Friday, April 11, 2008

Creating a test/development enviroment

On most projects I've been on, defining the infrastructure has started by looking at the customers current infrastructure and then trying to create an environment that resembles that for testing and for development. I have never seen a test environment that looks like the production one. I have never moved an application from test to production without some unknown settings on the production environment.

My suggestion is this: We should stop using the production environment as the reference of our development. Instead we should specify the environment in as simple terms as possible. this specification should of course be validated by infrastructure guys (or girls). This way the application developer can focus on what is his does best which is the functionality of the application and not hardware and network setup.

This approach should result in better applications because it lets the infrastructure support the application and not the other way around.

Edit: I had a comment on this post. What I mean is that I want the reference infrastructure to be something that can be realised in a test and development environment. I don't want the production environment to be the reference. The reference infrastructure should of course be evaluated by someone who knows the production environment. Getting the application from the reference installation to the production environment should not be a task for a developer.

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