How to understand difference between prod and test environment?

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How to understand difference between prod and test environment?

Given SAS program preinstalled on desktop, how do I understand what is the difference between prod and test environment? is it ok to ask which one is prod and which one is test?


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‎04-21-2013 07:48 PM
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Re: How to understand difference between prod and test environment?

Posted in reply to swathi123

SAS installed on a desktop cannot really be considered in a production environment, which is almost always on a separate server maintained by production staff, to which you would normally not have access.

In a proper Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) what you have would most probably be regarded as dev (development) unless you have specifically been designated as a tester. 

SAS programs (ie the file containing SAS statements you want performed by SAS) are ideally the same, whatever the environment.

In a proper SDLC a program would be written or modified by a developer in dev, then passed to a tester in test, then passed to another testbed (integration) where it would be tested against copies of other programs running in prod to make sure it had not impact on other applications, and finally promoted to production (prod) where it wold be expected to perform without user intervention.  The intention is to ensure there are no defects in the code, the code performs to specification, and that no damage is done to other (often mission critical) applications in the production environment.

So you can see why you, as a relative newcomer to SAS, are most unlikely to be entrusted to a prod environment on your desktop.

Business analysts and other users would usually fall outside this regime: users develop and test their code and run it as required on an ad hoc basis.  They may have access to production data but as 'read only' so they cannot corrupt production.

Richard

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‎04-21-2013 07:48 PM
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Posts: 644

Re: How to understand difference between prod and test environment?

Posted in reply to swathi123

SAS installed on a desktop cannot really be considered in a production environment, which is almost always on a separate server maintained by production staff, to which you would normally not have access.

In a proper Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) what you have would most probably be regarded as dev (development) unless you have specifically been designated as a tester. 

SAS programs (ie the file containing SAS statements you want performed by SAS) are ideally the same, whatever the environment.

In a proper SDLC a program would be written or modified by a developer in dev, then passed to a tester in test, then passed to another testbed (integration) where it would be tested against copies of other programs running in prod to make sure it had not impact on other applications, and finally promoted to production (prod) where it wold be expected to perform without user intervention.  The intention is to ensure there are no defects in the code, the code performs to specification, and that no damage is done to other (often mission critical) applications in the production environment.

So you can see why you, as a relative newcomer to SAS, are most unlikely to be entrusted to a prod environment on your desktop.

Business analysts and other users would usually fall outside this regime: users develop and test their code and run it as required on an ad hoc basis.  They may have access to production data but as 'read only' so they cannot corrupt production.

Richard

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Re: How to understand difference between prod and test environment?

Posted in reply to swathi123

: I have to disagree with @richardinOz because not all applications of SAS are that rigourously structured.  SAS on a desktop can most definitely be a production environment because the term might simply mean the code that is believed to be functionally correct and is the one that is currently being currently used.  In an environment less structured than the one that Richard described, if you want to change that code, you wouldn't risk  making the changes to the "production" code but, rather, would create a second copy of the code, change that code, test it and, if acceptable, move the updated code into the production environment.

Both sets of code could be on the same computer and the same individual could be the designer, the developer, the tester and the end user.

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Re: How to understand difference between prod and test environment?

Well, @Arthur Tabachneck, you can make production mean what you like and join Humpty on the wall:

  • "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less." (Lewis Carroll)

I've spent most of my career in just the kind of environment you describe, and I alluded to at the end of my first response, but I would not describe it as "production".  To my surprise Wikipedia does not define production in this context but to my mind it implies code that meets standards set by the organisation, be they quality, reliability and/or efficiency; and part of the concept is separation of duties between developer, tester and production support.  Now I know the code I write meets the standards required but unless someone independently tests it and the code is ported to an environment which is isolated from test and development I would not call that production.

Richard

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Re: How to understand difference between prod and test environment?

Posted in reply to RichardinOz

@RichardinOz: The OP's question was whether he/she should ask!  My answer would simply be "Yes!".  Like you, and probably many of us who have been using SAS for some time, much of our careers has been spent in the kind of environments that I described.  And, many of us still are in such environments.

Carroll's quote is actually quite relevant, but the "I", I think, is dependent upon the environment.  If one's use of SAS falls into the type of situation I described in my first post, the "I" is the person who makes that decision.  I think we can agree on a basic description, namely that it is the environment that is used to produce one or more of an organization's products.  I think we could also agree that a development environment is (or at least should be) one where changes can be made to one's code without risking introducing error into the production environment.

However, the complexity of those environments is dependent upon the organization's decision.  That could be as complex of a situation as you described, or as simple as having two directories on either a desktop or server (e.g., "production" and "development").

The main point I was trying to make was that it is not necessarily one individual's decision, unless that individual is in a position where he/she speaks for the organization regarding that specific topic.

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