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We are planning to sync Sitecore production data with our QA/DEV environment. But We do not want to take any risk with our production database.

We are using TDS in our lower environment. What could be good approach to make our lower environment up to date?

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  • TDS is a great tool, but should never be used to Sync and keep track of Content or Media Library Changes. It will lead to lost or overwritten content and lead to a lot of maintenance. I would suggest one of the other approaches below, that uses a tool and database backup to restore Production data in a lower environment. Which one is best for you, depends on your specific situation. May 18 '18 at 14:15
  • You can also use Sitecore Instance Manager for backup and restore. May 18 '18 at 20:18
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If all your items on the Production environment are found on TDS, you can deployed them to your lower environments.

But if they are not, you can backup the Production databases (core, master and web) and restore them onto the lower environments. This is the approach I am using on all my Staging environments to keep them up to date with Production because on TDS, we have only test contents, templates, layouts/renderings and system item.

Then when we deploy our TDS to staging we set it not to delete items so the items from production will stay on the Staging environment with new items being installed.

Note that when you restore an environment database onto another one, you need to clear from core, master and web the

  1. Event queue table

  2. Properties table

Because they still have the other environments details which can cause issues like events are out of sync.

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  • If we directly sync the TDS with lower environment what could be the concerns?
    – Abhi
    May 16 '18 at 19:30
  • If the item is the same from TDS and production, your lower environments will be the same with the Production but if it is different it won’t tally with the Production. The simplest way is to restore the production database on lower environments then use tds to deploy committed items without deleting others May 16 '18 at 19:35
  • @HishaamNamooya thanks - any documentation to refer re. Event queue and Properties tables? Sounds like a gotcha, and maybe there are others we should know. Jul 23 '19 at 4:48
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You can also use RAZL from Hedgehog to sync the environments over your build system. RAZL uses XML scripts which you can use e.g. with Teamcity to sync it with your staging or dev environments.

https://hedgehogdevelopment.github.io/razl/script.html

Best regards Dirk

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  • Razl is good but I've seen with large amount of item transfer, it tends to lag behind and also sometime crashes. Moreover, it is not a free tool May 18 '18 at 8:19
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    We've used RAZL for several years now, using the same process as Dirk suggested without any issues. It's not free, but at $149 it's hardly going to break the bank, esp since they are using TDS anyway. Moreover, the OP did not specify the requirement for a free tool :)
    – jammykam
    May 18 '18 at 18:02
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As the others have hinted, there are lots of different ways to pull down content from one environment to another. Each has there own positives and negatives. Another approach that hasn't been mentioned is the use of a module called the Sitecore Sidekick: https://marketplace.sitecore.net/en/Modules/S/Sitecore_Sidekick.aspx

Each server that you want to move content from and then to needs to have the Sitecore Sidekick installed in those environments. It provides an easy interface similar to Razl (except this is within the CMS itself) to select and migrate content.

Learn more on Jeff Darchuk's Blog to learn how to configure it for your specific environment.

https://i.imgur.com/ySOzVLm.jpg

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  • Does this tool has feature to compare the item data.
    – Abhi
    May 18 '18 at 17:15
  • everyone's referring to "other answers" here... what other answers? Really it's just yours, and 1 answer vaguely saying to do DB restore. Where's all the "other ways" described? Jul 23 '19 at 4:47
  • Well you could use Db Restore, creating a Package using your production environment, Serializing Items and copying down to lower environments and restoring, using Razl, using Content Migrator listed above, or even using RedGate Data compare. Of all those options, I think your best options for a continual process is Content Migrator. Secondary options that work almost as well are db backups and Razl. Jul 24 '19 at 0:34
  • Looks like this tool doesn't support sitecore 9+
    – apoteet
    Nov 2 '20 at 19:02

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