Database Change Management

How do you move programmer's updates to production? Here's how to do it (the secret is - templates):

1) Have the programmer supply you with a template updated with her changes. Confirm that the new template's ACL matches the existing template (if there is one). (To add the existing template to your workspace, do a File-Database-Open and specify the actual file name in the bottom box (Eg. ABC.ntf). The template's filename will be the same as the database's filename except the filetype will be NTF rather than NSF. Note: This assumes that you have placed the new template in C:notesdata on your PC.)

2) Confirm that the new template has a file type of NTF and that in it's properties it specifies that it is a template and that its name matches up with the template name in the database(s) that use it.

3) Confirm that the programmer has documented what she has changed in the About This Database document in the template. (What better place to keep an audit trail of the changes than right there in the template.)

4) Backup the existing template to your Local. Since the new template is probably on your Local, you'll have to give the backup a different file name. (E.g. If the template is called "ABC Template" and the file name is ABC.ntf, I would File-Database-New Copy it to my local as "Bkp ABC Template" with a file name of bkp_ABC.ntf)

5) File-Database-New Copy the template to your production Notes server, replacing the existing one.

6) If you're using release 5 you'll need to sign the template with a master blaster userid that won't generate those pesky Execution Security Alerts on your clients' workstations.

7) If the programmer would like the design changes to take place immediately, do a File-Database-Refresh Design on the appropriate database. (Note: If the database has replicas, these need not have their design refreshed since they will refresh automatically at the next replication.) If you prefer not to do this, the design will refresh automatically at 1:00 a.m. the next morning when the Design task runs on the Notes server.

This was first published in January 2002

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