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Using Test and Production Study Environments in Castor EDC

It is possible to easily create a copy of a study that automatically duplicates the structure of the originating study with the Form Sync feature. 

Introduction to the Form Sync feature

Our Form Sync feature allows for each production study to have a corresponding test environment. The test environment is for managing structural (CRF) changes, while the production environment is for data entry, monitoring, and other data entry related activities. 

Linking a test and production study allows the study team to have two environments; one for developing and testing the study structure and structure changes, and the other for the collection of study data. Once a production study is linked to a test study, changes to the production study can only be made by applying changes in the test study and merging them across.

No other properties of the Production study will be copied, such as the study settings, users, user rights & roles, records or automations. 

Once a production study is linked to a test study, changes to the production study structure (CRF) can only be made by making changes to the test study first, then merging those changes to the production study using the Form Sync functionality. 

How does the Form Sync feature work

Form Sync feature is enabled by default for all studies and can be found in the Structure tab:



Form Sync uses identifiers to map elements between the two linked studies. Modifying these may result in a mismatch, therefore we recommend avoiding changes to the identifiers if you already have data collected:

See below, for each element what attribute is used as the Form Sync identifiers:

  • For Option Groups, Surveys, Reports, Report Steps: ‘Name’
  • For Options: ‘Value’
  • For Fields: ‘Variable name’
  • For Validations: ‘Message’ (content of the validation)
  • For Study Phases, Study Steps, Survey Packages: ‘Identifier’
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  1. Castor Support Team

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