Chapter 20. Deployment

Having completed the testing phase, fixed the bugs, and received all the necessary approvals, the time has arrived to go "live" and post the site to the web.

Traditionally, this is done by uploading the files to the server using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). This should only occur after the site is fully debugged on the testing server. However, you will still need to debug the site. This is because all testing done on the testing server should be done on the live server after the FTP upload. This FTP upload can be done using Dreamweaver MX 2004.

Talk to many web developers, and they will tell you they prefer to use a standalone FTP product, such as Transmit or Fetch on the Mac or WS_FTP on the PC, for FTP uploads. These are great products, but their weakness is an inability to accommodate workgroups, versioning, and file updates.

Mac users actually have a "built?in" FTP app. They can select Go, Connect to Server, and when they locate the remote server and log in, it will appear as an icon of a globe sitting on a hard drive on their desktop. All they have to do is open the volume and drag the files to their location on the server.

There are a number of other issues to consider as well. You should look at ColdFusion MX to ensure the data source connection is working. Is the database in place and accessible? Is the Flash Communication Server functioning as it should, and can the site be maintained using the back-end administration tools we built earlier in the book?

Deployment will go smoothly if:

  1. You set up your testing server to match your deployment server as closely as possible. This is a simple fact of life that will become a major problem if not adhered to. The testing and deployment server environments should be identical. This way, when the files are uploaded to the deployment server, problems identified will be minor at worst.

  2. You do not have any absolute addressing referring to your testing server. This means links in the page should be relative. If you have a link pointing to an absolute address on a server that is not being used, there will be errors.

  3. The pages in your site are as modular as possible. Modularity ensures that you can move a page from one area of the site to another without the need to recode the module.