After you have requested a new stack, you will have a functioning website, ready to be used and tailored to meet your needs. A number of people nominated in the form requesting the Stack will have been given access to perform various tasks explained below.

Learn about the capabilities of the Content Management System (CMS) and default features of a new website for a description of what a new stack provides. Also see roles and responsibilities.

A Stack has both a UAT (testing) and production (or live) environment, which run on their own servers. The UAT environment contains the ready working website however the production environment is blank. Prepare the UAT environment to a state where it is appropriate to be copied to the production environment, and then complete the Deploy UAT to Production form in the Service Desk.

To aid with the set up or running of your websites, training can be requested.

Stack Manager

As the Stack Manager of a new stack, you need to:

  • Co-ordinate and delegate tasks to other roles described below. 
  • Learn about the Service Desk, and set a password using a link in an email sent to you. You will see information about and links to your new Stack inside the Service Desk.
  • On an ongoing basis, check your email inbox and mobile phone for SMS messages.
    • Costs: We will contact you to authorise costs, such as if someone requests to upgrade the Stack from a small to a large size. 
    • Deployments (if a Release Manager has not been nominated): Technical changes on your live website, such as template changes, new features like adding online payments, or upgrading the CMS version are known as deployments. Deployments require testing and will produce a small outage while they are installed. We therefore will ask your confirmation before allowing someone to carry out a deployment.
    • Production data access (if a Release Manager has not been nominated): you have access to production data - you can create data snapshots and restore them back via Dashboard. Your Developers will likely ask you to provide/restore these as they have no direct access to that environment.

Release Manager

Release Manager, if nominated, takes over a subset of Stack Manager's responsibilities. As a Release Manager you will need to:

  • Learn about the Service Desk, and set a password using a link in an email sent to you. You will see information about and links to your new Stack inside the Service Desk.
  • On an ongoing basis, check your email inbox and mobile phone for SMS messages:
    • Deployments: Technical changes on your live website, such template changes, new features like adding online payments, or upgrading the CMS version are known as deployments. Deployments require testing and will produce a small outage while they are installed. We therefore will ask your confirmation before allowing someone to carry out a deployment.
    • Production data access: you have access to production data - you can create data snapshots and restore them back via Dashboard. Your Developers will likely ask you to provide/restore these as they have no direct access to that environment.

Developers

If you are the Developer for a Stack, you need to:

  • Use the Gitlab code repository to manage the code running your Stack. You will need to learn about the core technical information for the platform, including how to use git. Keep in mind that we recommend using the "default recipe" of supported code, which provides a number of standard features and standard templates.
  • If necessary, create further Gitlab users and repositories (areas containing code) and grant access permissions. You may do this, for example, to delegate a supplier to build website templates or custom website code. (Or you may be a supplier to an agency already.) 
  • Create a development web server environment and install the stack code there (unless you have delegaged this.)
  • Be aware that a Stack has both a production and testing (UAT) environment, and manage the  transfer of code, files, and databases between them. 
  • Use the Dashboard to pull code from Gitlab into the UAT environment, and subsequently use the Service Desk 'Deploy UAT to Production' form. These allow deployments to occur, however note that the Stack Manager will be asked (via SMS) to authorise deployments affecting production.
  • Help with data migration, for example by configuring an HTML or Drupal based connector to copy all of the website content from another website to this Stack.
  • Manage data snapshots for your UAT and test environments directly through Dashboard (upload, download, backup and restore).
  • Know that you can request your Release Manager (or Stack Manager, if not available) to provide you with a production data snapshot, or to restore it to the production.
  • Learn about the Service Desk, and set a Service Desk password using a link in an email sent to you. You will see information about and links to your new Stack inside the Service Desk.
  • Note the IPv4 addresses recorded in the Service Desk so that you can associate the domain names for your websites with these IP addresses.

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