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Stage 2: Deploying and Testing in the Staging Environment

Deploying into the staging environment

After your application is running smoothly in your development environment, use Pega Deployment Manager to move the application to the staging environment.  In this environment, you can make changes to your application, using more data to confirm your application meets your business needs.  The staging environment is also known as the “pre-production” environment.

Testing in the staging environment

After moving your application to the staging environment, you must test in that environment. 

One big difference between the development and staging environments is the amount and type of data used.  The development environment (“lower-level” environment) generally has a small amount of test data, while the staging environment (a “higher-level” environment) has “production-like” data – a similar level of data to what is in production.

To do this testing, Pega recommends that you provide staging test data for Pega to migrate from your on-premises staging environment into your Pega Cloud staging environment.   This staging dataset is “production-like” data, but does not have to be a duplication of today’s production data.  Testing in this phase is not meant to be a “mirror” of production data; however, you should use a much larger dataset than you did in the development environment.  

IMPORTANT: By contract, your staging data must be redacted – no personal customer information should be present in any system except the production environment.

The Pega Cloud Services team will work with you to migrate your staging data to your staging environment.    

This is the first test for bringing a dataset into your application which is running in the Pega Cloud environment.  There may be issues with moving the data into the latest version  of Pega Platform.  The Pega Cloud Services team will work with you to remediate data transfer issues, so in subsequent data transfers, your data will experience the fewest issues possible during the migration of your production data.

After the data transfer is complete in the staging environment, you should perform application functional testing to validate that the application is working as expected with your “production-like” data.  In addition to all the normal functional tests, you should test the performance of your application with this data, in order to verify that the application performs as expected and is meeting any performance requirements or SLAs.

Also verify that your external connections are working properly – ensure that emails are being sent correctly from your application (if that is part of your application), that external servers are properly connected and provide correct data, that port configurations are correct, that users have the correct privileges and access rights, and so on.

During this stage, you should also use the Pega Predictive Diagnostic Cloud to perform a review of the overall health of your applications, check performance metrics, and identify any high value improvement areas.

According to DevOps best practices, if your testing finds any errors in the staging environment, you must address and fix them in the development environment, and then transfer the fixes into the staging environment using your DevOps pipeline. You then repeat your testing in the staging environment to ensure the fixes addressed the errors. This can be an iterative process.

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