In preparation for the move to your upgraded environment, we typically implement a code freeze 3 days prior to user acceptance testing (UAT) commencing. At the same time, we will sync the latest content using the customers live production content. This is to ensure that testing is on the latest code and content. During UAT, the customers content may change which needs to be understood by the UAT testing team, so there are no misunderstandings regarding content matching between the two environments.
Later, we will then implement a content freeze window around go-live. During this freeze, no new content or changes to existing content or code can be published on Sitecore.
The freeze usually begins up-to 5 days before go-live and remains in effect until after the cutover to the new, upgraded environment.
You can typically resume normal content publishing immediately after go-live once our testing and monitoring has verified the new environment is ready to use. We do not expect any downtime to your websites during this freeze or cutover.
What environments are impacted?
Only the Production environment is impacted by the content freeze. Any non production content in your current environment is out of scope for Dataweavers. Dataweavers standard procedure includes creation of the new non-production environment(s) rehydrating from the new production databases after go live so that the non-production environment(s) match production. If customers have projects in flight that include alternative content in their current non-production environment(s) customers are responsible for managing deployment of that content themselves to the non-production environment(s) post-go-live.
What happens to code that needs to be released during the onboarding project?
Prior to code freeze: Dataweavers branch off production code at the beginning of the onboarding work. We understand that code changes will need to be deployed during the period of upgrading your environment and you are welcome to continue with your regular deployment rhythm. However, we ask that you liaise directly with the Lead Sitecore Developer assigned to your onboarding project to talk through any major code releases so that these releases can be merged into the upgrade codebase. When merging with the upgraded codebase, make sure all the changes are conforming to the upgrade in terms of nuget packages and any convention updates.
What happens to code that hasn't been released to Production before the content and code freeze starts?
When merging with the upgraded codebase, make sure all the changes are conforming to the upgrade in terms of nuget packages and any convention updates.
Please note it is out of scope for Dataweavers to carry out the merge or the upgrade of this unreleased code, but we can answer questions via your sync meetings or the support desk.
What happens if we need to do an urgent or critical content update during the content freeze?
In this case, your development team will need to track and duplicate any urgent or critical content changes into the new environment once it is operational.
Are there any other limitations we should consider?
We ask you to give us notice of any major features that are being released before go-live so we can plan the content freeze and go-live around them.
Are there any circumstances where we don't have to do a content freeze?
If you are happy with making all changes in both environments, a content freeze isn't required.