Recommendations for adjusting UAT environments when using a backup of the production GoldMine databases. 

Version 1

    Details

    - Recommendations for adjusting UAT environments when using a backup of the production GoldMine databases.
    - General advise for adjusting a UAT testing environment to make sure to have as less as possible impact on the production data


    Resolution

    - GoldMine Support Services can provide some very important but generic information, but we are not able to provide exact or matching information exclusively for a specific GoldMine system or database. It would require a further and deeper investigation of the actual environment, database and business workflows which is outside our support boundaries and customers may want or need to discuss further with their GoldMine certified partner.

    - Usually the following information is sufficient for most scenarios as it covers the most important areas:

    [PREREQUISITES]
    - GoldMine production database backup was restored either on a separate Microsoft SQL Server (different
    Microsoft SQL Server but same database name) or restored as a different database (same Microsoft SQL Server but different database name). Of course the database can be also restored as a different database on a separate Microsoft SQL Server (different Microsoft SQL Server and different database name)

    - Depending to which extend the UAT testing shall take place the prerequisites for setting up the test environment, for example sharing the GoldMine folder on the UAT application server must be met prior to applying the below recommendations\suggestions. Sometimes it is sufficient to have only the test 'application' server available for UAT testing which means only a local install will be done, but as soon as other GoldMine clients for UAT testing are considered for example, performance testing, necessary steps for sharing the UAT GoldMine and setting up the UAT clients needs to be performed prior to the below recommendations\suggestions.

    [RECCOMENDATIONS\SUGGESTIONS]
    - Some general important advise for adjusting a UAT testing environment so there is less impact on the production data:

    1. The DBALIAS.INI in the GoldMine shared path of the test environment MUST NOT contain any reference to the production database
    Either existing Alias must be adjusted with either the new SQL Host name (if the database was restored with the same name on a different SQL Server) or the database name ( if the database was restored on same SQL Server but with a different database name) or even both if both actions were performed. Although the Alias name can be the same (the important thing are the host and Database name) it might be considered to amend also the Alias name with something like UAT just to make sure the Alias name differs to the live server environment.

    2.a. The GM.INI in the GoldMine shared path of the test environment MUST NOT contain any reference to the production database
    The absolute minimum is to verify and adjust the SYSDIR entry (if the alias name from 1. was also changed the GOLDDIR and COMMONDIR also need to be changed).
    When the users open the upgraded test environment for the first time there might be a selection for the proper Contact Set alias if the alias name was changed.

    2.b. For UAT testing in general it is recommended to use separate machines but in case a spare computer where GoldMine was installed previously or a production computer needs to be involved it is absolutely necessary  to verify/adjust the local GM.INI (in the local GoldMine application folder)  to set the REALINI entry to the test environment's shared GoldMine folder on the UAT application server.

    It is absolutely recommended that UAT users will verify in GoldMine > Help > About GoldMine > System that the System Files are pointing to the UAT application server and in case the Alias from 1. has been changed that GoldMine and Contact Files are pointing to the correct alias name.  

    3. In case USER.INI files were copied into the test environment (which is recommended to give users their look, feel and settings) the following areas MUST be verified / adjusted.
    a. Tools > Options > E-mail > Accounts button > Highlight the account > Edit > UNCHECK Auto-delete as otherwise when users retrieve emails into the test environment the email will be automatically deleted from the mail server.
    b. Tools > Options > E-mail > More Options button > Retrieval Tab > Attachment folder > this folder could be adjusted to a different location although it is not necessary. If it is left to the original location users need to be advised that using both systems and downloading the emails in both systems, there may come up existing attachment overwrite prompts
    c. Tools > Options > E-mail > More Options button > Advanced Tab > UNCHECK Delete attachments when deleting the mail >> when users delete for example old emails in the test environment and empty their trashcans they may delete also the attachment from the production GoldMine email as this is only a link to a file on the server (see also 7.)

    4. Usually the user's speller files / folders are not part of UAT testing which means you may want to advise users that they don't have their speller files and if applicable that copied and adjusted user specific speller files will be only available within UAT testing and not the same in both systems. 

    5. Outlook integration: for UAT testing in general it is recommended to use separate machines but in case a spare computer where GoldMine was installed previously or a production computer needs to be involved (of course assuming it was adjusted to the test environment).  It is absolutely recommended to use a separate Outlook Profile/mailbox for Outlook integration testing.  It is also necessary to Read the GoldMine settings again, making sure that the GoldMine data points to the UAT GoldMine system.

    6. Outlook Synchronization: for UAT testing in general it is recommended to use separate machines but in case a spare computer where GoldMine was installed previously or a production computer needs to be involved (of course assuming it was adjusted to the test environment in the local GM.INI's REALINI entry) it is absolutely recommended to use a separate Outlook mailbox for Outlook Synchronization testing in case an underlying 'synchronizing' mail server exists for example Microsoft Exchange, as otherwise the Outlook profile of the test environment will be synced automatically (for example new, changed, deleted Contact records or calendar entries) with the Exchange server, then synched further automatically with the production Outlook mailbox and profile of the user causing these amendments to sync back into the production system.

    7. GoldMine Microsoft Word and Excel templates (Go To > Document Templates), any changeable documents in the Contact Links tab, any changeable documents in the Opportunities, Projects, Cases and Knowledge Base centers are never stored in a real document within the database but instead is just a link to the specific file on the file server. Therefore any change made to documents in the above areas will have an indirect impact therefore it is not recommended or users need to be advised to pay attention on their changes.  

    8. If Web Import/Lookup.ini and Automated processes are not part of business critical workflows they should be turned off, otherwise these features shall be only used with test records and any testing with real contact data should be avoided or only performed by an experienced and knowledgeable GoldMine user.
    This is an area where the GoldMine Administrator or a GoldMine partner may want to look and investigate prior to using them. These features should not have any DIRECT impact into the production database but instead an indirect impact as undesired e-mails for example for Automated processes can be sent out or web import considered emails may get lost for the production system.
     
    Unless it is not part of business critical workflow testing, it is absolutely recommended that users DO NOT delete already existing production data within the test environment (for example Document links on Contact records, e-mails and there attachments, delete e-mails from mail server, delete emails in Outlook or synchronized data within Outlook) again these actions in the test environment do not have direct impact on the production system but if anything from the above steps was missed may have an indirect impact for example after synchronizing Outlook with Exchange Server and then getting into the real Outlook profile, deleting e-mail attachments and emptying trashcan etc.) perform testing as much as possible with identifiable test records or well known contacts where for example a wrong sent e-mail will be understood and ignored  rather than real contact records.  If possible mark actions etc. with an identifier amendment like UAT (for example outgoing / internal emails from the test system)