Q: What is your recommended high level approach for developing and later merging updated Drupal 7 code and database from a sandbox into a production D7 site?
- We have dev/staging and production environments as part of SDLC with repo
- Just before development the production site will be cloned to the developer's local PC with a separate repo for the project only
- During development the production site will remain live and subject to updates from other projects
- When development is completed the production site will be frozen during merge (from developer's local to DEV, then STAGING, then production with QA between each)
In this instance, this Drupal project involves legacy content types that will be extended in functionality, plus files will be uploaded into the CMS along with the code updates. The purpose of the project is to re-design an enhance a legacy feature so updates and additions will both be done to code, files and DB.
Now that you have the big picture - I see problems in the future merging the database changes, notably the file uploads (D7 saves info to tables, not just files in the upload path). I'm not a big fan of features, so I am asking if there are some well known tools our developer can use to ensure no data loss during the merge. And what tips should I give the developer to reduce risk as much as possible?
I would think any tools that are time tested and work well for Drupal 7 code/DB export/import is what I'm really looking form, and tell the developer to ensure the code/database and files are all easily exportable/importable into an existing Drupal. If I'm on the right track conceptually, can you recommend specific tools, noting the emphasis on merging the DB and files? Thanks!