The Deploy feature in Designer places a project, a set of drivers, a single driver, channels, and policies into a deployed Identity Manager system in an eDirectory tree. This can be a production tree or a test tree.
Use the Export feature to make backups of all of your projects and the drivers you want to implement. This way, if something happens to the driver in production, you have a backup.
Use the Deploy feature after you have thoroughly tested the policies that make up your drivers. To test policies, use the Policy Simulator (right-click a policy to see the simulation results of the policy that is being tested) or use the Project Checker to ensure that the project is valid. Then use Deploy to test the policy in a test environment; after you test the driver, you can deploy the driver into production.
You can also use the Import feature to import an existing eDirectory driver, a channel, or a policy; after it is imported, you can modify the object or objects, run the Policy Simulator to ensure that the object is working correctly, then deploy the object back into a test tree for further analysis. For more information about policies, see Understanding Policies for Identity Manager 3.6.
To help you decide on changes to make before deploying, you can use the Compare feature to see differences between the objects you are deploying and those that already reside in an eDirectory tree. See Section 15.7, Using the Compare Feature When Deploying.