Do you have a test database?

A test database is a more-or-less exact copy of your live/production database environment. I often refer to this as a “sandbox” because the test database is a place where you and your staff can go to play, just like a sandbox.

The three primary uses of a test database are for testing, training, and documentation. All three of these are activities your association should already be engaged in. And all three of them should NOT occur in your live/production database. So by definition, you should have a sandbox environment.

Many associations I’ve worked with did not have these environments available to them (before I started working with them!) either because they felt it was an unnecessary expense of because their vendor didn’t offer one.

But this is a must-have. So if you don’t have one, talk to your vendor now, and get one.

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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