I see you have some experience in copying config from PRD back into a DEV origination client. I can't find much on this subject. What exactly do you "lose" when client copy the PRD config into DEV? How are hotpack applications affected?
I have exported the customizing from PRD into a new client in DEV in the
past using profile SAP_UCSV (Customizing, variants, and user master
records). Then, work on the new client to reflect a new company and copy
that client into my old dev/customizing client. Because this is done via
a client export/import you do not lose any client-independent objects
such as ABAP programs. The Support Packages remain the same.
Now, if you were doing a system database copy (also referred as Homogeneous System Copy) then you would lose your DEV entirely.
This was first published in January 2002