Testing and go with the flow

In the Collaboris Collab365 Teams Guest Group someone came with the question how to test new releases beforehand and first deploy to a test environment before activating it on a production environment.

So here it comes. Your production/live environment = your test environment. (Unless you have 2 Office365 tenants and can use 1 solely for testing)

what does this mean?

Go with the flow is what it means to be in the cloud.

So I can not test beforehand? Yes you can!

Lets see what Microsoft says about it…

“A good practice is to leave majority of users in Standard release and IT Pros and power users in Targeted release to evaluate new features and prepare teams to support business users and executives.”

Release validation rings for Office 365.

 ( from Set up the Standard or Targeted release options in Office 365)

Your Target release candidates you setup via the Office Admin Center > Settings > Organization profile > Release preferences > Actions …

  • Set Release Track to “Targeted release for selected users”
  • Set your IT pros and Power users as desired

2018-02-13 20_27_49-Targeted release for selected users

Combine this with keeping yourself up to date about what changes are coming up.

“For significant updates, Office customers are initially notified by the Office 365 public roadmap. As an update gets closer to rolling out, it is communicated through your Office 365 Message Center.” (from Set up the Standard or Targeted release options in Office 365)

When a new function or app can be shut off/disabled and I conclude its really needed due to circumstances, I prep to do so as soon as the update gets to the world wide standard release stage. (happens seldom I do so)

Mostly I just make sure to know what is needed for the available setting options and I am able to explain the new functionality to the users/organization.
What makes life easier is..

Get the organization to understand the continuous update logic of cloud applications and let them embrace it for it provides constantly new features and options to improve the daily work.

Site Collections

For the Classic SharePoint environment you can opt for the creation of dedicated Site Collections for testing, as playground and special development.
Note: You will need to consider here how you are going to move all your development work to your live collections ones your are happy with the result. For me I learned I better directly build my ideas on the place to be and regulate the audience from testing to go live simply via the permission settings.
Stay tuned for the next update 😉

Author: Martinus Hamers

Hi, My Name is Martinus and I am a self made Office365, focus on SharePoint Online and Teams, administrator and architect. I have been spending my time the last years with an international organisation as a functional application manager for SharePoint Online providing administration, architecture, setup, providing training info and updates and second line support tasks for all the global sites worldwide.

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