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.