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I have been asked to come up with a document for a staging environment and what requirements QA would have for such an environment. My main question would be "What do you look for in a staging environment as a QA professional". Here is a list of things that I can think of right off the top of my head, but anything that could add to this list would be appreciated.

  1. Make sure that the environment can be specifically managed by QA, meaning that QA will only be doing builds to this environment.
  2. Make sure that the DB is as close to production as possible

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

  • Why do you believe you need a staging environment? – user246 Jun 11 '15 at 18:53
  • I need a place that I can control, DEV is way to unstable with the changes being made to it, and production is client facing (meaning I cannot touch the data). – DEnumber50 Jun 11 '15 at 19:03
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What do you look for in a staging environment as a QA professional[?]

If at all possible your 'staging' environment will be analogous to your Production environments. The web server would be hosted by the same provider and using the same Apache or IIS version. The SQL server would be the same too. You might request a nightly replication so you have actual user data.

anything that could add to this list would be appreciated

For code deployments, QA should gate features/code branches. Currently, I use Jenkins to listen to the 'staging' branch. So when I merge a feature branch into 'staging', Jenkins builds/deploys the code. Find a CI tool that works for you.

Once the code is satisfactory, we (QA) will merge 'staging' into 'master' and then delete the feature branch to clean up the repo. We clean up the repo so that the repo is small (BitBucket currently limits us to 2GB per repo) and so that dev's wont fat finger the wrong branch when doing a checkout.

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  • As Kirby said, realistic servers and realistic data. It might be necessary or desirable to scrub personal data from the staging system.
  • A way to add specific test data in an easy, reliable way.
  • I wouldn't want QA to manage the system. Better if it is done by the same people who manage the productive system, or unintentional differences might creep in.
  • Give some thoughts where it stands relative to your firewalls. Does it have to be inside or outside?
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