There are plenty of good approaches for development from classic to iterative and everything in between. How you plan, build, design, integrate, test, and deliver your solutions is up to you, but at a minimum you should adopt some key approaches to standardizing your process as much as possible to make it easy to continue to maintain your solutions and be able to better leverage and create new solutions.
The development usually takes place on a developer workstation and is then deployed to a test server. After successful testing, the solution is then deployed to a live production web server. Before deployment the following questions should be considered:
- What preparations are needed, which decisions must be taken?
- What technical aspects must be considered during development, how to build content and how is the acceptance testing done?
- Migrate content from an existing website, or create new from scratch?
- Which features will be implemented on the website, which in turn will affect development and configuration?
- How will the website be maintained and hosted, on-premises or using a cloud-based solution?
In the following you will find a baseline set of stages for your EPiServer deployment.
Before anything else, make sure you have machines that satisfy the minimum system requirements for the EPiServer platform, CMS and Commerce, see the system requriements.
It is always a good idea to coordinate your requirements, deployment architecture, systems integration needs, and infrastructure up front. Good planning and preparation will save a lot of time and effort.
During this stage, the primary development of your solution occurs with a strong focus on requirements and iterative delivery with constant communication with your end users and customers. The more you can communicate and show progress during this phase the more solidified your efforts and communication will be as you move into integration and testing.
Once you have completed core development it is critical that you thoroughly test and verify your system from all sides. This includes the public facing portion, business logic you have developed, the back-end systems and all interfaces you have with third party systems and controls. It is also important that you test your solution in conjunction with the expected business processes and operational support teams that will be operating and managing the solution.
Deploying an EPiServer solution will entail appropriate planning and timing to roll out your solution into a live or production environment. Your deployment may take different forms such as a cut-over from an existing system, or if you have a new system, you will simply launch your new site. In either case, proper planning and preparation of this will ensure your customers initial experience will be a good one.
Maintenance and enhancements
If you have done a good job with the above stages, then the final stage is ongoing maintenance, enhancements, and improvements that are all part of growing and supporting your EPiServer solution. EPiServer is a scalable platform that can be deployed in a wide range of deployment environments, either on a single server, virtual machine, or large web farm network clusters.