This post is aimed at people who work with Change Management and/or are looking to introduce Release Record Management.
In software and hardware deployment a Production Environment is comprised of the IT infrastructure that supports the day to day activities of the business.
Typically, 4 IT Environments are considered when preparing a Request for Deployment:
This is where developers code and run initial functionality tests. An example of a Development Environment is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) platform, which provides software developers with the tools necessary for the development process
This is the Environment in which the new software is tested and it’s typically a copy of the Live/Production Environment
The User Acceptance Testing Environment is where the actual users of the software test to assess if the software functionality meets the specification requirements.
This is the Environment where the software gets deployed to for the operation of the end users.
For all 4 IT Environments above, it makes sense to create a specific Release Record, as they carry instructions specific to each of them.
Many organisations maintain mirror copies of their Production (Live) Environment that allow Changes in their infrastructure to be fully tested before deployment into Production.
It is important to note however that each business has their own Release processes and although I have described 4 of the most commonly used IT Environments for Release Management, it does not mean that Release Records should be created for all 4 IT Environments everytime a software Change is planned.
The use of different IT environments in software and hardware deployment is only an industry norm put in practice by mainly large companies.
The decision about the relevant IT Environments for the purpose of creating a Release Record should be done after careful consideration of the Change specification and Impact Assessment.