Best practice is to set up a test intranet environment to run parallel with your production environment to allow for troubleshooting of issues. Setting up a test intranet environment also 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 (note: requires environments to be configured identically)
Server Set Up
To set up a test environment on a separate server from your production environment, follow the same steps as moving the intranet to a new server. These are outlined in the article Move Intranet to a New Server.
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, before proceeding contact Support for assistance at support@intranetConnections.com.
Final Step Required
Once the test environment has been set up and you can log into it, it's important to disable the Web Services task on the test server so your production environment continues to report accurate data. The steps to accomplish this are:
- In the intranet test environment, go to the Admin area
- On the Setup tab under the Global Config heading, click Scheduled Tasks
- In the Web Services area, deselect the only checkbox to disable the task (i.e. near the top of Web Services, STATUS should now say PAUSED)
Add a message box widget to the Home Page of the test site or set a completely distinct theme to denote it as a test site. This also serves as a test to ensure everything is configured correctly and there's no cross-contamination of data between production and test servers.