Applications consist of rulesets, application data, system data, and other objects such as database schemas. As an application moves toward production, the application and its components must migrate among Pega systems. For example, after you have completed development, you migrate the application from the development environment to a QA environment. In some cases, you may want to migrate only specific application components such as updated rulesets or data objects included in a patch release.
Imagine that you are moving from one house to another house. You would likely create a manifest of household items you want to move. You would not include things like cabinets, plumbing, or wiring. Those items are already built into the house into which you are moving. You would then load the items on the manifest into a moving van. When the van reaches its destination, the items are taken out of the van and unpacked in the house.
Like the manifest described in the previous example, you create a product rule that identifies the application components you want to move to a destination Pega system. A product rule lists the rulesets, data, and other objects that make up an application. The product rule usually does not include standard rulesets and data because those components are built into all Pega systems. A product rule is an instance of the Rule-Admin-Product class, also referred to as a RAP. You can find product rules in the SysAdmin category in the Records Explorer.
Like you would load the moving van, you put the contents of the product rule into a ZIP archive file (sometimes called a RAP file). The information consists entirely of XML documents in Unicode characters. You copy the archive file to the destination system and import the contents of the file into the system.
You can create a product rule directly in the rule form. Alternatively, Pega provides a tool called the Application Packaging wizard that guides you through the creation of a product rule in a series of steps. Both approaches allow you to generate the archive file.
The following video highlights the basics of application migration.