About the BetaArchive Database
The idea of the BetaArchive database came along around 2010 when Andy and mrpijey were trying to figure out a way to allow all users to see what we had in our archive. The idea was simple, but neither knew how to construct this into a working database until many years later. In 2018 a version of the database was finally created that allowed basic searching and data to be shown for each release. It has been growing from there into a feature rich database, and it is still growing.
What is the database for?
The database is a place where we will collect as much information about a release as possible. Eventually we hope to have screenshots and imagery, detailed file data, file checksums/hashes, and more. We're continuing to add more to the database all the time, but it's a slow process.
Why can't I search by 'x'?
Chances are you probably can. There are 2 ways to search, either via the main search function or as a secondary search using the search box just above the table of data. However if you can't find something you need or can't refine it properly, let us know and we'll see if there is any way we can improve the search feature.
Why can't I download straight from the database listing?
Our current setup using an FTP server doesn't easily allow this because browsers don't use the correct SSL connection to the FTP server. As a result it means that we can only provide you the path to the file instead. We are working on a way to allow direct downloads via the database in the future without needing to login to the FTP server, you'll just need to be logged into the forum and have access to the files.
Don't get your hopes up too soon - this is a long way off being a reality as there are a lot of hurdles we need to overcome with our infrastructure to allow it.
How is the database updated?
It's not simple, but in a nutshell we scan the entire archive and each release has its own meta data file containing all the information that we have about the release. From these we can construct the database, and should anything happen to the database itself all of the data that was stored within it can be reconstructed directly from the meta files.
Typically the database will be updated at 9pm GMT daily.
Why isn't the database as big as you claim?
We do have more data than is listed, however we use de-duplication and patching to reduce the size within our archive. This means removing duplicated data and keeping only one copy, which is then reconstructed later. Some files are reconstructed on the fly, but others will need manual patching to reconstruct the file. The database size appears smaller because for patched files we list actual file sizes of each file rather than their full reconstructed sizes. Other files are not affected.
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