App Stores are growing bigger every day with the continuous arrival of new and cutting-edge applications. Whereas we probably make use of several apps every day, we don’t see what’s happening behind the scenes. How did these apps come to life? Who developed them? What did that process look like? This blog dives deeper into off-screen development of the apps we use in our daily lives, specifically the place they are made: software & programming environments.
An environment in web and app development can be compared to a recording studio for a musician: it’s an essential tool for creating high-quality products. The software environment is where the technical development and testing of an application or website take place. Generally, these software environments can be divided into three main categories, with each their own unique purpose and functionalities. These main categories can also be subdivided into other types of software environments, but let’s take a look at the basics first:
A development environment is where most of the technical programming takes place. These environments are used by developers to build applications and write their code, from platform-specific native apps to progressive web-apps and cross-platform apps. Generally, development environments are set up on local PC’s and facilitated by a Git repository. A development environment is generally not accessible to the end-users and customers.
The staging environment is the place to be after most of the technical development has taken place in the development environment. This type of environment is typically used by developers to test out the code they’ve written and see if the application, including all its functionalities, works properly in a realistic setting. The staging environment is also often called the testing environment. Besides testing the code themselves, the staging environment is also suitable for demonstrating newly finished work to the product owner, or as a way to let end-users test the product and receive valuable feedback before pushing it to the production environment. Although the staging environment is officially already live and running, only people with the correct URL can access the site. Usually, these pages are protected by a login wall, in case the link falls into the wrong hands.
When the development team, product owners, and end-users have thoroughly tested the product in the testing environment, the product is pushed to the production environment. The production environment is the final environment in the software development process, and should be used for the official launch of the app, web-app, or website. Generally, the production environment isn’t much different than the staging environment. The main difference is that the production environment contains live data and is actively used by end-users. It is therefore easier to access for the public than the staging environment.
Environments at Lizard Global
At Lizard Global, we develop a broad range of applications, from websites and mobile apps, to cross-platform, progressive web apps and hybrid apps, no challenge is too big for us. To give you a better understanding of how the development process at Lizard Global looks like, we give you a sneak peek into our processes and the software and toolsets we use. Stay tuned for more blogs diving into topics of our development processes, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to keep updated with brand new blogs and projects we are working on!