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This works very well as long as the file is never moved. If the user renames the file, restores a backup of the file, or copies it to another machine, [[Recover_corrupted_family_tree#What_causes_this_corruption.3F_2|the file will no longer work]], since it would no longer correlate to the log files stored under ~/.gramps.
A new approach was taken with Gramps 3.0. While the Berkeley database is still used, the user will no longer see a file. Instead of the actual database file, user opens a symbolic database name. This name will map to a subdirectory under ~/.gramps directory which contains all the needed database files.
Since all the files will be in the same directory, advanced users can make a backup of the entire directory, preserving the entire data. New users, who may not be familiar with the Linux filesystem, will not have to worry about finding their database, since a new Family Tree Manager will replace the old Open File dialog.
===Family Tree Manager===
The new Family Tree Manager replaces the File Open dialog. Version 3.0 does not work on files, but on Family Tree Databases. Since there is no file to open, a file open dialog makes no sense. The Open button has been replaced with a Family Trees button. Clicking this button brings up the Family Tree Manager, shown below.
The Family Tree Manager allows the user to create a new database, rename an existing database, delete a database, or load a database. All databases appear in the list, so the user does not need to worry about where the databases are located. If a database is open, an icon will appear next to the name.
==== Versions ====
If the RCS revision control system is installed on your system, Gramps allows you to archive specified versions of your database. To save a version, open the Family Tree Manager and select the opened database. Simply clicking on the Archive button will save the current version to the revision control system. If a database has one or more saved versions, the databases appear as a tree view, with the available versions displayed under them.
Versions may be deleted and renamed.
==== Multiple users ====
Unlike previous versions, Gramps 3.0 supports limited sharing of databases. Multiple users may edit the same database, just not at the same time. The Family Tree Manager will identify a database that is open for another user, and you will not be able to load the database until the other user has closed the database.
==== Repairing a Corrupt Database ====
On the odd chance that database corruption occurs, the Family Tree Manager will show the corrupted file with an Error icon next to it. If this database is selected, a Repair button will appear (as seen below).
Clicking the repair button will rebuild the database from the backup files that are automatically created on exit.
===Automatic Backup Files===
To protect against file corruption problems in the Berkeley database, Gramps 3.0 will generate a backup file at exit if any data has changed.
Unlike in Gramps 2.2, the backup files are not in XML format. The new backup files are a dump of the database tables. This allows the data to be saved quickly. One backup file exists for each primary table in the database. The backup files are not visible to the user, being held in the database directory.
=== Why no simultaneous access? ===
From time to time people want to use Gramps for collaborative research, and are then stopped as Gramps does not allow simultaneous access. That is, you can simultaneously access the database, but this typically results in corrupt data, destroying your database.
Note however that consecutive access from different places to the same underlying database is possible with Gramps 3.0, so a collaboration based on time sharing (using different hours to input data in Gramps) is possible.
In Gramps 5.0, the database backend became a plugin. This version still uses the same backend as previous versions; however, an new backend is introduced called "DB-API". This is a SQL-based backend. After testing was successful, Gramps 5.1 released with the SQlite backend as the default.