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In some cases, it is necessary or useful to copy a production database for testing, support or training.   When you restore a database backup into a support instance it becomes an exact replica of the district's production instance.  This is a positive thing for testing and experimentation.  However, the are several potential problems when a support instance is created, namely:

  • All jobs scheduled in the production instance will also execute in the support instance
  • Any notifications (email,  FTP, etc.) will also be executed and sent from the support instance

For example, if a district has reports scheduled to email a given report every morning at 6:00am, then, by default, both the production and support instance will execute the job and delivery the report.  The receiving user may not understand why they are getting multiple copies and the duplicate reports will not match (as the support instance and production instances diverge).

To solve this problem, the USxS-R applications contain a global configuration called "APPLICATION_INSTANCE_TYPE" which allow the applications to be configured for different default modes.  The available modes are:

Instance Type
ProductionDefault production mode
SupportTypically a temporary copy of a given districts production data for resolving support issues
TrainingA training instance typically contains anonymized data

Demo

A Demo instance typically contains anonymized data
DevelopmentReserved for use by the SSDT


In addition to this global parameter, the are two finer grained configuration options available:

  • "External Notification Enabled":  If this option is disabled, then any "notifications" (email, FTP, etc) which are addressed to any non-local system will be disabled.   Internal notifications or notifications involving "localhost" will remain enabled.
  • "User Job Execution Enabled":  If this option is disabled, all jobs scheduled by users in this instance will not execute at the scheduled time.

The above options default to "enabled" when the APPLICATION_INSTANCE_TYPE is set to "Production".  All other instance types will default to disabling both external notifications and user jobs.

Step-by-step guide

There are two ways to configure these options:

  1. Using the Configuration UI in the running application:
    1. Using an Administrator account, navigate to System → Configuration view and edit the "Application Configuration"
    2. Use the drop down to select the desired instance type
    3. Use the checkboxes to disable/enable External Notifications and User Jobs
  2. Using Docker configuration
    1. in the docker-compose.override.yml  add a APPLICATION_INSTANCE_TYPE environment variable to the applications (both USPS and USAS) and set it to an appropriate value from the table above
    2. For example: 

      environment:
            - APPLICATION_INSTANCE_TYPE=Support

      Setting the APPLICATION_INSTANCE_TYPE to anything other than "Production" will disable external notification and user jobs. 


The manual configuration in the UI will override settings made via the docker environment variables.