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Testing and staging environments with Shopware 6

Testing and staging environments with Shopware 6

Setting up multiple Shopware installations for different purposes like testing and staging is not a problem – at least on paper. It gets interesting as soon as it gets towards licenses for extensions and having test or demo shops accessible over the internet. Learn how to handle these issues in this blog post.

When hosting a Shopware 6 store, one requirement usually is: "I want to test changes to the system before releasing them on the live shop." You can do this either locally or on a non-public server without any problems, as detailed in this article in the documentation.

When you want to have your test or staging environment available publicly, maybe because a customer also wants to test the changes, you need to make sure everything is set up correctly to prevent licensing errors.

The elementary steps in a nutshell

  • Make a copy of your live installation. Let's call the copy "test environment" and the live installation just "live shop."
  • In the test environment, enter the domain of your live shop in admin panel > Settings > System > Shopware Account > License domain. Of course, your test environment will be available on a different domain, but you need to set the domain of your live shop as the licensed domain in your test environment. When choosing a domain for your test environment, it needs to express the purpose of the installation. Having a subdomain like "dev", "test", or using ".localhost" as TLD in a local environment is good practice. This should prevent misunderstandings about the cause of multiple usages of extension licenses.
  • After setting up the test installation, you will get a message asking how you would like to deal with your installed extensions. Choose the option: "Make a new installation of these Apps". This is necessary because the Shopware Store checks if your extensions are licensed correctly.
  • Be aware: Expressing the purpose through the domain name may not be the only thing you need to do. If you use extensions from other sources than Shopware Store or use extensions that require a monthly fee directly to the manufacturer, you need to talk to these third parties separately and ask for their consent.

Creating a test environment as described above is intended to set up a single, short-lived environment during development or test changes before they go live.

You need a slightly different approach in bigger projects that use continuous integration, usually run a permanent staging environment and more complex database setups.

The Professional and Enterprise Edition of Shopware 6 include so-called "Wildcards" that allow fully licensed and public staging systems for these kinds of projects.

Either with Shopware Community, Shopware Professional or Shopware Enterprise, Shopware 6 allows you to avoid the so-called "open heart surgery" in your live system. Take advantage of it, check updates or the installation of new extensions before they are deployed and live – and save yourself a lot of headaches.

Good luck, and do not hesitate to ask your questions in our forums!

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