environments as a service for your software development

In the dynamic world of software development, teams are perpetually seeking tools and practices that can boost their efficiency and productivity. One such concept gaining ground is using environments as a service (EaaS).

But what exactly is EaaS, and should your team incorporate it? This article aims to illuminate these queries.

The Role of Preview Environments in Software Development

What is EaaS?

Environments as a Service (EaaS) is a concept where an isolated set-up allows teams to interact and test their applications. These environments, often called preview or ephemeral, are short-lived and focused on a single purpose.

EaaS empowers organizations to utilize a third-party service to create a new development environment on-demand, encompassing data, infrastructure, and code. This approach is perceived as a game-changer in the software development industry, bridging the gap between local testing and staging or production environments.

Boosting Development Speed

One of the resounding advantages of employing EaaS is its potential to enhance development speed. Test environments are created on-demand for testing git branches before merging, reducing the time spent testing and releasing new features.

The Benefits of Using Environments as a Service

Streamlining the Review Process

Environments as a service can substantially streamline the review process. They provide standardized code review practices, lessening the workload for maintainers and team leaders.

Furthermore, EaaS allows for thorough isolation testing and iteration of features, enabling parallelization of parts. This approach not only heightens efficiency but also improves the quality of the final product.

Transitioning the Testing Process to the “Pre-Merge” Phase

EaaS facilitates a shift in the testing process to a “pre-merge” phase. This approach allows teams to identify bugs, allocate responsibility, and make necessary changes before merging the code. It embodies the mottos: “Don’t merge until you preview” and “Keep dirty code out of main.”

Bridging the Gap Between Local Testing and Other Environments

Using environments as a service can help bridge the gap between local testing and staging or production environments. EaaS is designed to test individual features or branches in a production-like environment, thereby creating efficiency in deploying code changes.

Preview environments are typically made and deleted, responding to pull request triggers. They provide flexibility in creating test environments precisely when needed and only for the required duration.

The Flexibility and Efficiency of Preview Environments

The flexibility offered by EaaS in creating test environments as and when needed is one of its most appealing features. It provides efficiency benefits for maintainers, team leads, developers, testers, product teams, and other stakeholders.

The Rise of Platforms Supporting Preview Environments

Several platforms like Netlify and Vercel support previews for frontends and visual changes. The concept of environments as a service complements backends, databases, APIs, CLIs, Binaries, and microservices applications, making it a valuable tool in the software development lifecycle.

Harnessing the Power of Environments as a Service: The Final Verdict

In conclusion, using environments as a service in software development offers numerous benefits. From speeding up the development process to streamlining reviews and facilitating pre-merge testing, EaaS is a powerful tool for any software team. As many consider this capability a game-changer and the holy grail of DevOps, it’s worth considering its adoption in your software development process.

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