1) First question to be asked: do Prod and Dev environments have the same OS/Binary and IFMX version?
2) Which backup tool do you use ( ontape/onbar ) ?
3) how many databases does the Prod instance contain? Only the one you want to copy or more than one ?
The three answers will guide us on building a "catalog" of solutions
1) same OS only, informix versions differ. Infact I do not even know where the prodution instance exists.
2) For regular backups, onbar is used. I meant to ask for this refresh only. whichever comes handy.
3) all instances have multiple databases, even in production. Most databases are small though, except one in production instance.
As my role is limited to one project, development only. So the production DBA will dump the data out for me. Being first time in this situations, I want to be ready for any kind of dump ( whatever is appropriate ) he/she dumps.
I will only know when dumped files comes to me.
1) If DEV IFMX version is higher than the PROD version and both version are compatible in terms of in-place migration, ontape or onbar restore could be a candidate. In this case, you backup PROD and perform a cold(offline) restore on DEV, that will act as an in-place migration. But prerequistes are
* all chunks full paths names in production must be creatable in the DEV environment
* DEV environment disk space must be equal or higer than PROD
* ontape will take all the databases to DEV, you cannot select only one
* onbar could only take some of the dbspaces, but as you need to perform a cold restore, this won't work.
2) onunload / onload can be a good candidate if both IFMX versions are "compatible" ( ie not very different ). These tools are fast ( keep the IFMX binary pages ), and you can choose only one database. In addition, it will not recreate the full chunks on the DEV environment, which may be an issue with ontape/onbar.
3) most simple and with no constraints is:
* dbexport -ss databasename on prod
* drop databasename on dev
* dbimport databasename on dev
But it takes much more time if the prod database is big!
4) you are in version 10, so you cannot take benefit on EXTERNAL TABLES, so we'll have to forget about this one.
What are your constraints and try to get exact versions number for source and destination.