The Staging Environments

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Bottle.jpg NOTE: The QA or Staging Environment is optional. You may want to deploy directly to production using a gradual rollout process called feature toggling. In this scenario, acceptance testing is done in production, using conditions to turn off and on new features, flows and design. Such conditions may be based on IP number range, browser type and version, originating country, membership in Groups, time of day, etc.

The QA/Staging Environment is shared by all developers, product owners, and quality assurance personnel. It’s not intended for public consumption.

Continuous Acceptance Testing

The ease with which it is possible to deploy to the staging environment(s) means that product owners and QA personnel can follow the development of features in an agile way. Hence, acceptance testing is a continuous, active process rather than a last-minute one. This kind of pipeline – with a staging environment and manual acceptance testing – really is Continuous Delivery rather than Continuous Deployment.

Not a Sandbox

A staging system is not ideal for fulfilling the role of a sandbox environment for external developers developing client software using your APIs. The reason for this is that sandbox environments need stability of features and properties, whereas the purpose of staging environments is the evaluation of something that’s changing continuously.