What features would you like to see in future versions of Joomla?

Staging or test site management

Create an ability for a Joomla install to manage both a live and staging site where changes can be tested on a staging site and then pushed to the live site when appropriate.

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    Mark DexterAdminMark Dexter (Admin, Joomla!) shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    41 comments

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      • Barnaby DixonBarnaby Dixon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Helo everyone. I have developed a staging environment for Joomla 3+ in response to a number of requests from clients. It's powerful and has in built backups. If you think it needs some more features please just let me know! You can see it here: https://www.php-web-design.com/Joomla-Components/create-staging-environments-for-joomla.html

        I massively welcome all feedback, comments, questions and ideas - just join the conversation in the comments box on that page.

        Hopefully this is what most of you were looking for! Let me know :-)

        Barnaby Dixon

      • Keith MountifieldKeith Mountifield commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        That's great for content / database related stuff, but if you're testing tweaks to the template, or a major update on a component, your method doesn't work. A development or staging site needs to be just that, a complete duplicate of the site with the ability to synch any content item (including in 3rd party components) from one to the other. ideally this should be able to handle any number of sites in a group, so you could have a development site, a staging / test site and the production site.

      • DangeloDangelo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You can do that of course..
        Joomla is both staging and live site in one!
        I'm doing it like this:
        - Create a new menu with a link to an article (article could have anything in it..) and set permissions for this menu "Special". (you can build your link and give it to your admins like this: yourdomain.com/alias_of_your_menu)
        - Publish a login module for your Authors, Admins etc
        - Create your module/content etc on your pages by setting the access level to special
        - Ask your users to login using the link that you gave them and navigate from your menu to the page that your module/article etc is published.
        - When you are finished editing the article/module etc, change ACL for it and you are done!

        PS. A Custom ACL can be created i.e."Staging" rather than special.

        Using this way your site can be perfect, a) no-one can see your mistakes because the article will be published to your registered or guest users after you change your ACL level on it.

      • GmanGman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why isn't Joomla doing this? So aggravating. !useful in most real world scenarios now.

      • KurtKurt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This would be awesome. I am continuously changing and updating sites and this would help a lot when doing small changes and not having to continuously have a mirror site running.

      • waarnemerwaarnemer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This will certainly make some impact.

        But when it comes to the users (authors) we are already saved with the version control.
        development and staging sites I would just use a replicated version of the current live one.
        Soon as development is finished, wrap your stuff in a new install package and test again starting from scratch in a new replica of your current. Done all that install in publish/production.

        All it sort of needs is an "auto replicate my stuff" button with the abilty to select your dev or stg env. to make this all easy..

      • CakiCaki commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Certainly one of the most important and the most advanced ideas so far. If realized this will definitely launch Joomla to No1 CMS in the world.
        I'm waiting with impatience

      • Mike MaylebenMike Mayleben commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is a feature that is holding Joomla back from also being a major player at the Enterprise Level and keeping it in the lower ranks as Wordpress.

      • Scott RobinsScott Robins commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please Please introduce this. Even if you start off small ie dont have the ability to push updates from test to live.

        ie

        1. Ability to have multiple test area's in the admin area and to be able to copy live and call it

        mysite/test
        mysite/test1

        2. Ability to copy DB or just point to live DB

        Once this was done you could then look at pushing revisions from test to live and doing a diff compare of the 2 environments

        Thanks

        As an aside, one of the enhancements to Joomla 3.2 is the

        "Built-in Joomla! Extensions Finder as an onsite interface to the Joomla! Extensions "

        This is a nice enhancement....BUT how on earth did this get priority over something like this proposed feature ? What genius / genius's decided this ?

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        No comments for 3 years? Holy mackeral... has this idea fallen completely off the devs' radar?

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If Joomla want to seriously penetrate the Enterprise level such option will be of great value. I am specifically someone who needs such solution in my organisation as we use more than 20 joomla websites with several simultaneous collaborators in terms of content management and extension developers. Testing modules then moving those to a pre-production server then moving finally to the production site is a pain as we have to use rsync (for files) and DB replications techniques for this method to work.

        Such solution would really help.

      • Richard PikeRichard Pike commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This a "have to have" if you want high quality websites. We have just added another piece to the puzzle by creating webseam. It takes your staging site and presents it to your clients. Webseam then let's clients edit web pages to give feedback to their developers. But they are not real edits instead they are captured and provided by the tool to the developers as a list of issues and bugs. Then when the page is fixed the client sees it like Word 'track changes' so they know what was fixed

      • Alberto CoronaAlberto Corona commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is a common feature in enterprise level CMS like CQ5 . It seems most comments here not agreeing with the need for this feature are missing the point that a CMS is not intended just for hard core developers/administrator. It should make it easy for content managers to make changes to their site, have them reviewed and then when approved promote them to production. This typically include tasks such as adding a new menu, editing an existing article, re-arranging existing modules. For these scenarios, I see no need for someone having to work trough scripts to merge changes from one site (staging) to a another (production). Why not just an option in the content element to be promoted to production...at the minimmun this is only a matter of having version support in all db data with at least two versions (staging and production).

        For more complex changes such as completely removing a component and replace it by a new one, or making code changes to existing components, that I understand I may need more control and need a separate physical server to test, debug and fix. Then do the migration to production using scripts, git, svn...etc.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        No you all got it wrong, this wouldn't be helpful but essential to any one that has more than one joomla site live on the internet.. It really upsets me that no-one needs this service.. How long do you think it takes me to update a few joomla website as per client specs.. I need to do it twice for every site each time (on dev and then finally live)
        I don't care if it is a third party extension that costs $200 for owned license! At least wont have to struggle and waste countless hours configuring SVN and RSync to even consider something like this..
        I even tried using JFusion and have a master/slave joomla addons configured..
        Unfortunately, Jfusion's documentation and support is utterly useless..
        this is something we've been requiring for years now sinse joomla 1.5
        So for everyone that says WAMP/XAMPP or not required please go get some live website running and get a feel for doing updates regularly. Then we can talk again

      • xamfapxamfap commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        AkeebaBackup does this already. The "hard" part is knowing what tables and files are immutable by end users. If anything I suggest a new Joomla table like #__immutable_tables that all extension devs and Joomla devs can store immutable table names in. Then any tool can look in that table and only transfer what is listed in it from a staging site to a live site.

        I suppose a #__immutable_files would be good too.

        The concept being simply if a user can mutate the data it cannot be sync'd. But if only the admin/backend can mutate the tables then it is safe to assume the admin is only making changes in the unreleased site.

      • MikelinnettMikelinnett commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Fantasic Idea, as a noob to joomla I have learned the hard way what i can and cant do before it impacts my site. I think a test site that I can load and test extentions on etc. would have saved me so much time. A facility to take snapshots of the test site so you could rollback would be very handy too.

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