In my role as Senior Analyst on the Finance team (within the Client Services team) at Oracle's Maxymiser, I've noticed many clients have strict internal policies when it comes to development and quality assurance (QA) work. Often, they mandate these tasks be performed in a pre-production environment, so that any kinks in the code can be worked out before it goes live in production.
On the surface, this makes sense: Sometimes it’s best to build a test campaign in pre-production, which is also called staging, before moving its code to production. However, building in pre-production can also cause a lot of problems later when the test is pushed live.
These problems arise because while pre-production environments closely resemble live production environments, they are never a 100% accurate mirror. And the differences between the two, however minor, can wreak havoc on a test campaign’s final functionality. Staging environments are often used as test beds, where developers try out new functionalities for future site releases. But these tests can malfunction or yield misleading results if they're based on an element in staging that's not the same in production.
For large enterprise organizations, building effective test campaigns can be even more challenging: Multiple stakeholders can own different parts of the same page, with one group of stakeholders not always knowing the changes that other groups are making.
These issues can be avoided with the Sandbox capability in our solutions platform. A custom, proprietary test environment, Sandbox gives developers a 100% accurate replica of a company’s live production environment, which enables us and client teams to work with unprecedented speed, efficiency, and precision.
Sandbox works by pulling in and perfectly mimicking the live code in a client’s production environment. Developers can then make changes to this code directly, without having to go through staging. This helps them avoid the environmental differences that can make test campaigns hard to build. In addition, Sandbox can ‘overlay’ these code changes, or let clients see what the changes will look like on the live site without actually making the changes go live.
I think it’s telling that none of our competitors have a testing environment like Sandbox. Marketers use the word “unique” and “best-of-breed” a lot, but Sandbox is by definition actually one-of-a-kind: There’s no other tool like it on the market for companies in the online testing and optimization space. It’s the only environment that lets businesses work directly with production code, helping them avoid the challenges that come with building first in a staging environment.
With Sandbox, Oracle’s Maxymiser and client teams can launch seamless, high-quality tests with total confidence that they'll render the same live as they did during development on the backend.