Environments for
Service and Stage of your Product Guides

This documentation describes the different software deployment environmentsthat excentos uses to
develop Product Guides, test them internally, stage them in your Shop/Website testing environment
or productively operate them on service for your users.

Please also check the site integration documentation to understand
how to create these integration pages and which content they shall contain.

Overview of the environments offered by excentos

ENVIRONMENT DESCRIPTION STABILITY LEVEL
quality assurance prior notice on changes load balancing monitoring
COMMENT
service.excentos.com used for live productive systems
yes yes yes yes
as soon as you want to go live, you definitely need an integration page that contains the integration parameters that point to the service environment
stage.excentos.com used to test changes of the Product Guide in your Shop/Website before being deployed live
yes, but limited no no no
it is highly recommended and reduces testing effort to have a staging system since certain changes (e.g. shopping cart integration, CSS changes) shall definitely be testet in a staging environment before being deployed live. See example below.


NOTE: excentos has more environments that we use for internal development and testing. They are not listed here since we typically don't use them for joint development with our customers.

Definitions:

  • quality assurance: excentos and / or customer check the quality of behavior, content and user interface before deploying to this environment. The amount of testing depends on the project phase (i.e. more for initial live, less after implementation of Change Requests)
  • prior notice on changes: excentos informs the customer before deploying changes to this environment. Depending on our cooperation, we inform you on every important change only
  • load balancing: the environment is operated by several servers with traffic routed by a load balancer
  • monitoring: the environment is monitored by external webservers located in different countries that ping the excentos-servers in an interval of 5 minutes. The monitoring reports to excentos if they don't answer correctly

Best Practices and Requirements
for Effective Development, Testing and Quality Assurance

Here are our experiences what really helps to effectively develop and test, increase quality and reduce efforts on our customer's side and at excentos:
  • provide Integration Pages for service and stage environment early on, i.e. as soon as the development starts
  • provide the 3 Integration Pages for the excentos stage and service environment as defined below in your productive website and, if available, in your staging system

Here is wich Integration Pages / Environements you are required to provide:

# STATUS DESCRIPTION EXAMPLE URL COMMENTS EXAMPLE USECASE
1 must service in your productive Shop/Website www.your-bikeshop.com/bike-advisor the productive Product Guide URL your users use the Product Guide
2 must
stage in your stage Shop/Website www.stage-of-your-bikeshop.com/bike-advisor-stageversion test new features of the "stage Product Guide" in your staging environment. Allows us to early on test new features of the Product Guide in your Shop/Website whilst both are under construction. Important since this is the ongoing integration test before deploying to the service environment you change the add-to-cart functionality and excentos needs to reflect this change, and we want to test if the mutual changes work before deploying to live
3 greatly appreciated,
or must if #2 doesn't exist
stage in your productive Shop/Website www.your-bikeshop.com/bike-advisor-stageversion-unlinked-url test new releases of the Product Guide within your productive Shop/Website. Especially needed for testing of all issues that interfer with your Shop/Website, like CSS, add-to-cart function, add-to-product comparison features, add-to-wishlist, tracking in your Analytics solution.

NOTE: Be careful not to link to this URL so it's only available for you and excentos
excentos changed the screendesign / CSS and we want to test if it works in your productive environment