We have development, staging and production instances of the same ArcSDE database, similar to this ancient thread from the ArcGIS Discussion Forums.
Our development to staging deployment employs lots of schema changes with exclusive locks that involve dropping tables and recreating them. Our schema itself is pretty fluid as we are always adding new data to it.
Our staging database is an exact copy of what we want our production database to be.
How do I deploy our staging ArcSDE instance to production while minimizing or eliminating downtime?
We use SQL Server 2012.