A basic tenet in any profession - whether you're a statistical programmer, developer or blogger - is save your work. For statisticians, saving is important, but archiving is KING! You never know when your client may want you to roll back to a previous version or when someone else may touch your program and you need to fix it.
Kristen Reece Harrington from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has developed an "archiving' macro (%Archive())" because even though her company has archiving software, she'd like to be safe rather than sorry. She called herself a bit compulsive. She says, "We don't all code well with others."
"There isn’t always time to go through each program and determine what supporting macros, files, documents, etc. are needed to recreate specific output. Saving the entire directory structure and all contents within that directory is a fool-proof method of ensuring that a point in time has been captured and can be recreated with two clicks of a button."
According to Harrington, as the macro runs, it checks to see if the archive file already exists. If it doesn't, it creates it for you. If it does, it removes that folder so that it is not included in the zip file.
"This macro has a few limitations," says Harrington. "We find that when you are trying to zip up terabyte data, it chokes."
In response to an audience question, Harrington said that the macro grabs all subfolders automatically, but you can specify folders that you do not want zipped.
You can check out this great macro in Harrington's paper, Beep, Beep, Beep, Back it Up! A Fool Proof Approach to Archiving With No Copying.