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  9. Smart Save Configuration

Threats Manager Studio (TMS) implements a mechanism to automatically save the Threat Model, so that your work is preserved even after a crash or some computer failure. This functionality, called Smart Save, is based on a routine that periodically checks if the Threat Model has been changed. If a modification is identified, then the Threat Model is saved automatically, assigning a name which is derived from the name of the original file, adding a suffix including the current date and time. If, for example, we have opened a file called “My Threat Model.tm”, then a new file is created, with a name like “My Threat Model_20201022140530.tm”.

When you need to open the Threat Model, you can still refer to the original file, “My beautiful Threat Model.tm”: TMS will automatically detect the existence of updated copies, and will propose to load the most recent of them.

Smart Save has also the possibility to configure the maximum number of copies to be preserved. This allows to avoid having the need to maintain a huge number of obsolete copies in the system, because the oldest ones are automatically removed.

Smart Save is first set up with the Initialization Wizard, and can also be configured using the Options dialog, which is available from File menu.

Smart Save configuration is possible from a page of the Options, aptly called Smart Save.

The Smart Save page of the Options dialog.

The page includes a main toggle to activate or deactivate the Smart Save functionality. If Smart Save is not enabled, all saves will replace the existing file, and saves will only be done when manually triggered.

If Smart Save is enabled, it is possible to choose the number of saves to maintain. If this number is 0, TMS will not limit the number of files to be created. A positive number does instead indicate the number of copies to be created before starting to remove them. For example, if the number is 3 and we already have “My Threat Model.tm”, “My Threat Model_20201022140530.tm” and “My Threat Model_20201022140830.tm”, the following save will maintain the existing files and will add file “My Threat Model_20201022141130.tm”. In fact, the number of saves to maintain does not include the original file.
On the contrary, the following save will replace the oldest file, which is “My Threat Model_20201022140530.tm”, with a new save, called “My Threat Model_20201022141430.tm”.

The last parameter for this configuration is the Automatic Save Interval, which indicates the interval in minutes between the saves. In the previous example, we have assumed that the interval is 3 minutes.
If you configure it to 0, automatic save is disabled.

Tips & Tricks
If you choose 0 for the Automatic Save Interval, you effectively disable the automatic save. This allows to retain multiple copies of the Threat Model, while you still want to retain full control on when it is saved.

Automatic save requires the file to be saved first. Therefore, when you start working on a new Threat Model, remember to save the file in the right location before doing anything important.