Setting up a test intranet environment to run parallel with your production environment provides the following benefits:
- Test out upgrades or patches prior to applying these updates to production
- Test out new features or functionality changes prior to pushing the changes live
- Allows for pilot testing with select user groups (depending on the change)
- Avoids unwanted surprises in your Production environment (Requires environments to be configured identically)
It's possible to set up a test environment on the same server as the production installation. However, this can cause problems for upgrades and serves as a potential for your production installation to become contaminated with test data. As a result, this is not recommended.
However, if you must set up a test environment on the same server as your production installation, contact Support for assistance before proceeding.
To set up a test environment on a separate server from your production environment the steps followed will be the same as moving the intranet to a new server. To learn how to move the intranet to a new sever please take a look at the Move Intranet to a New Server article.
Once the test environment has been set up and you can log into it there is an additional step that must be followed. The Web Services task will need to be disabled on the test server. The steps to accomplish this are:
- From the Intranet go to the Admin page
- Select "Scheduled Tasks" under the Global Config section
- Under the Web Services task deselect the checkbox to disable the task
Add a message box widget to the home page of the test site to denote it as a test site. This also serves as a test to ensure everything is configured correctly and there is no cross-contamination of data between production and test servers.