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What are good practices for managing Service Definition Files (sd & sddraft)?

Question asked by agelfert on Feb 25, 2019
Latest reply on May 3, 2019 by TNoble-esristaff

Would like to hear some thoughts or suggestions for management of *.sd and *.sddraft service definition files. I used to not spend too much time thinking about them which means I've never really understood the 2-part SDDRAFT=> SD> map service publishing process. But now, when publishing with the new Python API or publishing through Pro, I'm wondering if maybe I will want to work with these files directly? I believe SDDRAFT is XML and SD looks like some binary format. But maybe there are good reasons to want to crack open the XML..

So any best practices around storage (where to save them), who should have access, etc would be helpful.