Adding new features and fields to a live database ...
I'm wondering if I could get some pointers when it comes to working with a live database. I currently have a version 2 running live of a database that I've been working on for a fair bit of time now. At one point I took a copy version 1 offline and it became my sandbox for creating a version 2. I was obviously able to test out new features with existing data as much as I'd like and after some time when everything was complete I saved out a cloned copy, imported the records we needed and the users were off with a new and shinny version.
Since then I've been working on improving some scripts and because I used to separation model for version 2 it was been really easy but now I've hit somewhat of a road block. I need to make some changes to the data file itself and I'm hesitant to pull another version offline because the import of data into version 2 certainly didn't go as smooth as I initially hoped. Maybe it's because I'm more on the amateur side or is this sentiment shared among others? I struggled with getting the serial numbers to cleanly line up. There are so many of them that you have to think of that I often missed and had to rearrange a bunch from the back end once the users noticed things we're lining up properly.
The two major changes I'm hoping to achieve are as follows:
- Change over several fields that are currently set as calculation fields over to auto-enter fields to make things function more efficiently. That's not as huge of a deal. I thought of waiting till after hours, making of a copy of the most recent backup and start doing my thing. I'm guessing for the initial change over it will only take me a few hours. I'll be going slow and triple checking everything because I don't want to mess up, forget to index something and then lose my data in the change over.
- Second is full on feature adding, new fields ... possibly new triggers, certainly layout changes. Luckily for the most part the fields I would be adding wont be affecting the current setup so I was toying with the idea of working directly on the live database and accessing the new stuff from my separated version 2.1 that I'm currently working on but testing is very limited if required.
I'm wondering if someone has a suggestion I'm just not thinking of to help me tinker with a live database? Hoping this isn't too obscure of a conversation to have.