Snapshot Internals

Snapshots contain a read-only set of files which can be automatically removed after a set period of time. Only site administrators have direct access to snapshots and their underlying files.

The Hidden Underscore Directory

The files that belong to your snapshots are stored in a hidden directory, based upon the internal ID number of the snapshot. For example, the files for a snapshot with the ID number of 29816 are found at the path _/Snapshots/29816/ and the files for a snapshot with the ID number 48762 are located at _/Snapshots/48762/.

The underscore directory is the only directory that site administrators do not have complete control over. Site administrators have Full but not Admin level permissions to the individual snapshot folders. This means that you cannot configure any folder settings (or Webhooks, Email Notifications, File Expiration, etc.) for the underscore directory.

Because snapshot contents are always stored within this hidden directory, those contents are always stored within the native platform storage at the default storage region for your site.

Snapshots Can Have an Expiration Date

Snapshots that are automatically generated by creating a snapshot Share Link will have an expiration date, which can never be more than 60 days after the snapshot was created. As a result, snapshot Share Links will always expire, and the expiration cannot be more than 60 days after the Share Link was created.

Snapshots created without a Share Link may also have an expiration date, but it is not required. Choosing not to add an expiration date to your snapshot means that you will need to delete the snapshot to remove its files from your site.

If a snapshot has an expiration, the file contents, including the snapshot's hidden directory, are removed from your site when that date is reached.

Snapshot Can Have a Name

Snapshots that are automatically generated by creating a Share Link will include the ID of its matching Share Link, which allows you to determine that the snapshot belongs to a Share Link.

When you manually create and manage a snapshot (without a Share Link), you can add a name to the snapshot. We strongly urge you to always add a name to your directly-managed snapshots, so that you can easily recall the purpose of each.

Snapshots Must Be Finalized

Snapshots include a date that indicates when the snapshot was finalized. Finalizing a snapshot makes the snapshot read-only.

Snapshots must be finalized no more than 96 hours after the snapshot is created. Un-finalized snapshots older than this limit are automatically removed by the platform.

Finalizing a snapshot cannot be undone.

Adding Files to Snapshots

When you create a snapshot but it is not yet finalized, you can change the contents of the snapshot.

To copy file paths from another part of your site (including on a Remote Server Mount), you can update the snapshot to indicate which paths should be copied. This will start a background process to copy all the relevant files from the paths you added. Using this method of adding files is the most convenient, as it includes all of the parallelization and automatic retry logic built into the platform.

You can also directly add files to the un-finalized snapshot's directory, by uploading, copying, or moving them to the correct path in the underscore directory. This allows you to store files in your snapshot that are not included in any other parts of your site.

Removing Snapshot Files

The directory for each snapshot is automatically removed by the platform when the snapshot expires, or when you delete a snapshot.

When a snapshot is not yet finalized, you can change the contents of its directory, including deleting items from the directory. Snapshots can be deleted by any site administrator, using one of our official SDKs or the Command Line Interface (CLI) application.

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