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I notice that Change Set have statuses (so far I've seen Open and Closed). What do they mean and what effects they have?

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When you create a change set on the source org, it is "Open'' until you upload it to a destination org.

Once you upload it to a destination org, it changes to "Closed" which means you can no longer edit it to add or remove components. However you can clone it if you want to make a quick edit and redeploy (usually when you've missed out something)

At the destination, you can "Validate" the change set first which only performs a validation to indicate if the change set would deploy okay. Once you're satisfied it is valid, you can "Deploy" the change set.

Change sets don't deploy automatically, an administrator needs to deploy them.

If you're deploying to Production, all tests will be run when you deploy a change set and if the tests don't pass, the change set will fail.

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If you clone closed changeset x to changeset y. And made edits to components in open changeset x, will those changes be reflected or would you have to re-clone x to get the additional changes? Not sure if open means living? –  Ricky Hewitt Feb 13 at 18:44
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They are 'open' when pending a sysadmin on the target org to deploy them.

Once the inbound change set is deployed, the status switches to 'closed'.

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Is an Inbound Change Set automatically deployed if it contains just tests? –  ipavlic Feb 18 '13 at 9:46
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Change Sets are never deployed automatically! :^] –  user320 Feb 18 '13 at 10:01
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