Creating a Lims Test Environment on SQL Server
Benefits of having a test environment:
1. Run thru upgrades there first
- You can run the Lims upgrader against the test Lims application and database. Any errors can be handled prior to running against your live machine, allowing for a smooth upgrade on your live machine when you are ready.
- Allows you to test out new/improved features of the application and become familiar with them, so that when it comes to upgrading your live production version, users will already be familiar with the version differences.
2 Allow users to experiment with Lims without repercussions.
- If a user shows interest in perhaps Lims administration, or a change of position/responsibilities, you can set up appropriate permissions on the test Lims so the user can explore without repercussions.
3. New user training
- A great place to train new users. They can anything without messing up Live data or statistics
Things to consider when implementing a test environment:
1. Separate machine(s)
This keeps the two database’s (live vs test) completely separate. You do not what to accidently enter test data into a live Lims db, and vice versa.
2. Separate database
Is there room on the existing server ?
Will your IT dept support backups and restores of the test database without too much headache?
3 You can get SQL Server Express (free) installed on the machine you intend to use for the test environment
Do you know how to backup/restore a SQL database? So that you can do this on your own without needing IT intervention
Database to use
Existing Live db copy – this allows you to use your current services and cases
Empty database – this allows users to set up everything from scratch
Steps to point to a test database:
1. Restore what you will be using as a test database
2. Recommend calling it sqllims_test (or something that you can easily identify as a test database)
3. Install Lims application onto the test machine(s) (see customer support if needed)
4. Point the ODBC on the test machine(s)to the sqllims_test database
Keep the original backup (that you restored) on the test db server. You can continue to restore this over the existing database as needed. It will bring you back to a known starting place (removing all prior work after that known point).