7.8 Dry-run

The TEST Database has always been promoted as the place to "try" an update to see what happens. But the TEST Database has very little data. It is also reset every 24 hours. So if you want to test anything that has dependencies on other data, you have to reproduce it all in the TEST Database to do the test. That in itself can be a major effort. And tomorrow it is all gone.

To address this, there is a "dry-run" feature that lets you test updates on the production RIPE Database. All your data is there with the correct authorisation tokens. All dependencies are taken care of. You can submit your update and see what the result would be, but nothing is actually changed in the database.

To use the dry-run feature, submit an update by any available update method. At the moment, we can only process a single object in a dry-run update.

Enter whatever you want for this single object. Use the correct syntax or include deliberate errors, full set of credentials or not - it all depends on what you want to test. Somewhere in the update, enter the "dry-run:" pseudo-attribute on a new line:


It does not need a value. If you add any text it will be ignored. This pseudo-attribute can be added anywhere in the update message in the same way as the "password:" pseudo attribute can be. Then submit the update.

The update is received by the RIPE Database production software. All the checks are done on the object:

  • Syntax
  • Business rules
  • Authorisation
  • Referential integrity

Then it stops! Nothing is changed in the RIPE Database.

An acknowledgement message is returned to the user who submitted the update by the normal channels, depending on the input method used. No notifications are sent. So only the user who is testing the update gets the results. For a dry-run update that would modify an object, the diff output that would normally be in the notification message is added to the dry-run acknowledgement message. This helps to show what would be changed by an actual update. See the section on Notifications for more details.