I know v4 is out, however the other day I faced the task of creating a “mirror” of a v3 production system for development purposes. I posted a question in the newsgroups and go back a very helpful response, so I thought I would post the steps and my experiences here. The steps are numbered, and my notes are prefaced by JJS>>.
1. Export all customizations from the production implementation.
2. Install the RedeploymentTool on the dev environment. JJS>>Found on the install CD in \Server\RedeploymentTool
3. Copy the databases from the production environment to the dev
environment.JJS>> For this step I simply copied over the latest backup set created by SQL. To get the DBs onto the DEV system I created “shell” DBs in SQL with the same names as the production databases, and then I did a “restore” with the “force overwrite” option selected.
4. Create domain accounts for CRM user if the domain differs from
production environment to the dev environment.JJS>> This is an important step. I discovered that the redeployment tool will want to map the users from the source CRM system to users in the target system. Note that the user names do not have to be the same, however there does have to be the same *number* of accounts on the target as existed in the source. I found the easiest way was just to create accounts in AD on the target that matched the AD accounts on the source, and then let the RedeploymentTool do an automatic mapping.
5. Run the RedeploymentTool. (Please refer the documentation in the
RedeploymentTool folder for details)JJS>> Very easy, step-by-step, wizard.
6. Run setup for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Server and choice existing
database as a database.
7. Import and publish all the customizations.JJS>> I found that I did not have to do this step, all the customizations were brought over to the dev system by the redeployment of the Metabase.
And that was it. The process was actually quite painless.