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From Studio to PaaS
Bizagi provides the necessary applications for you to develop your business applications.
Each of the different products provided by Bizagi, will assist you throughout the steps involved in a digital transformation initiative when developing your own business applications.
As mentioned in introductory Bizagi PaaS sections, Bizagi Studio is a desktop application which enables the design and automation of your business applications in its development stages (i.e, in the a authoring/development environment).
When subscribed to Bizagi PaaS, customers will drive these business applications so that they run directly in the cloud, either for a testing or a production environment.
The whole business-driven procedure which enables the customer to use self-service options to publish business applications in Bizagi PaaS, is known with Bizagi as a process deployment.
In addition to the default 3 environments shown above (development, testing and production), it is a common recommended practice to rely on the use of one additional other environment referred to as the staging environment.
Whenever processes are critical, or depending on the nature of the changes incoming from the development environment (i.e. if it is strictly needed to test such changes with existing cases/instances), then you can choose to create a staging environment specifically focused on having production data.
When doing so, ensure that the staging environment uses a separate configuration that does not affect your real production data and business, such as configuring a separate e-mail service, different URL endpoints for interfaces, sandbox environment systems such as ECMs or external data sources, or any other settings such as the e-mail addresses of customers or end users.
Bizagi Studio introduction
As mentioned above, note that through Bizagi Studio you create your business applications.
This means that before you start a process deployment, it is expected for you and your team colleagues to have finished implementing those business applications you want to deploy.
Bizagi Studio features an easy-to-use wizard which will guide you through each of the steps to create your business applications: defining the data model, designing the user interface, including business rules, setting work allocation and detailing the integration with other applications, among other things.
For comprehensive information about Bizagi Studio, its features and UI explained, refer to Bizagi Studio's users guide at the online help.
A process deployment considers turning your developed business applications into a runnable service, and it is done while considering export and import procedures, as described below.
Note that the term export refers to extracting your business applications (with any number of processes in them) from the development environment, into a portable package that can be applied directly to your PaaS environments.
The term import, refers to taking that exported package as an input, and applying it to a target testing or production environment.
Process deployments (shortened as deployments) do NOT imply at any moment IT-related tasks; given that all steps are done via a self-service UI oriented to the business.
Consider that the development is carried out on-premises. The following image depicts working with process deployments and environments in Bizagi PaaS:
The general and recommended outline of steps to carry out for a process deployment are:
1. Taking into account general design considerations in the development environment.
These general considerations range from how you design your data model, to integration with other systems and other aspects which are relevant when developing your business applications as a whole.
For detailed information on this step, refer to Considering applications design.
2. Preparing and reviewing the applications to deploy.
This means making preparations, acknowledging what exactly you want to deploy, while ensuring you and your team colleagues are no longer performing changes in those specific candidate processes (i.e, the processes composing your applications).
For detailed information on this step, refer to Preparing processes to be exported.
3. Exporting processes.
This step is about producing the actual package having your processes implementation.
For detailed information on this step, refer to Exporting processes.
4. Importing processes.
For this step and further on, you will need access to the Management Portal (via a browser using internet connectivity).
Through authorized access in the Management Portal, you will be able to manage your Bizagi PaaS environments (e.g, testing or production) and apply the deployment package.
Notice that you should always import processes into the testing environment first, and only proceed to repeat the procedure in a production environment once behavior is verified and user-acceptance tests are successful in the testing environment.
If you will be using a staging environment as described in the overview, then your deployment process cycle should consider: first importing into testing, then into staging and finally into production.
Applying a deployment package should be properly planned, coordinated and communicated. It is recommended to schedule it for non-busy hours.
For detailed information on this step, refer to Importing processes.
Recall that Bizagi supports agile round trips to support continuous improvements in your processes.
As an on-going task, you may plan and consider creating new process versions or rolling-out certain changes after a deployment, so that your processes support your business dynamism and stay flexible.
To learn about continuous improvement with Bizagi, refer to Continuous improvement and incremental deployments.