Environment Provisioning

For each SitePublish site implementation, AITS creates three environments: production/production-staging (PROD); development (DEV); and test (TEST);  environments.

Production (PROD) Environments

Production environments are the primary websites for end-users. Production is sometimes referred to as the "live" site and typically does not have security or firewall restrictions.

Content development is primarily created and maintained in PRODUCTION environments. There is no automated "push" process for developing pages in DEV or TEST and then "pushing" changes to production. - SitePublish features and controls can be used to hide and restrict pages within production until it is finalized for end users.

New SitePublish Production Sites - Replacing Existing Sites

If a SitePublish site is being created to replace an existing site, the SitePublish PROD site will often be temporarily named with the following convention:
PROD STAGING URL: https://sitename.spwebprod.uillinois.edu

The "spwebprod" naming convention is used during the development of the new production site to differentiate the sites. Once a SitePublish "staging" site is ready for production, DNS and URLs are configured to make the new live site under the long-term URL.

Development (DEV) Environments

DEV environments generally follow this naming convention: https://sitename.spwebdev.uillinois.edu

DEV environments are for training and development - trying out designs, structures, features, integrations, etc. DEV environments are often used for initial testing of new SitePublish release versions prior to being deployed to TEST and PROD environments. 

DEV environments are secured and restricted by firewalls; users must provide fixed IP addresses to AITS for accessing development environments.

Test (TEST) Environments

Test environments generally follow this naming convention: https://sitename.spwebtest.uillinois.edu

Test environments are used primarily for security vulnerability scanning and additional testing of new SitePublish release versions prior to being deployed to production. TEST environments are recreated every six months by cloning production environments. 

Environment Refreshes - Cloning from Production

DEV and TEST environments are "refreshed" from production periodically. Refreshing the content from production is essential to maintaining environments that are similar to production when testing new releases and checking all sites for security vulnerabilities. Having DEV and TEST environments refreshed from production creates updated content that can then be used in training or in restructuring/redeveloping a site in a non-production environment.

Any changes in DEV or TEST only are lost during these refreshes. The content, images, files, themes, etc. from DEV or TEST and erased as the content, images, files, themes, etc. from production are basically copied and pasted into the DEV or test environments. Any changes that need to be retained would need to be copied either locally or to one of the other environments during a refresh.

DEV is refreshed less often than TEST. DEV is typically refreshed only one time per year. TEST is typically refreshed only twice per year. Refreshes are typically done in advance of a new release of SitePublish being installed.

Site Administrators will be notified in advance of a refresh.