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In reply to Peter Medcalf:
This is usually done through the creation of a Template company that in the live enviornment. All the most up to date data required to start a site is stored in the Template company, which is the backed up and restored as needed at the various sites. The company's data is kept up to date via data director replication. The objects, since they are in the same company, are natually the same as the live enviorment. The distribution of new objects from development is usually handled via an object replication job from the test enviornment. Again, data director handles this.