Saturday, October 22, 2011

Identifying Environments, Targets and Websites

I think that there are two things that should always be done while working with any Tridion environemnt, specially when it has DTAP (Development, Test, Acceptance and Production infrastructure).
  1. Create descriptive host names instead of using IPs, for any target websites as well as for the different CMEs (Content Manager Explorers). 

Given the following facts
  • Company having two large divisions in which an independent website is needed, marketing and support.
  • Each website has two targets, staging and live.
  • The infraestructure has developments and production.

I would add to the host file of every team member the lines below. These names should be descriptive enough to let the users and visitors know what website, target and environment they are accessing.

# CMEs dev.cms.customer prod.cms.customer

# Development Websites

# Production Websites

# Siteedit sites
I know that this might seem very obvious. But short time ago I visited a customer, and I was sutnned by seeing a whole team of developers completely lost every time they tried to access either the CMS or the website using IPs. As I see it, the larger the infraestructure and the team are, the better it is to have porper host names instead of IPs.

      2.  Changing the CME in SDL Tridion 2011 to identify different environemnts is rather easy, why don't use it!? 

This could be Development

and this one could be Production

The steps to follow are here.

Once again, I am aware that these changes might seem trivial. To me these are best practices and should always be done.


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  2. Friendly URLs and bookmarks are a must when dealing with multiple environments! Excellent point.

    In addition to local host files, I've seen teams have their admins setup the conversion server-side. Local host files also come in handy with ad-hoc and temporary server testing.

    In terms of the specific colors for the CME banner, I like having friendlier colors for production and saving red for the development GUI. We can then tell end users to "stop, do not pass go, and tell IT if you see red."