RE: template management Kevin Pettitt 7.Nov.02 05:00 PM a Web browser Domino Designer -- Other 5.0.11Windows NT
There is a much simpler way that might do the trick for you.
First of all, you should have a development environment/server completely separate from the production server. Even if you have to use an old PC as the Dev Server, this is VERY important.
On the dev server, you can have a COPY of the database where you do all your development. This database can be a template if you want, and you would then refresh another database on the dev server which would actually have data in it that you could use to test functionality, etc. It might be easier, however, to simply have one database on the dev server that is both your primary coding environment AND testing environment. Note that NONE of the databases on the dev server are REPLICAs of the production database, so that we can't inadvertantly change the prod db before it's time.
Ideally, you would also have yet another environment set up for UAT (User Acceptance Testing), but let's set that aside for now.
When you are ready to move your changes into production, you would refresh the production TEMPLATE (not the actual production database) from the Dev database that you've been coding.
It's up to you, but often times its not a good idea to update the design of an active production database during the day, since user's may experience odd behavior. Because the production template from which the production database inherits has been refreshed, the new design will be automatically refreshed overnight by the server. Users would come in the next morning to see all the changes. Of course, if you want to refresh the prod db during the day, you can do that too, keeping in mind the potential consequences.