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Data Storage Format
Data storage format - Technical Details
Frequently customers are wondering - what file format we are using, is data encryption is trustworthy, and is it strong enough to store your valuable personal information?
AllMyNotes Organizer saves all information in single, encrypted, optimized for performance, and highly failure-resistant database file (.ddb file).
Below we would like to share with you all technical details regarding our data storage format, which is an object of our pride.
• Optimized for performance. When AllMyNotes Organizer starts up, it doesn't loads data in to the memory, at all! It loads only tree structure, which is just few kilobytes, that's why AllMyNotes Organizer is starts up instantly. Then, when you open certain document, it loads it in to the memory, and unloads immediately when you switch to another document, to assure minimal RAM usage.
• Highly failure-resistant. We are using an advanced data protection technology, it's engineered and stressfully-tested to assure your data safety. Your data is duplicated in few places to assure maximum data safety on accidental or intentional failures software and hardware failures, such as: viral activity, or partial file corruption due to HDD crash. AllMyNotes is be able to maintain access to your data even if up to 90% of data file is corrupted - even if majority of records are lost, AllMyNotes maintains access to remaining data. If minor data corruption will happen, you even will not notice it, our smart database engine will recover your data from duplicate areas, without disturbing you.
• Encrypted. Aside the fact that an access to your valuable data can be protected by password, your data is encrypted on the disk at all times, even when password is not assigned. We are using strong 1800-bit encryption to assure high encryption level. Thanks to it, no readable traces of your data is left on your disk, knowing this you can feel safe when saving your data file on removable USB media, leaving it on someone's PC, or sending it over email or file-sharing services.
• Unlimited data file size. There is no limit on data size and on number of records in it. Data size is only limited to file system limits (ex: for NTFS it's 16 EB - 16 Exabytes, that's a lot!). Though, we recommend to keep single Note/Document size in reasonable range, try to do not attach many huge images and file attachments to it, as on loading Notes all of them are loaded in to the memory, so make sure that your PC's memory can hold it.
• Smart/Quick Search. When searching across all your data we are using smart search hash, which means, we do not load all your data when you are searching for something, the disk access is always minimal, and search speed is high.
• There is a whole virtual file system inside the single .ddb file, unused file fragments are re-used for new data for better performance. Each time when you exit the app the data file is being automatically defragmented for 5 seconds, assuring good data file shape for you at all times.
• AllMyNotes Organizer is doing automatic backups of your data on exiting application, each time it backups to new file name, with file stamp, assuring you'll have history of backups. Backups older than 7 days (number of days can be configured) are deleted automatically to save disk space.
• It's so easy to move data file to any other location! Easy to backup and move it to any location - external HDD, or LAN, wherever you want, just use Save As menu item, or simply copy the file using Windows Explorer.
• No dependency on third-party libraries. We're using our own robust, compact, smart, and built-in database engine, no need in .NET platform, no SQLite dependency, nothing like ADO, nothing like that, at all! It just works :)
• Native Unicode support. Data storage on api level is storing text fields in Unicode, allowing work with multiple languages easily.
• When data is locked by password, the password is NOT stored in the database - we story only password hash, which is another level of security for your data safety.
• It took us 6 months to develop our own, data storage format, and we believe, it's worth the development time indeed :)
Q: Is my data safe with proprietary data storage format?
A: Yes, it is! And, unlike other, evil software vendors, we do not lock your data inside, you can export and import your data freely, at any time. Also, we do have Lite edition, which can be used to view/edit data even without purchasing the application.
Q: I've entered 1000 characters of text, and my .ddb file got bigger at 7000 bytes, why?
A: These days data storage space is cheap, and textual data is still not that big to worry about its size, therefore we've put major accent on data safety (duplicate data record is stored in 2 places), performance (search hash), and we do pre-allocate little disk space for faster disk operations. In addition, data is stored in Unicode format, which means that for each character needed 2 bytes of disk space. Therefore, to store single character is needed in average, 7 bytes.
Q: Do you compress data on the disk?
A: We do compress pictures in .png file format, which saves a lot of disk space. As for the plain text, we believe text takes very little disk space, so there is no need to bother about compression.
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