Best Practices For Refreshing Data in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Test Environment
For high availability CRM deployments, it is recommended that you have additional environments for test, Dev, and QA, so you can manage changes to your configuration without impacting users. This is also a good idea for disaster recovery, so if the production environment fails you can roll over to one of the other environments.
To have a valid test environment, you need to closely approximate your production CRM environment, with current configuration and data. So what is the process to "refresh" the data and configuration in your test environment to match the production environment?
Step 1. Deactivate test CRM organization using CRM deployment manager. On the test CRM server, open Deployment Manager by going to Start-->All Programs-->Microsoft Dynamics CRM-->Deployment Manager. Open the Organizations folder, select your MSCRM test organization, and click Disable from the right side menu. Note you will need to be a deployment admin to perform this step.
2. Delete test CRM organization in Deployment Manager. Once you have disabled the Organization, you will be able to delete it.
3. Drop test MSCRM database in SQL Server Management Studio on the test SQL environment.
4. Restore backup of prod MSCRM database to the test SQL Environment
5. Import organization to the test environment using the CRM Deployment Manager. In Deployment Manager, click Import Organization, and follow the wizard to point it to the the restored MSCRM database.