There are a number of ways to do this; however, all of them require some programming. You can do copy to DDM files that point to the development partition or use triggers to copy records as they are used, creating an image of your data as it is used on the development partition. In some instances, the save using the SAVACT parameter will allow data to be saved while allowing user access. In most cases, only a small set of files are updated constantly. Using a combination of copying static files when they change and triggers for dynamic data usually does the trick.
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This was first published in February 2003