Bringing a DTAP discipline to Office 365 solutions

The DTAP (Development/Test/Acceptance/Production) model has long been the “Gold Standard” when it comes to the management of software releases within the Enterprise. Incorporated into your broader Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) strategy, it provides a way to ensure the ongoing stability and reliability of your production systems.

As SharePoint developers, we’ve always worked to ensure that we incorporate as much of the model as possible, but it’s not been easy. If anything, the shift toward a solution development approach that blurs the distinction between content and code has made it harder.

More and more, SharePoint is a place where people in the business build their own solutions. Either via the adoption of workflows, or by performing small scale customisations using scripts they package in content web parts, or develop within hours or days, with a javascript developer.

Despite the small scale of these solutions, their importance to the business can be significant, with key processes reliant on their ongoing stability and reliability.

What can SharePoint customers, who have vital solutions built using javascript and standard SharePoint components do to ensure bugs don’t make their way into production systems? It would be great if the answer was as simple as “Implement a DTAP model”.

Which is why Rapid Circle built LeapALM.

LeapALM is a cloud service (SaaS) that brings a best in class ALM model to Office 365 (O365) solutions. It allows you to develop your solutions within a dedicated Development Tenant, or development Site Collection, and then quickly and easily select and copy assets to an Acceptance Tenant or Site Collection.

It supports the deployment of Workflows, Lists and Libraries, Content Types and Pages. It can intelligently work out what to deploy, handing the initial deployment, and any subsequent updates, in the process keeping a detailed audit log.

You can register a group of users who can be responsible for performing deployments, enabling them to move new releases through the landscape, without needing to give them explicit access. For example, allow them to deploy the solution to production, without giving them direct access to the production system.

LeapALM is currently in pilot, launching in January 2018. If you’d like to try it out sign up on http://www.leapalm.com