Refresh Dev

This pattern will allow you to test your new development changes with updated production data without having to maintain a third staging server or file.

This pattern is described below using two seperate servers, but it can also be done with two files on the same server. The pattern is the same, but the implementation is slightly different. If you would like to do this using files on the same server, simply replace the word "server" with "file" in the instructions below.


Say you want to have real-world data in you development server to properly test new development. How do you keep the development server up to date with the latest data from the PROD server without wiping out our new development?


This pattern will move all the data from the PROD server to the DEV server. This may not be what you want. If you want to move only some of the data, that is more complicated.

Solution #1 - Replace DEV after migrating to PROD


This solution is the easiest to implement, but it will wipe out any new development you have done since last migrating from DEV to PROD. See Solution #2 for a more robust solution.

The easy solution is to perform a replace from the PROD server to the DEV server after you deploy from DEV to PROD. This will wipe out all the schema on the DEV server and replace it with the schema from the PROD server. This is a good solution if you have not done any new development on DEV yet or if you do not care about wiping out development. In most situations, Solution #2 is better for when you have already done some development on DEV.

Solution #2 - Perform a migration using sub-deployments

To migrate from PROD to DEV without wiping out our development, you can use sub-deployments. This pattern will require three sub-deployments:

Copy data from Production

In your first sub-deployment, copy your production file from the PROD server to a staging file on the DEV server. The staging file is only going to be used as a location to perform these operations, so it can be deleted after the deployment is complete.

The source for this sub-deployment will be the PROD server.

Migrate Schema from Development

Then we will need to migrate the schema from your development file to the new staging file. The staging file will now have all of your production data with your new development schema. If you were doing a staging refresh, you could stop here and use the staging file as your new staging file.

The source for this sub-deployment will be the DEV server.

Overwrite Development with Staging

Now that you have a staging file with your production data and your development schema, you can replace the development file with the staging file.

This will essentially overwrite your development file with the new file you have built in the staging file. Now your development file will have all of your new development with the latest production data.

The source for this sub-deployment will be the DEV server.

You will need to use alternate sources for 1-2 of these sub-deployments (depending on whether you choose the source as your DEV or PROD server). Switch on the Abort remaining sub-deployments option so that you will not pereform subsequent sub-deployments if one fails.

Advanced options

You will need to turn on the Advanced Options in the deployment settings to use the Sub-deployments and abort remaining sub-deployments features.

Video walkthrough