3Drv with vxWorks 5.5.2 to talk to a linux-hosted file server. The source and nature of the problem are not thoroughly understood, but one symptom is that directory listings don't work. For example, typing "ls" at the ioc's console prompt yields the following error message:
    error reading dir <mydirectoryname> errno: 0x300016
    
    One solution is to modify the board-support package to use nfs2Drv.

About save files


PV values in a save file have been converted to strings, in most cases simply by having been read as strings — e.g., ca_get(DBR_STRING,...). Most data types are read using channel access and written using dbStaticLib calls. Four data types get special attention:
double
read as double, converted to string with the format "%.14g". (Otherwise, the record's .PREC field would limit the precision.)
float
Same as double, but the format is "%.7g".
menu and enum
Menu and enum are integer data types with values restricted to the set (0,1,...N), where 'N' depends on the PV, but is usually 15 or smaller. EPICS associates a string with each number in the set, and permits clients to use either the number or the string. For menu PV's, the strings are specified in a .dbd file; for enum PV's, the strings can be specified in a database file, and they can be modified at run time.

Channel access does not distinguish these types, so neither does autosave. Autosave cannot write enums as strings, because enum strings may not have been defined at the time they must be restored.

arrays of any kind
Arrays are read and written using database access. Channel access cannot read only the defined portion of an array, dbStaticLib cannot write an array. (However, asVerify uses channel access to read arrays.)

Here is a sample save file. Characters in blue are documentation comments, and are not part of the file:

# save/restore V4.9	Automatically generated - DO NOT MODIFY - 060720-154526
! 1 channel(s) not connected - or not all gets were successful
xxx:SR_ao.DISP 0 (uchar)
xxx:SR_ao.PREC 1 (short)
xxx:SR_bo.IVOV 2 (ushort)
xxx:SR_ao.SCAN 3 (enum - saved/restored as a short)
xxx:SR_ao.VAL 4.1234567890123 (double, printed with format "%.14g")
xxx:SR_scaler.RATE 1.234568 (float, printed with format "%.7g")
xxx:SR_ao.DESC description (string)
xxx:myCalc.CALC$ 123456789+123456789+123456789+123456789+123456789 (long string)
xxx:SR_ao.OUT xxx:SR_bo.VAL NPP NMS (link)
xxx:SR_ao.RVAL 4 (long)
xxx:SR_bi.SVAL 2 (ulong)
#i_dont_exist.VAL Search Issued (no such PV)
xxx:SR_char_array @array@ { "1" "2" "3" "4" "5" "6" "7" "8" "9" "10" }
xxx:SR_double_array @array@ { "1" "2" "3" "4" "5" "6" "7" "8" "9" "10" }
xxx:SR_float_array @array@ { "1" "2" "3" "4" "5" "6" "7" "8" "9" "10" }
xxx:SR_long_array @array@ { "1" "2" "3" "4" "5" "6" "7" "8" "9" "10" }
xxx:SR_short_array @array@ { "1" "2" "3" "4" "5" "6" "7" "8" "9" "10" }
xxx:SR_string_array @array@ { "1" "2" "3" "4" "5" "6" "7" "8" "9" "10" }
xxx:SR_uchar_array @array@ { "1" "2" "3" "4" "5" "6" "7" "8" "9" "10" }
xxx:SR_ulong_array @array@ { "1" "2" "3" "4" "5" "6" "7" "8" "9" "10" }
xxx:SR_ushort_array @array@ { "1" "2" "3" "4" "5" "6" "7" "8" "9" "10" }
<END>

Save files are not intended to be edited manually. If you, nevertheless, do edit a save file, you must end it with the text
<END>
followed by one or two arbitrary characters (normally '\n' or '\r\n'). If the file does not end with this text, reboot_restore() will assume the crate crashed while the file was being written, or that some other bad thing happened, and will not use the file. Once a save file has been created successfully, save_restore will not overwrite the file unless a good ".savB" backup file exists. Similarly, it will not overwrite the ".savB" file unless the save file was successfully written.

You can comment out lines in a .sav file by beginning them with '#'.


Module contents


asApp/src

save_restore.c
saves PV values in files on a file server according to preset rules.
dbrestore.c
restore PV values at boot time, using dbStaticLib
initHooks.c
call restore routines at the correct time during boot.
fGetDateStr.c
Frank Lenkszus' date-string routines
save_restore.h, fGetDateStr.h, configMenuClient.h
headers
verify.c
compare an autosave save file with current values of PVs. Used by asVeryify and configMenu.
asVerify.c
Client-side tool to compare autosaved file with current PV values. Can also write an autosave file.
configMenuSub.c
aSub routines for use by the configMenu database.

asApp/Db

auto_settings.req, auto_positions.req
Sample request files
save_restoreStatus.db
database containing records save_restore uses to report status.
infoExample.db
database containing a record with info nodes specifying fields to be autosaved.
SR_test.db
Test database for autosave and asVerify.
configMenu.db, configMenu*.req
Support for managing/configuring a collection of PVs.

asApp/op/adl

save_restoreStatus*.adl, save_restoreStatusLegend.adl, save_restoreStatus_more.adl, save_restoreStatus_tiny.adl, SR_X_Status.adl
MEDM displays of save_restore status.
configMenu*.adl
Support for managing/configuring a collection of PVs.

User-callable functions


int create_manual_set(char *request_file, char *macrostring)
Create a save set for the request file. The save file will be written when the function manual_save() is called with the same request-file name.

See "Start the save task", above for information about the macro string.

This function can be called at any time after iocInit.

int create_monitor_set(char *request_file, int period, char *macrostring)
Create a save set for the request file. The save file will be written every period seconds, if any PV in the save set was posted (changed value) since the last write.

See "Start the save task", above for information about the macro string.

This function can be called at any time after iocInit.

int create_periodic_set(char *request_file, int period, char *macrostring)
Create a save set for the request file. The save file will be written every period seconds.

See "Start the save task", above for information about the macro string.

This function can be called at any time after iocInit.

int create_triggered_set(char *request_file, char *trigger_channel, char *macrostring)
Create a save set for the request file. The save file will be written whenever the PV specified by trigger_channel is posted. Normally this occurs when the PV's value changes.

See "Start the save task", above for information about the macro string.

This function can be called at any time after iocInit.

int fdbrestore(char *save_file)
If save_file refers to a save set that exists in memory, then PV's in the save set will be restored from values in memory. Otherwise, this functions restores the PV's in <saveRestorePath>/<save_file> and creates a new backup file "<saveRestorePath>/<save_file>.bu". The effect probably will not be the same as a boot-time restore, because caput() calls are used instead of static database access dbPutX() calls. Record processing will result from caput()'s to inherently process- passive fields.

This function can be called at any time after one of the create_*_set() functions have been called. If you want to call this function before creating any save sets, you can call create_*_set() with an empty request-file name. Autosave will complain about this, but it won't think you're a bad person.

int fdbrestoreX(char *save_file)
(iocsh version) This function restores from the file <saveRestorePath>/<save_file>, which can look just like a save file, but which needn't end with <END>. No backup file will be written. The effect probably will not be the same as a boot-time restore, because caput() calls are used instead of static database access dbPut*() calls. Record processing will result from caput()'s to inherently process-passive fields.

This function can be called at any time after one of the create_*_set() functions have been called. If you want to call this function before creating any save sets, you can call create_*_set() with an empty request-file name. Autosave will not hate you for doing this, though it will complain.

int fdbrestoreX(char *filename, char *macrostring, callbackFunc callbackFunction, void *puser)
(version for c-code clients) This function does the same job as the iocsh version above. If macrostring is not NULL, the macro definitions it contains will be applied to the contents of filename. If callbackFunction is not NULL, it specifies a function of type void f(int status, void *puser) that will be called when the save operation is done.

char *getMacroString(char *request_file)
If create_*_set() was ever called for request_file, then the macro-substitution string supplied in that call was recorded by autosave, and can be recovered with this function. This is part of the implementation of configMenu, and it allows .cfg files to include macros.

void makeAutosaveFiles(void)
Search through the EPICS database (that is, all EPICS records loaded into an IOC) for info nodes named 'autosaveFields' and 'autosaveFields_pass0'; construct lists of PV names from the associated info values, and write the PV names to the files 'info_settings.req' and 'info_positions.req', respectively.

An info node, in an EPICS database, is similar to a field specification, but it has the word info instead of field; and it has an arbitrary name, instead of the name of a field in the record. Here's an EPICS database containing a single record with two info nodes:

record(ao, "$(P)test1") {
  field(DTYP, "Soft Channel")
  info(autosaveFields, "PREC EGU DESC")
  info(autosaveFields_pass0, "VAL")
}

From this information, makeAutosaveFiles() will write the following two files:

info_settings.req
$(P)test1.PREC
$(P)test1.EGU
$(P)test1.DESC

info_positions.req
$(P)test1.VAL

This function can be called at any time after iocInit().

See also:

void makeAutosaveFileFromDbInfo(char *fileBaseName, char *info_name)
Search through the EPICS database (that is, all EPICS records loaded into an IOC) for 'info' nodes named info_name; construct a list of PV names from the associated info_values found, and write the PV names to the file fileBaseName. If fileBaseName does not contain the string '.req', this string will be appended to it. See makeAutosaveFiles() for more information.

This function can be called at any time after iocInit().

int manual_save(char *request_file)
(iocsh version) Cause current PV values for the request file to be saved. Any request file named in a create_xxx_set() command can be saved manually.

int manual_save(char *request_file, char *save_file, callbackFunc callbackFunction, void *puser);
(version for c-code clients) Cause current PV values for the request file to be saved. Any request file named in a create_xxx_set() command can be saved manually. If save_file is not NULL and not empty, it specifies the name of the file that will be written. If callbackFunction is not NULL, it specifies a function of type void f(int status, void *puser) that will be called when the save operation is done.

int reboot_restore(char *save_file, initHookState init_state)
This should only be called from initHooks because it can only function correctly if called at particular times during iocInit.

int reload_manual_set(char * request_file, char *macrostring)
This function allows you to change the PV's associated with a save set created by create_manual_set().

Note: Don't get too ambitious with the remove/reload functions. You have to wait for one to finish completely (the save_restore task must get through its service loop) before executing another. If you call one before the previous function is completely finished, I don't know what will happen.

int reload_monitor_set(char * request_file, int period, char *macrostring)
This function allows you to change the PV's and the period associated with a save set created by create_monitor_set().

int reload_periodic_set(char *request_file, int period, char *macrostring)
This function allows you to change the PV's and the period associated with a save set created by create_periodic_set().

int reload_triggered_set(char *request_file, char *trigger_channel, char *macrostring)
This function allows you to change the PV's and the trigger channel associated with a save set created by create_triggered_set().

int remove_data_set(char *request_file)
If a save set has been created for request_file, this function will delete it.

void save_restoreSet_DatedBackupFiles(int ok)
Sets the value of (int) save_restoreDatedBackupFiles (initially 1). If zero, the backup file written at reboot time (a copy of the file from which PV values are restored) will have the suffix '.bu', and will be overwritten every reboot. If nonzero, each reboot will leave behind its own backup file.

This function can be called at any time.

void save_restoreSet_Debug(int debug_level)
Sets the value (int) save_restoreDebug (initially 0). Increase to get more informational messages printed to the console.

This function can be called at any time.

void save_restoreSet_FilePermissions(int permissions)
Specify the file permissions used to create new .sav files. This integer value will be supplied, exactly as given, to the system call, open(). Typically, file permissions are set with an octal number, such as 0640, and save_restoreSet_FilePermissions() will confirm any number given to it by echoing it to the console as an octal number.

This function can be called at any time after iocInit.

void save_restoreSet_IncompleteSetsOk(int ok)
Sets the value of (int) save_restoreIncompleteSetsOk (initially 1). If set to zero, save files will not be restored at boot time unless they are perfect, and they will not be overwritten at save time unless a valid CA connection and value exists for every PV in the list.

This function can be called at any time.

void save_restoreSet_NFSHost(char *hostname, char *address)
Specifies the name and IP address of the NFS host. If both have been specified, and set_savefile_path() has been called to specify the file path, save_restore will manage its own NFS mount. This allows save_restore to recover from a reboot of the NFS host (that is, a stale file handle) and from some kinds of tampering with the save_restore directory.

void save_restoreSet_NumSeqFiles(int numSeqFiles)
Sets the value of (int) save_restoreNumSeqFiles (initially 3). This is the number of sequenced backup files to be maintained. numSeqFiles must be between 0 and 10 inclusive.

This function can be called at any time.

void save_restoreSet_RetrySeconds(int seconds)
Sets the value of (int) save_restoreRetrySeconds (initially 60; minimum 10). If the .sav-file write fails, it will be retried after this interval..

This function can be called at any time.

void save_restoreSet_SeqPeriodInSeconds(int period)
Sets the value of (int) save_restoreSeqPeriodInSeconds (initially 60). Sequenced backup files will be written with this period. period must be 10 or greater.

This function can be called at any time.

void save_restoreSet_status_prefix(char *prefix)
Specifies the prefix to be used to construct the names of PV's with which save_restore reports its status. If you want autosave to update status PVs as it operates, you must call this function and load the database save_restoreStatus.db, specifying the same prefix in both commands.

This function must be called before the first call to create_xxx_set().

void save_restoreSet_UseStatusPVs(int ok)
Specifies whether save_restore should report its status to a preloaded set of EPICS PV's (contained in the database save_restoreStatus.db). If the argument is '0', then status PV's will not be used.

This function should be called before the first call to create_xxx_set().

void save_restoreShow(int verbose)
List all the save sets currently being managed by the save_restore task. If (verbose != 0), lists the PV's as well.

This function can be called at any time after iocInit.

int set_requestfile_path(char *path, char *pathsub)
Called before create_xxx_set(), this function specifies the path to be prepended to request-file names. pathsub, if present, will be appended to path, if present, with a separating '/', whether or not path ends or pathsub begins with '/'. If the result does not end in '/', one will be appended to it.

You can specify several directories to be searched for request files by calling this routine several times. Directories will be searched in the order in which the set_requestfile_path() calls were made. If you never call the routine, the crate's current working directory will be searched. If you ever call it, the current directory ("./") will be searched only if you've asked for it explicitly.

int set_pass0_restoreFile(char *save_file)
This function specifies a save file to be restored during iocInit, before record initialization. An unlimited number of files can be specified using calls to this function.

int set_pass1_restoreFile(char *save_file)
This function specifies a save file to be restored during iocInit, after record initialization. An unlimited number of files can be specified using calls to this function.

int set_savefile_name(char *request_file, char *save_file)
If a save set has already been created for the request file, this function will change the save file name.

int set_savefile_path(char *path, char *pathsub)
Called before iocInit(), this function specifies the path to be prepended to save-file and restore-file names. pathsub, if present, will be appended to path, if present, with a separating '/', whether or not path ends or pathsub begins with '/'. If the result does not end in '/', one will be appended to it.

If save_restore is managing its own NFS mount, this function specifies the mount point, and calling it will result in an NFS mount if all other requirements have already been met. If a valid NFS mount already exists, the file system will be dismounted and then mounted with the new path name. This function can be called at any time.

int set_saveTask_priority(int priority)
Set the priority of the save_restore task.

Example of use


---------- begin excerpt from st.cmd ----------------------
.
.
.
dbLoadDatabase("$(TOP)/dbd/iocxxxVX.dbd")
iocxxxVX_registerRecordDeviceDriver(pdbbase)
.
.
.
### autoSaveRestore setup
save_restoreSet_Debug(0)

# status-PV prefix, so save_restore can find its status PV's.
save_restoreSet_status_prefix("xxx:")

# ok to restore a save set that had missing values (no CA connection to PV)?
# ok to save a file if some CA connections are bad?
save_restoreSet_IncompleteSetsOk(1)

# In the restore operation, a copy of the save file will be written.  The
# file name can look like "auto_settings.sav.bu", and be overwritten every
# reboot, or it can look like "auto_settings.sav_020306-083522" (this is what
# is meant by a dated backup file) and every reboot will write a new copy.
save_restoreSet_DatedBackupFiles(1)

# specify where save files should go
set_savefile_path(startup, "autosave");

## specify where request files can be found
# current directory
set_requestfile_path(startup, "")
# We want to include request files that are stored with the databases they
# support — e.g., in stdApp/Db, mcaApp/Db, etc.  The variables std and mca
# are defined in cdCommands.  The path is searched in the order in which
# directories are specified. 
set_requestfile_path(startup)
set_requestfile_path(std, "stdApp/Db")
set_requestfile_path(motor, "motorApp/Db")
set_requestfile_path(mca, "mcaApp/Db")
set_requestfile_path(ip, "ipApp/Db")
set_requestfile_path(ip330, "ip330App/Db")
# [...]

# Specify what save files should be restored when.
# Up to eight files can be specified for each pass.
set_pass0_restoreFile("auto_positions.sav")
set_pass0_restoreFile("auto_settings.sav")
set_pass1_restoreFile("auto_settings.sav")

set_pass0_restoreFile("info_positions.sav")
set_pass0_restoreFile("info_settings.sav")
set_pass1_restoreFile("info_settings.sav")
# [...]

# Number of sequenced backup files (e.g., 'auto_settings.sav0') to write
save_restoreSet_NumSeqFiles(3)

# Time interval between sequenced backups
save_restoreSet_SeqPeriodInSeconds(600)

# Time between failed .sav-file write and the retry.
save_restoreSet_RetrySeconds(60)

# Ok to retry connecting to PVs whose initial connection attempt failed?
save_restoreSet_CAReconnect(1)

# Time interval in seconds between forced save-file writes.  (-1 means forever).
# This is intended to get save files written even if the normal trigger mechanism is broken.
save_restoreSet_CallbackTimeout(-1)

# NFS host name and IP address
save_restoreSet_NFSHost("oxygen", "164.54.52.4")

dbLoadRecords("$(AUTOSAVE)/asApp/Db/save_restoreStatus.db", "P=xxx:")
.
.
.
iocInit
.
.
.
### Start up the save_restore task and tell it what to do.
# The task is actually named "save_restore".
#
# save positions every five seconds
create_monitor_set("auto_positions.req", 5, "P=xxx:")
# save other things every thirty seconds
create_monitor_set("auto_settings.req", 30, "P=xxx:")

# Handle autosave 'commands' contained in loaded databases.
makeAutosaveFiles()
create_monitor_set("info_positions.req", 5, "P=xxx:")
create_monitor_set("info_settings.req", 30, "P=xxx:")


.
.
.
---------- end excerpt from st.cmd ----------------------



Suggestions and Comments to:
Tim Mooney : (mooney@aps.anl.gov)