Pushing application changes to production environment has always been a cautious, time-intensive weekend activity for service desk and IT asset management administrators. An administrator would typically create/modify and test customizations, workflows, searches, configurations, and business meta-data in a pre-production environment, collate various elements of 'ready to go' content in one place (in some cases, the source content is manually recreated in the target environment or by moving the full MDB back and forth), ensure compatibility of the content in the target environment, and keep fingers crossed when the content is finally applied to the production environment over a weekend. Each of these steps requires manual work, has breakpoints, and needs time (more time). But there is a better way now.
The Environment Promotion feature in CA Service Management addresses these challenges out-of-the-box by enabling Administrators to plan and execute configuration and content promotion easily and quickly, resulting in valuable time saving during those weekends. Here is how:
1. Package all 'ready to go' changes together: All changes can be filtered and listed in one place, and an Administrator can pick 'ready to go' changes before exporting them to a package. It does not require Administrators to manually collate the changes anymore. Underlying dependencies that are not explicitly selected are implicitly packaged behind the scene. And, where needed, business/technical context can be captured, as description, in each package during export.
2. 'Dry run' to avoid import failures: Dry Run helps check a package's compatibility in the target environment, without actually importing it; it enables Administrators to validate the content in the target environment prior to the weekend maintenance window. When packages are pre-validated, it is a matter of push-of-a-button over the weekend.
3. Traceability: The information about who imported what and when is recorded by the system for future viewing. The business/technical context, if provided, in packages helps establish why a change came into the production environment, and what all was included in the package.
Environment Promotion is a new feature available through CA Service Management 14.1.02 in CA Service Desk Manager and CA Asset Portfolio Management.