Configure Staging/Live environments using deployment slots
The concept of Continuous Delivery (CD) and automated deployment process is becoming more and more popular and is an essential step if you want your Sitefinity website to follow best practices. The Staging/Live or Blue/Green concept represents the possibility to deploy applications on the same production resources independently and with unique hosting addresses. This way different roles within your internal team, like QAs, developers and business stakeholder alike can test the newly released version of your website "under the hood" without affecting the current stable live website. The end users will still be seeing the production website version (blue) while the Staging (green) version of the site can be tested and re-deployed as many times as needed depending on the testing and development needs and it will not be visible by the production end users. When the Staging version is approved and confirmed as production ready then the staging and production slots can be swapped thus making the Staging version available on the production URL.
Set up deployment slots
When you deploy your website to Azure App Services, you can benefit from the out of the box support for deployment slots – a mechanism which helps to achieve the above-mentioned strategy. With deployment slots traffic redirection is seamless, when a swap between slots is executed and no requests are dropped because of swap operations. Such setup is often specific to your organization’s processes and needs. For starting guidance on achieving Staging/Live environments setup using Azure App Service deployment slots, refer to the Microsoft documentation Set up staging environments in Azure App Service.
Automate the deployment
The deployments can further be automated using Azure DevOps or other automation servers that facilitate building, testing, and deploying software reliably. Azure App services allows for deployment from multiple sources including continuous deployment from GitHub, BitBucket and Azure Repos. For more information see Continuous deployment to Azure App Service from the Microsoft documentation.
Sitefinity Cloud implementation
Sitefinity Cloud leverages the above described mechanisms to deliver fully automated CD process with Staging and Live environments out of the box. For more information about the setup, see Production and Staging environments and Deploy code changes articles from the Sitefinity Cloud documentation.