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In my previous article we’ve talked about test-environment. Don’t you worry; if you missed it feel free to read it here in the blog section of this page.

But don’t get stuck there, learning about test-environment might not suffice.

Actually, there’s still another phase after testing and it is no other than “staging” which uses the so called “stage environment”.

As you know, creating an amazing application or system is not as easy as ABC. You still need to undergo the tedious process of development, testing/QA and staging before going to production. Thus, it is important to understand each step and delve deeper into it.

What is a Staging Environment?

According to Chris Lema a staging environment is defined as “an environment that duplicates production (hardware, software and settings) that any evaluation of code can be tested before being placed into production.” The process encapsulating this environment is called staging.

Let’s make it simple and concise. The server that you use is called the staging server and the clone version of the production database is called staging database. Since this is the final testing before production, it is a must that everything is replicated.

What sets it apart from the Test-Environment?

From the word itself, a test-environment is conducted in the process called testing or Quality Assurance (QA).  On the other hand, a stage-environment is facilitated within the process of staging. Relatively, both environments have the capacity to mimic and replicate the actual production process. 

The only difference is that; the test-environment is constantly changing. Yes, being in the first line of testing, several issues may be evaluated on this phase. Thus, developers are entitled to correct and solve such. This entails correcting the codes, adding features and reducing bugs. Meanwhile, the stage-environment is the almost final testing phase for it has the close to the final version output before production. This means that it will not undergo too many changes just like the testing phase.

If you have a company and you have asked someone to make a payroll system for you mostly likely, they will not allow you to try it when it is still half-finished or under the testing phase.

But if they already have the stage-environment, they can now ask some of your employees to try and explore the available features of the system before final production. This is the reason why stage-environment is also called the demo/training environment.

Again, this is circumstantial and it varies depending on 1) the kind of your development team and 2) the availability of your resources.

What are some of the benefits Staging Prior to Production?

1) It maximizes productivity.

2) It saves more time and effort by identifying issues and reducing bugs prior production.

3) It ensures good quality output and performanc.e

4) It helps in verifying if the applications, modules and databases are compatible to the hosting, platform etc.

5) It promotes collaboration among developers and users.

Is the staging environment important?

If you are going to ask me, I’ll give you a resounding yes! Common development standards require that a system be tested as close to possible to production environment to eliminate the possibility of errors. While indeed, some of the companies have this environment as optional, it is always that necessary.

In the mish mash of such stages, it is important how each step works. Nowadays, companies are investing so much into testing to ensure efficient operations and production. Therefore, knowledge about these steps can give you a heads up when it comes to software or application development.

Yes, behind every incredible application is a multitude of codes, steps and processes. Maybe, at this point you probably have an idea how challenging and mind-boggling the process is. Take note, we’ve only tackled staging, there’s more to learn in the future.

Now you know! Before you can enjoy that favorite application of yours, some people have shed their tears and sweat to make it happen. Isn’t it worth it?

After all, as the saying goes “Nothing worth having in this world comes easy!”. 

 

 

References:

Chris Lema Online Blog. (September 13,2016). Stage Environment Retrieved from http://chrislema.com/staging-environment/

Programmer Interview Online Website. (September 13,2016) Retrieved from http://www.programmerinterview.com/index.php/technical-vocabulary/what-is-a-staging-environment/

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Published in Software Development

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