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How to fix the deployment problem using packages into production?

Scenario:if an object is moved into production and now there is large amount of data in it,later the requirement is changed that a field type has to be changed on that object in the sandbox,now how to deply and apply this changes in production because there is a large amount of data in the production and it does not need to be disturbed,wondering if there is any possibilityor any most possible approach that we can go for or any considerations,
your suggestions and idea will be highly appreciated.
Praveen KHariPraveen KHari
This Link will give you good understanding on changing field type.

https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewHelpDoc?id=notes_on_changing_custom_field_types.htm&language=en (https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewHelpDoc?id=notes_on_changing_custom_field_types.htm&language=en)

Someother tips you can use while changing field type.

1. Take data backup and update them back after field type change
2. Create new field with new data type and move data from old field to new field. and hide (FLS)/remove old field after migration (Need to consider field API Name usage)

Always try migrating changes in your sandbox before migrating anything to production.

-Praveen K Hari