Disaster Recovery in VP

I’ve just noticed that one of my drawings has gone missing from the latest version of my project.

No idea how, but let’s assume for the time being that it was my fault. Fat finger on the delete button or whatever.

I have backups of the project coming out of my ears, so I assume I can simply go into one, find the relevant drawing and copy it from the backup to the current.


I export it at excel from the backup and import as excel to the current.
I get a jumbled mess of all the elements in one place. Unusable.

How are we supposed to rescue ourselves in this situation?

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Good question! Might even be a useful topic for a guide in the future.

There are several options. First of all the project location, the folder in which the project itself was saved:

If you look closely you’ll notice several renamed files. For example: database.vpp.bak_002d. That is one of the many backup copies of the project. If you rename this into a name which VP recognizes (for example: database2.vpp) then you should be able to open the file using Visual Paradigm. You can reach this location using a file browser, as shown above.

VP usually keeps several backup copies in such a location.

The second option, but something tells me that you’re probably not using it, is VPository. In other words: VP’s cloud service. If you saved your project in VPository you can always open an earlier version of your project, or revert your project back to an earlier point:

Just open the teamwork client, select the project and check the revisions tab.

I think these are your two best options to restore previous work.

I’m a little confused why you’d use the Excel format for backups?

Anyway, I hope this can help.

It is not an automated process, so you’ll have to rename the files by hand, but after that you should be ok.

OK, the backups are available and I can accept that as a fallback, but they’re not an adequate response in this situation.

I now realise what I did. I was playing around with the tools I haven’t yet looked at last night and something I did triggered the creation of a bunch of empty drawings (might have been the TOGAF ADM option or something like that)

I remember noticing this bunch of empty drawings dotted throughout my project and thinking that perhaps one of my colleagues had dived in and edited it. Felt somewhat irritated because I’d explicitly told them to make copies in their own folder and leave my stuff alone. Only this morning did I remember the probable cause and immediately set about deleting all the unwanted drawings. I suspect my fat finger event materialised in the middle of that cleanup.

Then spent the rest of the day typing, I would guess, about 5000 words into th the glossary and doing a few revisions to some of my drawings.

Going back to the first backup which contains my deleted drawing would cost me those 5000 words. That aint gonna happen. It would only take me half an hour max to recreate the missing drawing.

But that shouldn’t be necessary. It should surely be triivial for VP to provide a simple and foolproof way of transferring a drawing from one project to another.

Now, a possible solution is hinted at by your question:

I’m a little confused why you’d use the Excel format for backups?

the simple answer is, I’m a beginner. I’m confused. If there’s a better, more reliable way that does what I would expect, that’s all I need to know.

However, in my defence, the ONLY options which specify “Active Diagram” are Image and Excel, in the Project Export option menu I see. Image was obviously useless, so I tried Excel.

Is there any other way to export just an active diagram?

Hi Harry,

Try using the diagram’s popup menu, the Export VP Project and XML menu item does allow exporting the active diagram to the specified format:


Hi Harry,

For restore project from backup, you can close your project and select Restore Auto-backup from menu bar. For details, you can refer to Recover project form auto-backups section in this knowhow:

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Try using the diagram’s popup menu, the Export VP Project and XML menu item
does allow exporting the active diagram to the specified format:

Sorry, not clear. What do you mean by the specified format? VP?
When I choose that it only wants to export to a new VP project. Not to a file I can then import into an existing project…

In any case, just exported as VP, XML and BPMN2 (option which only appeared after exporting the VP snip)

Will be attempting imports later.
Watch this space…

and the winner is…


Export the drawing you want to move from one project to the other using the BPMN2 template.
Put it wherever

Open up the project you want to import it into and import the file you’ve just created

Bob’s yer father’s bruvver.

My missing drawing is restored with everything in the right place, all links restored etc, just like it never went away…

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Greetings Kit.So

see my comments to Shell.User. Restoring a backup would have significantly increased the pain.
See also my comments in reply to Antony to find the real solution…

I’m happy to learn that you managed to sort this out! It’s always a very tricky issue whenever you have to deal with data loss (or corruption), especially if you keep in mind how much time and effort can go into a modeling project.

You mentioned moving diagrams across projects… Now, I don’t know what license / VP edition you’re using, but Standard (and up of course) allow you to reference projects (or “link” them if you will).

This can make it easy to quickly access diagrams from both projects. You can easily check if this is available to you by checking the “Project” toolbar, if it has a big icon which says “Referenced Project” then you can use this:


Maybe food for thought?

But for now, good to know you managed to sort this out!