The Purpose of Development Databases

Why are test form changes made in a separate development database? 

PowerDB gives users the ability to customize test forms and to create new, unique forms.  Form editing features are only found in a database type called “development”.  Creating or changing test forms in master or field databases is not a good idea for several reasons. 

-  Editing and testing forms in the production environment (master/field databases) can interfere with real test results.  Changes are immediately available to users entering actual data and running job reports.

-  Changing forms that are currently being used can unintentionally alter the look of job reports and make forms unusable if errors are introduced from “in progress” form development. 

-  A separate development environment allows for complete testing of the form with simulated results, to help verify the form will function the way it was intended. 

Once a new or modified form has been thoroughly vetted, it can be quickly uploaded to the master database through a special synchronization operation called Upload Form.  This is a very fast synchronization that takes only a few seconds.  The updated form is then disseminated to all users during their next Region Synchronization with the master.

Since a normal Region Synchronization is not allowed using a development database, no results or data can transfer between the development database and the master. 

Using a development database provides users with better control over how and when a form change is introduced into their working forms library. 

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