Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Setting Up A Staging Environment

It's common practice to work locally on a project and push revisions to a production server, but the step that people often skip is the staging server. A staging server is a mix between production and development; you get to test your app as if it were in production. Let's review some of the issues that you'll have to consider, as well as the steps needed to replicate a production Platform as a Service (PAAS). It has happened more than once: I push a revision of my app into production, only to find a problem after it's public. These issues can be as simple as forgetting to add images to your repository, or it might be as large as changing a database's structure locally and forgetting to update the production database. Problems happen to everyone, especially when you have rushed deadlines. In these situations, it's a smart idea to setup a staging environment. The idea is to have a server that closely replicates the production environment, in order to test your app prior to publication.

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