Back up OpenOffice.org Documents on Amazon S3

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Mar 23, 2009 GMT
Dmitri Popov

When it comes to cheap and secure off-site backup and storage, few services can beat Amazon S3. And if you want to easily back up your OpenOffice.org documents on Amazon S3, you can do so using a simple OpenOffice.org Basic macro and the aws Perl script. Before you start, you have to sign up for Amazon S3. Next, use your Linux distribution's package manager to install the curl utility. On a Ubuntu-based distro, this can be done using the sudo apt-get install curl command.

Now you can install aws. Download the latest version of the aws script and put it into your home directory. In the terminal, run the following command as root:

perl aws --install

Create an .awssecret text file in your home directory, and enter your Access Key ID on the first line and the Secret Access Key on the second line. Use then the s3mkdir command to create a new S3 bucket:

s3mkdir openoffice_org_backup_bucket

Note that the name of the bucket must be unique. Once aws is configured and ready to go, you start working on an OpenOffice.org macro that backs up the currently opened document on Amazon S3 via aws. The macro starts with obtaining the currently active document and checking whether it has already been saved. The latter is required to obtain the path to the document:

ThisDoc=ThisComponent
If ThisDoc.hasLocation=False Then
MsgBox ("You have to save to document first!", 16, "Attention!") :End
End If

Next, the macro saves all unsaved changes in the document:

ThisDocURL=ThisDoc.getURL()
If ThisDoc.isModified Then
ThisDoc.storeAsURL(ThisDocURL, Args)
End If

To construct a command that uploads the currently opened document, the macro needs to obtain two things: the document's path and name:

DocPath=ConvertFromURL(ThisDoc.getURL())
FileName=Dir(ThisDoc.getURL, 0)

To upload a file to Amazon S3, aws uses the s3put command which has the following format:

s3put BUCKET_NAME /path/to/file

The path/to/file part refers to the file or document you want to upload, while BUCKET_NAME refers to a bucket on Amazon S3 (in this case, it's openoffice_org_backup_bucket). So to construct the command that uploads the current OpenOffice.org document, the macro simply inserts the obtained DocPath value in a string which is then passed to the Shell routine:

PutCommand="openoffice_org_backup_bucket/" & FileName & " " & DocPath
Shell("s3put", 1, PutCommand)

That's all there is to it. Here is the entire macro in all its beauty:

Sub AmazonS3Backup()

Dim Args(0) As New com.sun.star.beans.PropertyValue

ThisDoc=ThisComponent

If ThisDoc.hasLocation=False Then
MsgBox ("You have to save to document first!", 16, "Attention!") :End
End If

ThisDocURL=ThisDoc.getURL()
If ThisDoc.isModified Then
ThisDoc.storeAsURL(ThisDocURL, Args)
End If

DocPath=ConvertFromURL(ThisDoc.getURL())
FileName=Dir(ThisDoc.getURL, 0)

PutCommand="openoffice_org_backup_bucket/" & FileName & " " & DocPath
Shell("s3put", 1, PutCommand)

End Sub

Comments

  • Why not use the Sun Cloud?

    This gets even easier when the new extension comes out that uses Sun's new Cloud service. This is available internally at Sun already. Hopefully it will be out in the public soon.
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