Vision = re­al­ity

Releasing Software

The goal of any pro­ject is to de­ploy each build into a live en­vi­ron­ment and en­sure that all stake­hold­ers are happy with the out­come. There are three en­vi­ron­ments to con­sider: Development, Beta and Production.  Each en­vi­ron­ment has its role to play and to­gether they en­sure the nec­es­sary qual­ity con­trol gates are in place. The spe­cific pur­pose for each en­vi­ron­ment is as fol­lows:

  • The de­vel­op­ment en­vi­ron­ment is used to lo­cally de­velop the ap­pli­ca­tion. Only the de­vel­op­ers them­selves will have ac­cess to the en­vi­ron­ment. It is where the ap­pli­ca­tion is built.

  • The beta en­vi­ron­ment is the first live, cloud-based en­vi­ron­ment in most work­flows. It is tra­di­tion­ally the sum of all is­sues com­pleted, that have passed the Definition of Done. It is openly avail­able for the Product Owner and other rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers to use. Avoid putting any per­sonal or sen­si­tive data on the beta en­vi­ron­ment.

  • The pro­duc­tion en­vi­ron­ment is the fi­nal stage of de­ploy­ment where only tick­ets that have passed UAT are de­ployed. Nothing should make it to this en­vi­ron­ment with­out first be­ing re­viewed in the pre­vi­ous en­vi­ron­ments and step­ping through qual­ity con­trol processes. This en­vi­ron­ment is where users in­ter­act with the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Quality Assurance

As part of the de­vel­op­ment life­cy­cle, an ap­pli­ca­tion moves from the de­vel­op­ment en­vi­ron­ment, into beta, then even­tu­ally into pro­duc­tion. In or­der to progress into the next en­vi­ron­ment, the ap­pli­ca­tion needs to meet cer­tain cri­te­ria be­fore it can be ap­proved for re­lease. Checklists for these gates are rec­om­mended to en­sure that each re­lease lives up to the stan­dard of that en­vi­ron­ment.

The beta re­lease check­list is com­pleted be­fore mov­ing tick­ets to the beta en­vi­ron­ment. While most of the cri­te­ria in­volves rou­tine se­cu­rity and qual­ity checks, one im­por­tant arte­fact that should be re­quired is a Testing Report. A Testing Report tra­di­tion­ally shows the cur­rent state of the tests run against the ap­pli­ca­tion, which are ex­pected to all be pass­ing be­fore the re­lease can con­tinue.

The pro­duc­tion re­lease check­list is pre­pared when the prod­uct on beta is ready to be re­leased to pro­duc­tion. Before the ap­pli­ca­tion can be re­leased into the pro­duc­tion en­vi­ron­ment, teams must have re­ceived ex­press ap­proval from the Product Owner.

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