Programming Tutorials

Moving changes from a development environment (sandbox) to a production environment in Dynamics 365

By: Manoj in Office365 Tutorials on 2023-07-25  

To move changes from a development environment (sandbox) to a production environment in Dynamics 365 without affecting production data or settings, you should follow a controlled deployment process. Microsoft provides tools and best practices to help you manage this process efficiently and safely.

Here's a recommended approach for moving changes from the development environment to the production environment:

  1. Solution Packaging:

    • In the development environment, create a managed solution that contains all the customizations you want to move to the production environment. This could include custom entities, fields, forms, views, workflows, etc.
    • Managed solutions are designed to be portable and can be moved between environments without affecting existing data and settings.
  2. Export the Managed Solution:

    • Export the managed solution from the development environment. This generates a .zip file that contains all the customizations.
  3. Import the Managed Solution into Production:

    • In the production environment, navigate to the Solutions area and import the managed solution you exported from the development environment.
    • During the import process, Dynamics 365 will show you a summary of the components that will be added or updated. Review the changes to ensure they align with your intended deployment.
  4. Test the Changes:

    • After importing the solution into the production environment, thoroughly test all the customizations to ensure they work as expected and do not affect existing data or settings.
    • Verify that any automated workflows or plugins are functioning correctly.
  5. Validation and Validation Testing:

    • Perform thorough validation testing on a test instance that is a replica of the production environment. This allows you to validate the changes in an environment that closely resembles the production environment.
    • Involve key stakeholders in validation testing to ensure the changes meet business requirements.
  6. Schedule and Execute:

    • Once you are confident that the solution is thoroughly tested and validated, schedule a maintenance window for deployment to the production environment.
    • Perform the solution import in the production environment during the scheduled maintenance window.
  7. Monitoring and Rollback Plan:

    • Monitor the production environment closely after the deployment to ensure that everything is functioning as expected.
    • Have a well-defined rollback plan in case any unexpected issues arise during or after deployment.
  8. Communication and User Training:

    • Inform end users about the upcoming changes and provide any necessary training on the new features or changes introduced.

By following this process, you can safely move changes from the development environment to the production environment in Dynamics 365 while minimizing the risk of affecting production data or settings. Always perform thorough testing and validation before deploying changes to the production environment.






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