Creating a staging server

You can create a staging server for testing changes to your WebSphere Commerce site before the changes are moved to a production environment.To help business users test changes and manage a site, you are recommended to create an authoring server. An authoring server is a staging server that has workspaces enabled. On an authoring server, business users can manage business objects for a site within independent workspaces to test potential changes. Administrators and business users can also use workspaces to test emergency fixes for a site before they apply a fix to the production site.

About this task

Run the staging server on a separate system or system partition from your production server.


  1. Install WebSphere Commerce and its supporting software by using the custom installation option of the WebSphere Commerce installation wizard.
  2. Prepare the staging server to connect to the production database:
    1. Install a database client suitable for communication with your production database.
    2. Catalog the remote production database so that is accessible from your staging server.
  3. Create a WebSphere Commerce instance as a staging server:
    1. Start the Configuration Manager.
    2. Start the WebSphere Commerce Instance Creation wizard.
      1. In Configuration Manager, under WebSphere Commerce, expand hostname > Commerce.
      2. Right-click Instance and select Create instance.
    3. Complete the pages of the wizard.
      Note: If you are creating an instance using an existing database and creating a new schema, the DBA username and password is required, but not requested by the wizard. To work around this issue, create a file, manually specify the DBA username in the file, and pass the password as a parameter when creating the instance silently. For more information, see Creating a WebSphere Commerce instance silently.
    4. On the Staging page of the wizard, ensure that you select Use staging server.
    5. Ensure that caching is not enabled in the Cache page.
    When the instance creation process complete, you have a staging instance.
  4. Enable custom tables for staging
  5. Configure your database for staging.
  6. Optional: If you plan to propagate media assets, such as images and videos, to the production environment WebSphere Commerce EAR with the fileprop utility, federate the staging instance to your production server.
    If you plan on storing media assets on the web server or with a data asset manager, you do not need to federate your staging instance.

    If you do need to federate your staging instance, use the same deployment manager as the production server to federate the staging server. Otherwise, the managed files are not propagated into the production EAR because the deployment manager is not aware of the production node. You can use the fileprop utility to determine whether the environment is federated. If the environment is federated, the fileprop utility propagates the files to the production server. If the environment is not federated, the fileprop utility places the names of new and changed files into the fileprop log file. You must manually copy the managed files from the staging server to the production server.

    For more information on federating your environment, see WebSphere Commerce federation.

What to do next

Testing the site on a staging server