Sure. We typically "restore" from a backup of the Prod database. Just remember to reset the environments in the workbench to their correct values (Dev/Test/Prod, etc) as they will be set to the Prod values.
That's right. Just refresh the database schemas..no need to do any configuration changes in the application except environment settings. Check if license usage has not exceeded in production. If that is the case, you will have to disable few users from the backend before bringing up the test instance.
Whenever we do this, we start up the application the first time in RESTRICTED mode so we can disable anything that could affect real production activities. For instance, we delete all open requests and packages and disable all production environments that the test instance should not access. As has been mentioned, we also reconfigure all of the KINTANA_SERVER environments as needed.
As others already mentioned, you can do this but at least we have had some problems with reports after this. If you are running and creating reports from test and production environments the sequence ID is not the same in both databases.
So for example if you haven't also copied report logs from the application server (these logs have ID number attached) and you have copied the data from production to test. Then you run a report on Jan 5th and you may get a report from December because in the server there already existed a report with the same ID. Example what we had
...18481 Oct 23 11:11 rep_35831.html ...15130 Nov 10 23:58 rep_log_35831.html
Sorry...application servers is what I meant. We haven't yet received any information from HP about what should be copied from the application server too but from now on we're also copying all the log files too when refreshing the data.