More on Replication Topology Class 102
My friend Declan posted a response to how he handles some of the replication topology. I thought it needed to be brought to the front for those that don't watch comments, plus he extended out some good points.
In Domino 6 and higher there is a database property
called 'Update design on Adminp server only'. This new settings means
that when the design task runs you have more control over what server the
design gets updated on.
I have no problem with the design task running on all my servers. It's a well controlled environment, developers don't have development rights on the production domain and all new apps must be template based so I can put the template on the server, sign it and then create the new app. This makes upgrades a lot easier.
I like that new feature, works great for new applications rolling out. But, it is hard coming in to older and large application (as in number of) environments to get this flag set on all the databases. It also let's you localize some databases that do need to be on the hub and still let Designer run.
The topology and timing need to be watched during changes since they are now fully centralized. If you have missing or slow replication, the new design notes could not make it out to the remote sites fast enough. Say you and the hub are in LA and they are in Germany. If you are doing midnight design changes with 120 minute replication cycles, then they will be well in the office by the time it rolls around.
You are dead on with developers not playing in the production sandbox at all. That whole conversation falls more under a policy/strategy for development versus production environments. A whole topic in itself. Some say two domains, some say one that is strictly controlled and segregated. So let's have that part shortly.