Imagine it's midnight and you're packaging up your web application. Upload it via FTP, run server updates, and manually execute SQL scripts to update the database schema. If something goes wrong, you might have to undo everything — step by step — and hope that you can revert the application to its prior state before morning.
Fortunately, these late-night deployment processes are (mostly) gone and Agile deployment has taken its place. Modern web applications are automatically tested and deployed when minor code changes are committed to a production branch. Plus features are easily turned on and off for particular users to ensure they work before everyone can access them.
Check out four best practices that help crystalize the benefits of Agile deployments, including tools and techniques that you can put to work today.
Use this checklist to ensure that you’re not missing anything when deploying your applications.
- Run an Automated Test Suite
Ensure that you run any automated tests to ensure that the new code changes won’t break any existing application functionality.
- Run Deployment on a Staging Server
Run the deployment on a staging server that mimics the production environment to ensure that there aren’t any unexpected errors.
- Notify the Team
Ensure that the development team is aware of the upcoming deployment in case anything happens that requires a follow-up.
- Clear the Server Cache
Don’t forget to clear any server cache as part of the deployment process to avoid strange errors that can be hard to diagnose.
- Monitor Server Utilization
Ensure that all servers are online and the load balancer is still receiving traffic. Look for abnormalities in CPU, memory, network or disk usage.
- Monitor Exception Rates
Leverage an error-tracking platform to measure the number of exceptions occurring, and if the rate increases, consider rolling back the change.
- Hold a Post Mortem Meeting
Step back and discuss how the deployment went during the next team meeting, as well as ways to improve moving forward.
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