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I'm seeing a few articles suggesting we use managed solutions when pushing into production, so would this mean all of our custom items would be unmanaged in lower environments like Dev and Sandbox, but we'd create solutions as managed when pushing them up the dev pipeline to UAT and Prod? Are there any differences in functionality if we're testing code as unmanaged in some organizations but managed in others? Thanks.
For a deeper dive into managed vs unmanaged, I think this is a great resource:
One difference in functionality and testing the code is that in an unmanaged environment when you delete an unmanaged solution all of the fields and tables that were part of the solution still exist in the environment. When using managed solutions, unless another solution is using the field or table then it (and all the data associated with it) is removed from the system.
If you want to have multiple dev environments/levels that isn't an issue. Please make sure you follow the guidelines here on maintaining a healthy ALM status:
I would recommend that you have at least one managed environment below your production. This will allow you to test the deployment of the managed solutions before you get to production. This will allow you to find any dependency or other solution import issues before you try it "live" with your production data.
If it's a managed solution, it can also reflect updates from Microsoft.
In addition to production, it is recommended to prepare an environment for verification with a managed solution.
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