Acquia CMS

Testing Remote Administration Updates

Acquia’s Remote Administration (RA) service provides proactive security updates for subscribers. Acquia uses a streamlined three-step process to help get these updates onto your production environment as soon as possible, keeping your websites secure.

To help with this process, subscribers are responsible for testing all updates to ensure they don’t break the features of their production website. The RA team can assist with troubleshooting, if needed.

Step 1: Testing updates on the RA environment

Updates are deployed to the RA environment for initial testing and approval. The RA environment is configured differently when compared to other non-production environments.


Acquia doesn’t recommend performing extensive testing on this environment as it’s not designed to withstand the same level of traffic as your production environment.

On the RA environment, you should check that the website loads without displaying major errors. Images may not render because files aren’t copied to the RA environment. The website may not load as expected compared to your other environments because RA environments typically have fewer resources than other non-production environments.

When you are ready to conduct more extensive testing, the RA team will deploy your branch as a tag to either the Dev or Stage environments (Step 2).

Step 2: Testing sites on Dev or Stage

The testing process for every website will be slightly different. The process will vary based on your website’s features and the modules that are updated. The following steps are intended as a general guide only and may not be comprehensive.

General testing

  1. Test that the website loads as expected. Acquia recommends using a cache-busting URL to ensure you aren’t seeing a cached version of the website such as

  2. Check over the homepage and any major content pages:

    • Is the theme displaying as expected?

    • Are images and image sliders loading as expected?

    • If you have any views and blocks configured, are they displaying the correct content?

  3. Log in to your website

    • Can you log in as expected?

    • Can you edit content?

    • Do the administration pages of the website load as expected?

More detailed testing of updates

To check that specific updates are working as expected, Acquia recommends reviewing the release notes for the updates included on your branch. The RA update ticket you receive will link to the release notes.


Security updates will also include any new feature releases in earlier bugfix updates (that is Drupal core 7.5.6 also contains the feature release in the bugfix-only update 7.55). You may want to consult the release notes for earlier bugfix versions as part of your testing process.

  • Check the features of the updated modules to ensure they are functioning as expected.

  • Check for any feature changes listed in the release notes and ensure the changes are functioning as expected.

Step 3: Deploying to production

If your website is functioning as expected, you can approve the updates and request the Remote Administration team deploy the updates to your production environment.

What to do if you find issues:

If you find problems while testing your updates, the RA team can assist you with troubleshooting and diagnosing problems. To better assist you, Acquia recommends giving the following details when responding in your ticket:

  • A detailed description of the issue you are seeing.

  • The location on the website where you are seeing the issue, including the URL of the page where you are seeing the error.

  • Whether you were logged in to the website or not. If so, specify which user account.

  • The steps required to replicate the issue.