ShopperKit Release Process
As ShopperKit continues to grow and evolve, with customers and employees spanning continents and time zones, we realize that our release process must also evolve. We recognize that you, our customers, need to have a better idea of what to expect in each new release as well as better predictably and confidence in any new production deploys. To that end, effective immediately, ShopperKit is changing how we will handle all new product releases and planned production deployments.
The Release Process
With every new product release, ShopperKit will now deploy the release first to the lower tier Production Staging environment. Once deployment to Production Staging has been completed, the release notes will be published and the release announcement sent. Every new release will remain in Stage for a period of two weeks before being deployed to production. The planned production deploy date and time will be published in the release announcement and release notes. During this two week period, customers will have opportunity to preview and validate the planned release in the stage environment. Provided that there are no issues affecting system stability found during this period, the release will be deployed to production on the planned production release. If any issues are found, they will be addressed and deployed to stage. Any changes to the planned production release date and time will be updated on the published release notes and communicated to all customers.
Before we are able to fully move to this new process, we first must setup all customers in the production staging environment. For those of you who do not already have stage access, we will move what is currently your UAT environment up the Stage environment. To be clear, what we label as UAT is really our development UAT environment. We utilize continuous integration within our development process and UAT is constantly changing. By the time a new release has been deployed to stage, our UAT will already be ahead of that and will be reflecting work planned for the release to come after that. Because of this lack of stability, Development UAT is not a good candidate for validating releases. As such, ShopperKit will begin moving all current customer UAT instances into our Stage environment.
It must be noted that this move to stage will likely require corresponding changes to your lower tier commerce and POS integrations so they may point to the new environment correctly. We will furnish each of you with the specific URLs and required authorization tokens. We will also provide you all with access instructions and the client passwords required to install the Production Stage version of the client application. This process will begin this week, so be on the lookout for further communications from us on this movement.
Q.What should I do if I find an issue with a production stage release?
A.Log the issue with email@example.com so that we may triage and remedy the issue. If this issue is critical we will hot patch the production stage release ASAP, and depending on the severity, we may alter the planned production deployment date and time. Any changes to the planned production deployment date and time will be communicated to all customer.
Q. What should I do if I have feedback or improvement suggestions on new features in the production stage release?
A.Log any feedback with firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may evaluate it as a possible enhancement in a future release.
Q. Why can’t I just validate the release on my own time and let you know when I approve the upgrade to production?
A.ShopperKit is a multi tenant cloud solution. This means that there is a single platform and code base that serves ALL customers. For obvious reasons, we can’t allow any one customer to set the release schedule, so as a compromise all customers will have the same amount of time to validate and log any issues ahead of anything being deployed to production.
Q. What about if I have any non-release integration (POS, commerce) changes that are specific to my implementation I would like to have deployed to production?
A.For the most part, customer specific integrations exist outside of what we call the Core ShopperKit API and thus can be deployed outside of a production release. If the change you are requesting impacts your implementation only, then we will still ask that you validate the changes in stage before we move them to production. In the event that your requested change also requires changes to the Core ShopperKit API, then we will work with you to schedule the change to be included in an upcoming release.