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Development Mode and Production Mode

Your Looker data model exists in two states: Production Mode and Development Mode.

Production Mode

Production Mode is the production version of Looker. Everyone using a Looker instance in Production Mode accesses its projects in the same state. Project files are read-only in this mode.

Use Production Mode when you are exploring data in Looker for your own analyses or to create saved content (Looks and dashboards) for other users.

Development Mode

Development Mode allows you to make changes to projects without affecting anyone else. This mode accesses a completely separate version of your project files that only you can see and edit. (If you are familiar with Git, Development Mode uses a separate branch.)

In Development Mode, you can see the effects of your changes to project files in the Explore area of Looker. Once you’re happy with your changes, you can save and merge them into production, where they then will be viewable by everyone.

Development Mode is frequently referred to as “dev mode.”

Switching in and out of Development Mode

You can switch Development Mode on and off by either of these methods:

While in Development Mode, you will notice the following changes:

To exit Development Mode, you can use any of these methods:

Version control

Looker’s IDE is integrated with Git for version control. This enables you to edit a private copy of the LookML files in Development Mode. Looker automatically manages the Git workflows for committing, pulling, and pushing changes. You can use the Looker IDE’s Git Actions panel or the Git button to access Git commands:

For details on using Looker’s version control, see the Using version control and deploying documentation page. For details on setting up Looker’s version control, see the Setting up and testing a Git connection documentation page.