Episerver Forms and Smooth Deploy (Zero Downtime Deployments)



A client that I'm working with is interested in moving to Smooth Deploy (i.e. Zero downtime deployments), as documented here: https://world.optimizely.com/documentation/developer-guides/digital-experience-platform/deploying/deployment-process/smooth-deploy/

There are two database modes to this: ReadOnly and ReadWrite.

I would assume that:

  1. In ReadOnly mode - No forms submission data is stored in the database but the system would still send emails and webhook notifications. 
  2. In ReadWrite mode - The forms submission data would be stored in the database of the zero downtime (cloned) environment. The system would still send emails and webhook notifications but the information stored in the (cloned) database would be lost when the deployment is completed.

Q1. What would happen in ReadOnly mode if the form had the Store form submissions option ticked (in the Settings tab) for a form? Would the system still send emails and webhook notifications or would it throw an error?

Q2. Is there a best practice for handling this? Presumably, if the system was going to throw an error (and not send the email/webhook notification) in ReadOnly mode OR there was going to be (forms) data lost in ReadWrite mode, then we should us a holding page/block, rather than displaying the form?

Q3. Are there any other considerations regarding Forms and Smooth Deploy that I've not mentioned above? 

Many thanks in advance! 

Jan 07, 2022 13:00

Hi, I'm not that familiar with ZDD, but you also have the option to implement your own data storage for Forms, which means you could still persist form data even if the site is in ReadOnly mode.

Here is an example of using MongoDB to store the submissions:


Edited, Jan 07, 2022 16:56


Based my previous experience ZDD, We should have to consider below points/obervations,

  1. For better control we have to use ReadWrite mode and keep inform Content Editors and advice not to make any changes in the CMS.(As mentioned in documnetation)
  2. It's better to inform prior to Optimizely support about the usage of ZDD for handling worst case scenario. My last last two attempts of ZDD deplay was not successful, so Optimizely support helped us to recover.(around 9 months ago)
  3. Since ZDD creates a dedicated DB and Code packages we should not face any problems with form submissions and Notifications, but still if you think your form submission data is very crucial, its better to disable the form while ZDD is in progress.

Hope this helps... All the best...

Jan 09, 2022 5:05
Jon Williams - Jan 25, 2022 12:14
Yes. I think we are going to put a holding page in place for each of the Episerver Forms to prevent them being submitted during the deployment. Not ideal, but still better than the whole site being down.
* You are NOT allowed to include any hyperlinks in the post because your account hasn't associated to your company. User profile should be updated.