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Merging changes from test environment to production environment

Final changes are always applied from the test to production study, never the other way around. Once the changes are applied to the production environment, it is no longer possible to revert them. This can be done by opening the test study, reverting the changes in the test study manually and merging these changes to the production environment.

Reviewing changes and data impact in the production study

Once the changes are finalized in the test study, navigate to the real study. Follow the steps below to merge changes from the test study to the real study:

1. Navigate to the 'Structure' tab -> 'Form Sync' sub-tab.

2. Click on the 'Review and Merge Changes' button:

3. If there are no changes detected, a message will appear informing you that no changes have been detected in the test study:

4. If changes to the test study are detected, 'Review Changes to Production' page will appear listing all the changes in the test study:

The 'Review Changes To Production' page displays records that currently exist in the production environment, and data impact with indication of the number of data points and number of records that are affected by each change. Use the buttons 'Collapse All', 'Expand Updated' or 'Expand All' to either expand or collapse the study structure and check which changes have been detected.

The default 'Tree' view displays the entire study structure of the Test study including the detected changes. Use buttons 'Collapse All', 'Expand Updated' or 'Expand All' to either expand or collapse the study structure and check which changes have been detected.

It is possible to switch to the 'Table' view, which shows the summary of detected changes:

5. To confirm and finalise your structure updates, you will need to  review and accept all of the data changes. The changes  will apply to all existing records in the study, including locked and archived records: 

6. Click on the Apply Changes button to apply changes. A dialog window 'Accept and Apply Changes' will appear.

7. Choose to either 'Continue with download' or 'Continue without download' or 'Cancel'.

Choosing the option to 'Continue with download' will download the full backup (including data) of your study. Please note that the study team member who will be performing the downloading of backup needs to have all rights enabled across all institutes and not just export rights across all institutes. For example, if the encryption module is enabled, the study team member needs to have Decrypt rights enabled. Read more information about the download here

'Continue without download' option means that the changes will be applied to the production study without downloading the full backup of your study. 'Cancel' option will allow you to cancel the process of merging changes from your test study to  the production study.

Versioning of the study structure

Form Sync version number is a production study form version and represents the number of previously applied changes from the test to the production environment. The version number increases every time new changes have been merged successfully.

Allowed changes

  • Only changes made to the test study structure will be applied to your production study.
    This excludes changes to the study settings such as changes in the automation engine and notifications.

  • Changes to fields, steps and phases will automatically drop the SDV, Signature, Custom verifications and Lock statuses. This excludes adding a new Option in an Option group AND removing options without any records affected.

  • For fields incurring data loss or transformation, where the field values are referenced in validations or calculations, new validation messages or calculated values will be generated. Each record and step which contains validation messages and calculated values will need to be opened to update these values.

  • For variable name changes where the variable name is referenced in summary and calculation fields, the new variable name will need to be reflected in the summary or calculation template in the test study.

  • It is not possible to change the field type. This is to only allow compatible ones and avoid/limit data loss.

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  1. Castor Support Team

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