The other day needed to use AJAX to implement a feature in Drupal. The main reason to use AJAX was to be able to use caching and still have some content vary slightly on the same page. I could not find a clear answer straight away.
To migrate settings from development to staging and production environments, we (mis)used the features module in Drupal 7. In Drupal 8 we have configuration management. With configuration management you can have a file-based workflow for moving settings around, meaning you can put your database settings in files. These files can be added to version control and imported on staging, production or your teammates development environment.