Add new features to the production site without affecting the content and of course with minimum downtime.
How does FACEBOOK or ORKUT or any other social networking site do it?? Do we ever notice these sites down for development?? NO!! Yet, there are so many new features so very often!!! That’s what we need to implement in Drupal!!!
Most important, understanding of your drupal database – Its you who have to categorize your tables. Don’t worry you don’t need to categorize everything. [Tables for additional modules and custom content types need to be classified]
Takes a backup of test and prod databases before proceeding so that the databases can be restored if things do not work. The backup contains 7 sql files , one for each category except content which has 2 sql files, one for the content schema and the other for content data.
Compares the content schema of both databases using a diff command. Tricky!! Does not make any change if the schemas do not match and show the errors.
CCK field definitions – Only workaround make same changes in dev and production.
Lightweight FeedAPI – bring content on dev/staging before migrating and simultaneously take the action on both places so that they are associated with the same content. Will also require to migrate and content of production to development at the end to avoid future conflicts.