In development environment, developers make many temporary changes rule and data instances to test/RnD the application. Rules are supposed to be part of the branch or there is a private check-out option which makes it easy to maintain local copies of a rule for different developers. During merge, conflicts arise which gets noticed and subsequently addressed. But for data instances there is no way to keep a local copy for different operators.
This causes issues for deployment. In the popular way of deployment where before every deployment a product is created, it is not an issue since developers can collaborate and select only the required data instances for deployment. But, the recommended way is to use Deployment Manager and always deploy full application instead of increments. In this mode, it is a painfully long exercise to check and modify the data instances to their original state before every deployment and defeats the purpose of automation.
This can easily be solved if data instances have locking feature. If a developer needs to do something private, all he needs is to unlock and make changes and don't lock the private changes. The deployment manager or jar creation feature can include the validation that package contains unlocked data instances.
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