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From Studio to the cloud
Bizagi provides the necessary applications for you to develop your business applications.
Each Bizagi product, will help you through the steps involved in a digital transformation initiative when developing your own business applications.
As mentioned, Bizagi Studio is a desktop application which supports the design and automation of your business applications in their development stages (in the authoring/development environment).
When subscribed to Automation Service, customers will drive these business applications so that they run directly in the cloud, in a testing or a production environment.
Deploy first to a Test environment and then into a Production environment.
The whole business-driven procedure, which lets you use self-service options to publish business applications in Automation Service, is known as a process deployment.
In addition to the three default environments (development, testing and production), it is a common practice to use one additional other environment referred to as staging environment.
Whenever processes are critical, or the changes incoming from the development environment require it(i.e. you must test such changes with existing cases/instances), you can choose to create a staging environment specifically focused on using production data.
Make sure that the staging environment uses a separate configuration that does not affect your real production data and business, configure a separate e-mail service, different URL endpoints for interfaces, sandbox environment systems such as ECMs or external data sources, and other settings such as the e-mail addresses of customers or end users.
Bizagi Studio introduction
Through Bizagi Studio you create your business applications.
This means that before you start a process deployment, you and your team should have finished implementing those business applications you want to deploy.
Bizagi Studio features an easy-to-use wizard which guides you through creating your business applications, including: defining the data model, designing the user interface, including business rules, setting work allocation and detailing integration with other applications.
For comprehensive information about Bizagi Studio, its features and UI, refer to Bizagi Studio's user guide in the online help.
A process deployment handles turning your developed business applications into a runnable service, and its export and import procedures, as described below.
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 Automation Service 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 to deployments) do NOT require any IT-related tasks, since you complete that all steps through a self-service UI.
Bizagi understands that you may have the need to perform minor changes on specific parts of a project. For this kind of scenarios you can use the Microdeployment. This feature allows you to select and deploy small portions of your projects, which lets you change a specific aspects of a process without touching the rest of it. For more information about the Microdeployment, refer to this article.
You carry out development on-premises. The following image depicts working with process deployments and environments in Automation Service:
The general, recommended 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 Considerations about application design.
2. Preparing and reviewing the applications to deploy.
This means making preparations, confirming what exactly you want to deploy, and ensuring you and your team 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 containing your processes implementation.
For detailed information on this step, refer to Exporting processes.
4. Importing processes.
For this step and further on, you need access to the Management Portal (via a browser using internet connectivity).
Through authorized access in the Management Portal, you can manage your Automation Service environments (e.g, testing or production) and apply the deployment package.
You should always import processes into the testing environment first, and only repeat the procedure for a production environment once behavior is verified and acceptance tests are successful in the testing environment.
If you use a staging environment as described in the overview, then your deployment process cycle should be: 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.
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.