Well, over here we have a development enviroment of the OVSD where we actually test every change we're to implement on the actual OVSD server everyone's using.
We recently made some major changes in the forms and I was wondering if there wasn't any way of implementing these changes on the actual server other than manually doing the same work we did on the development server?
Well, you can use ACE (Administrator Console Export) feature of the service desk. You can export form settings to a file, then import to development environment. Check service desk 4.5 administrator guide chapter 12 for further information. Do not forget to backup production database before import.
To use ACES successfully, your target database should be a copy of your source database. In addition, ALWAYS use ACES to migrate ALL changes.
This is because ACES uses the OID fields to migrate the information. If your OID values are different in the two databases, it won't do what you want.
We use 3 environments for managing change: All changes are first developed in TEST. ACES is used to migrate the changes to QUAL. After the changes are signed off, the same XML files are used to migrate the changes to PROD. If the changes are not signed off in QUAL, we start again in TEST.
Like everything else in IT, this method has a certain overhead. The benefit is the reliability with which you can work, and consequently the overall efficiency and speed.