What is a Test Environment Refresh?
When test site or environment is referenced, it applies to any non-production instance including but not exclusive to QA, Dev and Staging but not Demo sites.
Test Environment Refresh (refresh) is when a test environment is updated to reflect the state of a production environment. We rebuild the test environment with core production data and some of the existing test configuration, making it a better and more realistic testing ground for new integrations or builds.
Is there known risk or downtime associated with a refresh?
There is no risk or downtime associated with your production environment – the environment from which a refresh is typically sourced.
The test environment, however, should be treated as unavailable for the date requested. For transparency, refresh typically takes 8 hours, but this is resource-dependent and therefore we do not specify a specific time of day that this will occur.
Can a refresh be limited to one organization in a multi-org instance?
No, refresh affects the entire test instance and the entire instance will be in maintenance mode. It is very important to confirm that all organizations in a multi-org instance are aware of and prepared for refresh.
What do you need to consider before organizing a refresh?
There are several considerations that you should be aware of that relate to refresh:
- Refresh does not allow for selective copying of data.
- Refresh turns off all notifications within the test environment. This is to prevent production notifications from being sent from test.
- Courses or content that you may wish to preserve from the test environment should be exported prior to refresh date because once refresh is completed all the old existing data from the old test environment will be gone.
- Local user accounts, like the rest of the data, will be fresh copies of production meaning the Iocal test passwords will be the same as production.
Is there anything that must be done after refresh is complete?
We recommend customers review/update their test environment settings post-refresh. For example, things such as SIS / IPSIS or third-party tool integrations, which may need to be updated with test-specific values.
What can be done about PII / Privacy / Access concerns with our production data going to test?
If your institution has concerns about PII, active student accounts or local passwords being part of a refresh we have several options that can be requested.
Please review the PII Options document for details and the Option Codes to include with your request.
How will refresh affect our LTI and Extensibility Plugins?
We maintain the test site valence extensibility keypair. Both the extensibility and LTI integrations are refreshed copies from production. The LTI 1.3/LTI Advantage integrations are downgraded to LTI 1.1 with refresh due to security concerns.
If you would like to take different action with Extensibility or LTI we have several options that can be requested with your refresh.
Please review the Extensibility Options document for details and the Option Codes to include with your request.
How can we prepare test users and courses for a refresh?
When test is refreshed the existing test users and courses will be lost. If you want to have the same test users and courses after every refresh you can do the following to prepare.
- On production, create separate roles for the test students, teachers, etc.
- This allows for flexibility with the PII options.
- Create a test semester code on production.
- Create test courses on production associated with the test semester.
- Create test teachers, students, admins or developers users on production.
- Set up test user enrollments for test courses on production.
- Disable test users and courses on production.
- Post-refresh users and courses can be to set to active on test.
This saves time from needing to create new test courses and users after every refresh.
If you have LTI or extensibility integrations with test courses, having the test course copy from prod with refresh means those integrations and links can be maintained with the
lti_1.1_and_1.3__clear_prod_keep_testintegration option; Course content cannot be maintained.
What happens with Holding Tank configuration on refresh?
We maintain the existing test site Holding Tank configuration. We bring the production Holding Tank data to test to ensure no user/course/enrollment alignment issues.
What happens with the IPSIS configuration on refresh?
There are two versions of IPSIS and depending on the version there is a different impact.
IPSIS 1.0 is a refreshed copy of production including configuration to ensure no user/course/enrollment alignment issues. If you want the existing test connection values you must go into IPSIS Administration and change the IPSIS connection back to the test values.
IPSIS 2.0 will have test configuration and connection information will be maintained.
Is there a cost for the refresh service?
There may be – it depends on your agreement with D2L. Customers who subscribe to the Plus or Platinum support packages are entitled to receive one (1) refresh per contractual year. If your support package or agreement with D2L does not include a refresh, one-time refreshes can be purchased. Please contact your Client Sales Executive if you’re not sure which support package you have, or if you wish to purchase a refresh.
Can I request a specific date for my refresh?
Please reach out to either the CSM Team or your TAM to schedule a refresh. There are limited windows within our monthly CD schedule that allow for refreshes will be performed. It is therefore an effective practice to submit a request well in advance of your preferred date. Refreshes are preformed after the Wave 2 test site updates; This typically means the second and third weeks of a month.
What will happen if the date we prefer is not available?
If the date you prefer is not available, D2L will offer you an alternate date and/or attempt to accommodate your criteria as best we can. We will generally provide you with several potential dates to choose from that align best with your criteria.
What date is used for the snapshot of the production environment?
Refresh will use the latest Production backup after the weekend; Backup is taken Monday morning after Sunday Midnight.
How may I exercise my entitlement to a refresh or how might I go about purchasing a refresh if I am not entitled?
To confirm entitlement and/or inquire about the cost of refresh options available to you, please reach out to your client sales executive or a member of your D2L account team.