SQL Maintenance Plan

In this article, we show how to create a new SQL Maintenance Plan that will backup databases on a daily and weekly basis with example. To demonstrate the SQL Maintenance Plan, we are using the Adventure Works Database present in our system.

Before we get into the example, let me show you the existing maintenance plans in SQL Server. To access the same, go to the Object Explorer -> Expand the Management Folder, and expand the Maintenance Plans. As you can see from the below screenshot, we don’t have any existing maintenance plans in SQL Server.

Create SQL Maintenance Plan

In this example, we will create a SQL Server Maintenance Plan that will perform regular database backups. For this, we use two types of backups: Full (Weekly), and Differential (Daily)

To create, Please right-click on the SQL Maintenance Plans and select the New Maintenance Plans… option from the context menu.

Choose New SQL Maintenance Plan option to create one 2

Once you select the New Maintenance Plans… option, a new window will open to assign a new for this plan. For this SQL Maintenance Plan demo, we assigned the name as AdventureWorksBackup.

Assign New SQL Maintenance Plan name 3

Once you click the OK button, the following window will appear, along with the Toolbox.

SQL Maintenance Plan Back up database Taskoption 4

Double click on the Subplan_1 to rename it. As you can from the below screenshot, we assigned a name as FullBackup and valid description.

Set SQL Maintenance Plan subplan Name, description, schedule,  and run as option 5

Let me add another subplan for differential backups. To create a new subplan in SQL Server, Please click on the Add Subplan tab, as we have shown below.

Add Subplan to SQL Maintenance Plan 6

And, we assign the name as Differential Backup for this SQL Maintenance Plan.

Subplan Properties of SQL Maintenance Plan 7

Please select the Full Backup subplan, and drag and drop the Back Up Database Task on the designer region.

Schedule SQL Maintenance Plan 8

Right-click on the Task will open the context menu. Please select the Edit.. option to configure the Task.

Edit SQL Maintenance Plan 9

Once you select the Edit.. option, the following window will open.

SQL Maintenance Plan Backup Database Task General Settings 10

Backup Type: Please select the backup type from the drop-down list.

SQL Maintenance Plan Backup Type 11

Database: Here, you can select either one or all the database exists in Management Studio. For now, we are choosing the Adventure Works 2014

SQL Maintenance Plan Local Server Connection and Choose the Database 12

Please cross-check all the options, and click on the Destination tab to configure the destination.

SQL Maintenance Plan to backup database 13

The following are the list of properties available in the SQL Maintenance plan Destination tab. As you can see, we are selecting the D folder to save the backup files, and its extension is bak. You can use …. (Browse) button to choose the path.

Select Folder to backup database 14

Within the Options tab, you can set the expiry, Encryption, etc. For now, we don’t want any compression or Encryption. So let me select the Verify backup integrity and click OK button.

Back Up Database Task Conection 15

You have to follow the same steps to create a Differential Backup, and the only change is Backup Type to Differential.

Back Up Database Task 16

Let me close the SQL Server Maintenance plan and save it.

Please go to the Object Explorer -> Expand the Management Folder and expand the Maintenance Plans to see the newly created one. Next, Expand the SQL Server Agent -> Jobs folder to check the freshly created Jobs (Full and Differential).

Backup Database Job under the Object Explorer

Select and right-click on either of the two Jobs and select the properties option from the menu. Next, under the Schedules tab, you can see there is no scheduled time for this Job to run. It is because we missed scheduling the backups.

You can schedule them by clicking the New button, but we will do it in the SQL Maintenance plan section. It helps you to understand the topic altogether.

Job Schedule Properties Window

Modify the SQL Maintenance Plan

Right-click on the newly created maintenance plan in SQL Server will open the context menu. Please select the Modify option.

Modify SQL Maintenance Plan 19

To schedule the backup, please click on the tiny calendar symbol, as we showed here.

SQL Maintenance Plan Schedule 20

As you can see we are scheduling this Job to run on Every Monday at 12 AM

New Job Schedule Frequency 21

Next, we are scheduling the Differential Backup Job to run Every Day at 3:31:59 PM

New Job Schedule under SQL Maintenance Plan 22

Now, If you open the schedules tab in Job properties, you can see the schedule list.

Difference BackUp Job Properties 23

We don’t have time to wait for weekdays and weekends. Let me start the Job by right-clicking on the Job and select Start Job at Step.. option from the context menu.

Start Jobs under the SQL Server Agent 24

As you can see, our Job executed successfully.

Start Job in SQL Maintenance Plan 25

From the file system you can see, we had one Full backup and one differential backup.

Differential Backup Files 26