Provision Clean Slate, Test, and Time Warp Environments

Overview

Besides your Production environment, where you'll manage live data, send emails, and build forms, Slate offers three other databases for testing, learning, and problem-solving, including:

  • Clean Slate: A training database with no custom content. Showcase, a type of Clean Slate environment, includes example data and best practices to give you a jumping off point for your own processes.

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  • Test Environment: A copy of the existing production environment.

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  • Time Warp: A copy of the production environment at a specific point in time from the last 90 days.

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Clean Slate

A Clean Slate environment is a blank copy of a model database built by Technolutions. It contains no person records, no fields, no decision codes, or any other custom data. It can be used for training purposes, where new Slate users can practice without fear of impacting production data or accidentally sending communications, which do not deliver in test environments (see our article on Test Environments for more of the differences between Test and Production). 

Important!

Consult with your Slate Captains or other members of your Slate team before requesting a refresh for an active Clean Slate database.

Communication is key: if you request a refresh of your Clean Slate environment, it will refresh for everyone.

To access an existing Clean Slate environment, or to provision a new one:

  1. In the Production environment, click Database in the Slate navigation bar.
  2. In the Auditing section, select Launch Clean Slate.
  3. Take note of the Status of your institution's Clean Slate environment.
 
    • Active: A Clean Slate environment has already been provisioned for your institution and is in use. 

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    • Not Provisioned: A Clean Slate environment has not been provisioned for your institution.

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    • Expired: A Clean Slate environment was provisioned for your institution, but has not been accessed in the past 30 days. 

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If your Clean Slate is Active:

 
    • Click Launch Clean Slate on the right.

    • If you've confirmed with your team that no one is using the Active Clean Slate, you can click the arrow, then Request Refresh to generate a new Clean Slate. 

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If your Clean Slate is Not Provisioned or Expired, or if you've confirmed no one in your Slate team is using an Active Clean Slate:

 
    • Click Provision. A pop-up appears.

      In the pop-up:

Provision_Button.png

      • From the Source list, select Slate Model, Slate Advancement Model, or Slate Admissions/Advancement Model.
      • Select at least one Slate user as Initial Administrator(s). Only administrators can provide new users with access to the Clean Slate.

      • Add a Memo if desired. The memo will be displayed to users prior to requesting a refresh of the environment and may be used to provide details of intended use.

      • Select Provision/Request Refresh. A confirmation pop-up appears.

    • Enter the required text into the confirmation pop-up and click OK.

Provision_Clean_Slate_Settings.png

  Please Note:

Provisioning and refreshing a Clean Slate environment can take up to three hours to process.

To access your new Clean Slate environment:

  • Click the Endpoint URL, or
  • Click Launch Clean Slate

Note the pink indicators at the top and side of the Clean Slate environment. You may find it useful to bookmark your Clean Slate environment's URL for easy access, especially if your team is involved in a Fundamentals course. 

User Accounts

If, after provisioning a Clean Slate environment, new users are added to production, you'll need to add those accounts to Clean Slate to grant them access. There are three ways to add user accounts to Clean Slate:

 

Manually

Manually recreate accounts in the Clean Slate environment. This may be the quickest method for a small number of users. To manually recreate user accounts in Clean Slate:

  1. Launch your Clean Slate environment.
  2. From the main navigation, select Database. Under Users & Access, select User Permissions.
  3. Click New User.
  4. Configure the user's account as you did in the production environment.

 

With Upload Dataset

Using a query in your production environment and Upload Dataset in Clean Slate, you can move a large number of user accounts at once.

To move multiple accounts to Clean Slate at once with Upload Dataset:

Step One: Export New Users from Production

  1. Launch your production environment.
  2. From the main navigation, select Queries / Reports.
  3. Click New Query or Quick Query. A pop-up appears.
  4. In the pop-up, configure the following:
    • Type: Configurable Joins
    • Category: Related
    • Base: User
  5. Click Save.
  6. Click Export. A pop-up appears. Under User, Click Select All

    Note: The following items are required for user account creation:
    • User GUID
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Email Address
  7. Click Continue.
  8. Click Filter. A pop-up appears.
  9. Under User, Select Created Date
  10. Click Continue.
  11. Enter a Start Date, End Date, or both that narrows the results to time period following the provisioning of your Clean Slate environment and the creation of the new user accounts.
  12. Click Save.
  13. Once satisfied with the query, click Run Query. 
  14. Click Export. 

Step Two: Import the New Users to Clean Slate

  1. Launch Clean Slate.
  2. From the main navigation, select Database. Under Import, select Sources / Upload Dataset.
  3. Click Upload Dataset.
  4. If desired, select a current Folder, or select Other to add a folder.

  5. Add the file containing the new user information, then click Upload.
  6. On the right, click Build Import.
  7. From the list of Field Mappings, connect the source mappings to a destination mapping (including, at the least: User GUID, First Name, Last Name, and Email Address).
  8. On the right, click Prompt Value Mappings.
  9. Assign the user permissions as needed.
  10. On the right, click Review & Run Import.
  11. Click Run Import. 
  12. From the main navigation, select Database. Under Import, select Force Process Import. Click Back in your browser and return to Sources / Upload Dataset.
  13. Select the user records from the list. A pop-up appears.
  14. Click Create New. 
  15. From the main navigation, select Database. Under Users & Access, select User Permissions.
  16. On the right, click Inactive Users
  17. Select the new user account or accounts from the list and click Edit User. 
  18. Select Enable account for access. Click Save. 

 

Re-provision Clean Slate:

  • This option will erase all in-progress work in your Clean Slate environment and start over with the selected source. It will also take about three hours to provision a new Clean Slate environment. Use this option only if there is no active work in Clean Slate to be migrated to production. Once erased, there is no way to recover a previous version of Clean Slate.
Slate Showcase

Clean Slate a little too... clean? Slate Showcase environments are a great way to learn Slate best practices by example. Showcase environments, which come in Slate (default), Student Success, and Advancement flavors, are pre-loaded with sample data and common use cases. To provision a Showcase environment:

  1. Following the steps to provision a Clean Slate, from the Source list, select the Showcase environment you'd like to provision. Lifecycle-specific options include Slate Showcase (Admissions), Slate Student Success Showcase, and Slate Advancement Showcase.
  2. Select at least one Slate user as Initial Administrator(s). Only administrators can provide new users with access to the Clean Slate.
  3. Add a Memo if desired. The memo will be displayed to users prior to requesting a refresh of the environment and may be used to provide details of intended use.
  4. Select Provision or Request Refresh. A confirmation pop-up appears.
  5. Enter the required text into the confirmation pop-up and click OK.

Slate's Briefcase tool can be utilized to copy any data object from the Showcase environment into a production or test environment for further modification and customization.

 

Test Environment

A test environment, like a Clean Slate environment, is used to safely experiment with Slate processes without fear of impacting production data. Unlike Clean Slate, Test Environments are exact replicas of your production environment from the time they were provisioned. 

Provisioning a test environment works the same as with a Clean Slate environment:

  1. In the Production environment, click Database in the Slate navigation bar.
  2. In the Auditing section, select Launch Test Environment.
  3. Take note of the Status of your institution's test environment.
  4. Click Provision, or refresh the test environment by clicking the arrow, then Request Refresh.
 
  1. Add a Memo if desired. The memo will be displayed to users prior to requesting a refresh of the environment and may be used to provide details of intended use.
  2. Click Provision/Refresh. A confirmation pop-up appears.
  3. Enter the required text into the confirmation pop-up and click OK.

Provision_Test_Environment.png

  Please Note:

Provisioning and refreshing a test environment can take up to three hours to process.

To access your new test environment:

  • Click the Endpoint URL, or
  • Click Launch Test Environment

 

Time Warp

Time Warp environments, like Test Environments, create a copy of your production database; however, the copy can be made from any point in time within the past 90 days. 

Provisioning a Time Warp environment works the same as with a Clean Slate or test environment:

  1. In the Production environment, click Database in the Slate navigation bar.
  2. In the Auditing section, select Launch Time Warp.
  3. Take note of the Status of your institution's Time Warp environment.
  4. Click Provision, or refresh the test environment by clicking the arrow, then Request Refresh. A pop-up appears.
 
  1. In the pop-up, configure the following:
    • Snapshot Date and Time: Enter a date and time (ET). The default value will be today.
    • Snapshot Type: Select Express to restore the latest weekly backup directly preceding snapshot date. Otherwise, select Restore to exact moment in time.
    • Add a Memo if desired. The memo will be displayed to users prior to requesting a refresh of the environment and may be used to provide details of intended use.
  2. Click Provision/Update Snapshot. A confirmation pop-up appears.
  3. Enter the required text into the confirmation pop-up and click OK.

Provision_Time_Warp_Environment.png

  Please Note:

Provisioning and refreshing a Time Warp environment can take up to three hours to process.

To access your new Time Warp environment:

  • Click the Endpoint URL, or
  • Click Launch Time Warp
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