Using the recommended workflow

Acquia recommends that you have three working environments, in addition to the RA environment provided by Acquia:

  • Production (Prod)

    This is your live code. No testing takes place here, and all production code is run from a tag.

  • Staging (Stage)

    Acquia uses this environment to either deploy and test small changes or security updates, or to perform a final test of a development branch or tag before going live. Staging and production should be on the same tag, except when a new tag is being tested on staging for imminent deployment to production.

  • Development (Dev)

    Development is where active development and testing occurs. Development should be on a branch or master unless the environment is needed for parallel testing. Development branches are merged into either the master or trunk only when you are ready to test on staging as a precursor to live deployment on production.

  • Remote Administration (RA) environment

    Acquia provides an additional RA environment to facilitate security updates. Acquia uses this environment for the proactive process of deploying and testing security updates before deploying them to production. Acquia will regularly overwrite the code and databases on the RA environment. This environment should be used only for testing security update branches. See the RA environment for details.

Version control system (VCS) and workflow

Acquia recommends the following VCS workflow:

  • Master (Git) is always a stable, up-to-date codebase.

    This means that the master or trunk is immediately able to be deployed to production unless updates are in process. The master or trunk is deployed to dev unless testing is in process.

  • Branches are used for developing and testing new code and updates.

    Branches will be taken from the production tag. Acquia labels branches according to the function, the date and time started (for example: AcquiaRA-2015-02-12-13-14-15).

  • Development can happen in parallel on different branches.

    Acquia recommends keeping track of changes that are eventually merged into master or trunk and regularly updating the branch with master or trunk to ensure that the working branch is up-to-date. This may or may not be possible depending on the type of development on the branch.

    During the automated RA update process, do not merge these changes into master or deploy them to production until after the RA update process has completed and the update branch has been merged back into the main branch.

  • All tested and approved branches should be merged back into master or trunk.

    Once fully tested, development branches should be merged into master or trunk. This ensures that master or trunk always includes updated code.

  • Tags from tested and approved branches (including the master or trunk) are used for production.

    Tags are similar to snapshots of the code, frozen in time. The Acquia Cloud interface doesn't allow Git to make commits on a tag. By not modifying tags, you can easily go back to a previous tag if an error is discovered on the most recent tag.

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