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Best Practices for Ongoing Development with a Live Database

Question asked by skashanchi on Jul 1, 2015
Latest reply on Oct 2, 2015 by ninja

Hello everyone. I am reentering the development game after a lengthy absence. I have a situation which I assume is nothing unique. We are deploying a FMP solution in phases, so the client will start using the solution as I finish different modules in the database. I have experience with 4th Dimension where the datafile and the structure files were completely separate. So it was easy to work on the structure file locally, send it to the client and just have them open the data file with the new structure and use the new features, bug fixes, etc. Since in FMP data and structure are all in one, how does one go about doing this sort of ongoing development?


Currently the client is using a very rough version of the solution (they had to get going ASAP). There will be 4 or 5 users, so for now we are just running the solution on one machine and others are connecting to this machine and using the solution We will eventually move to server.


- Is it possible to do development work directly in the live database? i.e. can I add and delete tables, fields, layouts, etc. while users are actually using the database? Obviously I would not be working in the same tables or areas that users are currently using. This seems risky of course, but depending on what other choices there are, it may be at least one way to continue working without bringing down the database.


- Or, is there a way to merge solutions together? Can I work on a copy of the structure and then somehow merge it with the live solution?


- Or, is the only way to do this is to export/import data into the new solution?


Any help would be appreciated.


Thank you.