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Deploying files from staging to produtcion server - Macromedia Contribute General Discussion

We're looking at setting up a badly needed staging server so that developers can make code changes and test them out somewhere before putting them on the live site. Since we use Contribute for content, we are wondering whether to point Contribute to the production or staging server. If we continue to point to production, we end up with some complications with versioning. If we point Contribute to staging....what are our options for moving files from staging to production in an efficient way? I know that CPS has some capabilities for this, and we might consider that. However, due to ...

  1. #1

    Default Deploying files from staging to produtcion server

    We're looking at setting up a badly needed staging server so that developers
    can make code changes and test them out somewhere before putting them on the
    live site. Since we use Contribute for content, we are wondering whether to
    point Contribute to the production or staging server. If we continue to point
    to production, we end up with some complications with versioning.

    If we point Contribute to staging....what are our options for moving files
    from staging to production in an efficient way?

    I know that CPS has some capabilities for this, and we might consider that.

    However, due to the cost and not knowing how CPS might work in that regard,
    I'd like to see what other folks are using who have more than one
    server/environment.

    Sure we could just use FTP, but then the content contributors would have to
    compile a list of dependent files (pdfs, etc.) that they need published along
    with their page, and that seems overly manual.

    Also, would we need to be sure not to transfer the contribute files like .LCK,
    ..bak, .mno, etc, from server to server?

    'Would love to hear a detailed account of what other people are using to
    deploy files in a configuration with a staging and or dev and a production
    server.

    Thanks in advance!

    -camille

    camille23 Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Deploying files from staging to produtcion server

    We use the Auto File Deployment webservice with the CPS to get files from one
    server to another. We have three servers, Development, Testing, and Production.
    Publish on Dev and it also publishes to Test. Publish on Test and it also
    publishes on Prod. Delete on Dev and it deletes from Dev only. Delete on Test
    and it deletes on Prod also. We modified AFD to publish everything in the
    images and doents folders at the same level as the page that is being
    published. That way the dependent files always get published. (In the original
    AFD, dependent files only got published if they were just added. That meant
    that they'd get published from Dev to Test, but then when publishing from Test
    to Prod, they were "old" and wouldn't go across. Thus the hack.) Having
    everthing in images and doents go across is also helpful if there's
    something that needs to be published in bulk.

    This method is slow and took much development time and money to implement, but
    we had security reasons for not allowing ftp by the users.

    abna Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Deploying files from staging to produtcion server

    Thanks so much for your response. What took the development time...the
    modification to publish all images/doents at the same level as the file, or
    did the entire implementation require a lot of dev hours and money?

    camille23 Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Deploying files from staging to produtcion server

    One more question for abna: How do your developers deploy their files and
    handle avoiding versioning conflicts with changes users make? Does AFD allow
    backend-type files to be deployed as well? (And can you transfer many files at
    once, like if a developer had a section of the site to move from test to
    production?)

    Thanks again!

    And I would still love to hear what other people are doing, too, if there are
    others out there dealing with the same challenges (and there must be!)

    camille23 Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Deploying files from staging to produtcion server

    Pretty much everything took a lot of time, including planning. But this is
    mainly because we had some strict policies and politics we needed to follow
    regarding security and workflow. Also the developer had to do some training to
    get up-to-speed on ColdFusion, webservices, and Contribute. And then we lost
    that developer and had to train another, and then another, and then another...

    And a lot of the time was spent finding and fixing bugs or things that didn't
    work as we would have liked it. Things like figuring out things like that you
    have to publish everything in the images/doents folders or else your
    dependent files won't go across three servers. We often tried several possible
    solutions before finding something that would work within our guidelines.

    On the plus side, we had to work with Adobe support on a few issues we found
    tricky, and I have never had a better experience with support people in my
    life. They really went above and beyond to help us.

    I think if you have a good plan, know exactly what you need to do, know
    exactly how the CPS and webservices work, and have a skilled developer, there's
    no reason why it should take too terribly long. Unless of course, you have to
    submit it to a committee for approval.

    abna Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Deploying files from staging to produtcion server

    [q]How do your developers deploy their files and handle avoiding versioning
    conflicts with changes users make? [/q]

    We use the "edit in an external application" feature. That way a file is
    locked to other users, but can be edited in a more advanced application like
    Dreamweaver. If we're doing something like template changes, we send an e-mail
    to all users and let them know to stay off for a certain period of time. We
    also implemented the RSS feed notification, so we can tell if any of the users
    ignored us and edited during that window anyway.

    [q]Does AFD allow backend-type files to be deployed as well?[/q]

    AFD will publish anything Contribute does. Some files you can browse to an
    open for editing in an external app and then publish. Other file types you can
    do "publish file from my computer". And if you don't want to mess with that and
    you've modified AFD the way we have, just put the files in an images or
    doents folder and publish a page at the same level. Definitely do this with
    css files, because Contribute rewrites them if you open them in edit mode.

    [q](And can you transfer many files at once, like if a developer had a section
    of the site to move from test to production?)[/q]
    We implemented Simple File Deployment. It shows a list of everything published
    on Development. You check each one you want to move forward to the next server
    and click deploy, and they all go at once. If you haven't published them
    through Contribute initially, though, you have to find another way to do it.
    (We just have an administrator will full access who can bulk move everything if
    necessary. We do that for the initial creation of sites.)


    abna Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Deploying files from staging to produtcion server

    This is most helpful. I really appreciate for your time.
    camille23 Guest

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