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Create a Developer's Extract of a Production Database

The article describes how to preserve the metadata and data content of test and production databases in a development environment without the database size requirements inherent in those environments.


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aving a development environment provides excellent software change management because it ensures secure, isolated testing and production environments. However, for many IT shops, maintaining three environments is too much overhead. Besides the challenge of guaranteeing both data integrity and consistent metadata between the environments, it requires keeping the development database at a manageable size despite the large database requirements inherent in the other environments.

If these challenges aren't met, the enhancements made during development may not have the anticipated results in testing or production. And even if they are successfully met, you still need to contend with the most important challenge: preserving the relational chain between parents and children so that developers' prototypes produce the desired results.

With this 10-Minute Solution, you will meet the challenges of providing a manageable development environment. You will develop an extract of the production environment that is just like production in every way but size, enabling developers to work with a representation of the database in test and production—only smaller. Instead of generating or making up sample data, you'll extract production data, allowing developers to work locally without needing to dedicate a new server for development.



The extraction solution also maintains the relational chain as well as all the other assumptions of the "real" database—the foreign key references are transported to the extract in tact. You control the size of the extract with a selectable percentage by using the Modulo operator, and even if you select just one percent of the data in production, all its consistency will be preserved. In effect, this Solution is like a data warehouse ETL procedure in reverse.



How do I preserve the metadata and data content of the test and production databases in a development environment without the database size requirements inherent in those environments?



Create an extract of the production database to support local development.



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