Thanks for your quick reply! One of the reasons for the switchover is to leverage the test environment to test and verify all changes pass before applying those changes to production. Given this scenario, does the switchover make sense? Also does Standard Data Guard (vs. Active Data Guard) support this scenario? Thanks again, appreciate your feedback.
Once you do a switchover the standby becomes the primary. So any changes you make after a switchover to the primary (previously the standby) will be replicated back to the standby (which was previously the primary).
Hope that makes sense?
So in this case a better way to test would be to activate the standby, test your changes against the standby and then revert the standby back into a dataguard configuration using flashback. You can use this method on 10g or 11g databases.
Or perhaps an easier method would be to use a snapshot standby (as long as you're not using maximum protection). This is an 11g feature only. You can convert your standby to a snapshot standby. Apply and test any changes and then revert this back to a physical standby,
With active dataguard the standby database would still be in read only mode so you would not be able to apply any changes to the active database. You will also require an additional license for active dataguard.
Typically any changes should be tested in a "proper" test environment and not the standby. Again typically, the only time standby's are activated or converted to snapshot standby would be during a DR test.
Hope that helps.