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Server Upgrades and Running A Test Server
A typical and highly recommended part of any Server upgrade is to first test the installation on a separate Staging or Test server.
This Test server should ideally be a copy of your Live/Production installation, to ensure it is as close as possible to the Live environment and data.
Having a Test server means that you can follow your preferred testing procedures (e.g. User Acceptance Tests) and confirm that the new Server software is working correctly for your needs.
A Test machine also allows you to evaluate the actual installation/upgrade process, letting you approach the Live server with a measure of confidence about the time and effort required to upgrade.
A Test server is also great for running demonstrations and training new users, since it is a “safe” area where its OK if a user makes a mistake.
Plus you can always restore a new copy of the database and setup from your live configuration when the Test system needs refreshing.
Your YourCompany Server license permits you to run one Live/Production installation as well as a non-production Test install, so there is no additional licensing cost to have a Test environment running.
Users on a Test environment are not also billed for – just be sure that all usage on the Test server is purely for demo, evaluation, testing and/or training purposes.
Running Mobile Apps Against Your Test Server
By default, your branded mobile app will always connect to your Live server installation’s web address, which is hard-coded into the app build.
However the app can also be coded to contain a Test server address – just advise our support team of the Test server’s URL and we’ll include it in the next app release.
Once a Test address has been added into your app build, you need to follow a simple naming convention to tell the app to run against Test instead of Live.
This is done by ensuring that all users on your Test server have an email address that starts with “test+”.
e.g. instead of “email@example.com”, update their email on the Test server to be “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
If the app detects a user logging in with the “test+” prefix on their email, it will automatically use the Test server URL for all communications instead of the Live server.
Aside from updating your Test server users to have the “test+” prefix, you must also ensure that the relevant company accounts have their Primary URL set to point at the Test server.
This is particularly important when restoring a Live backup into your Test server, since the existing company records will have Primary URLs that point at Live.
Assuming you have superuser level access on the Test server, you will see the Primary URL field on the Organisation Setup page.
Updating the Primary URL means the app will continue to access the Test server beyond initial login.