EasyStaging 1.2.1

EasyStaging 1.0Making "staging" sites easier to copy to "live" servers!

What is it?

EasyStaging is a Joomla! 2.5.4+ and Joomla 3.3+ component that simplifies the process of copying changes from a private "staging" version of a website to a "live" or public webserver. 


What's New in 1.2.1?

EasyStaging 1.2.1 is focused on Joomla 3.3+ compatibility and bug fixes, since version 1.1.4 at the end of March, git tells us that:

Files Changed: 97
Insertions: 3784
Deletions: 2835
Lines changed: 6619

Not too shaby, if you're into boring details you can read about it all in the Changelog.

N.B. Changes to the storage of Global Options to work better with J3 means you must, must, must check and set the options in the "Advanced" tab.

What's New in 1.1.1?

EasyStaging 1.1.1 brings a large number of changes, specifically features from the Pro! version used for our managed clients.

N.B. Changes the way file copying is specified and works. After installing 1.1.1 you must update your Local and Remote site details, so that the "site root" is set NOT the path to the directory you want to synchronise.

Key Changes:

  1. Plan Steps — Plans are now converted to Plan Steps
    1. Steps are executed in the background on the server
    2. Plan execution is significantly faster
    3. File synchronisation updates are now progressive
  2. File Copy Actions (FCA) — replace the old per Plan directory synchronisation.
    1. a new "File Copy Actions (Rsyncs)" tab has been added for FCA's
    2. multiple FCA's can be created for each Plan
    3. copying is supported in both directions (i.e. to and from the live server)
    4. moving is now supported from the live server.
  3. Table Actions
    1. now include "Pull" actions from the Pro! version of EasyStaging.
    2. handle tables with Foreign Key constraints much better.
  4. UI Improvements
    1. The "Tables" table can now be filtered by action or table name.
    2. A "Helpful Notes" panel has been added to the Plan Editor view to provide helpful notes. Smile
    3. Clicking on the Plan Run's transaction log in the "Status" tab now selects the log so you can copy it easily (useful for checking for issues).

How does it work?

EasyStaging works by copying your website from a "staging" location to a "live" location.

EasyStaging uses two basic mechanisms to perform the copy.

  1. File copy using rsync to the "live" site.
  2. MySQL table exports to the dababase of the "live" site.

EasyStaging File Copy

File copying

EasyStaging "copies" the changed files from your "staging" location to the "live" location using a process called rsync.
You can read about rsync here.

EasyStaging allows you to specify which files/directories are excluded from the copy process. The default settings don't copy the staging sites configuration.php file, cache, tmp or log directories.


Database copying

EasyStaging will copy tables from your local "staging" websites to the remote "live" websites database. (By default EasyStaging will not copy the #__session table to prevent users from being disconnected.)

Staging Plans

EasyStaging works around the concept of "Plans". Each Plan can be configured to copy specific tables from the staging database, specific directories or a combination of both to the "live" website.

Plans can also be restrcted so that a user can only "run" a Plan in a specific Joomla! group. This could be handy if a website author needs to push new PDF's or images to your live website but you don't want anything else transferred, you can create a plan just for that user that copies just their directory of files and nothing else.

Who should use it?

EasyStaging is meant to make the life of website developers or other suitable technically skilled people easier. If nothing you've read so far is unfamiliar then its probably a good idea to read further. If EasyStaging doesn't sound dangerous to you then you should probably stop reading and find another product.

In the right hands EasyStaging can be a powerful and time saving tool, but in the wrong hands a badly configured staging Plan could wipe out your live website.

Minimum Requirements

Apart from the requirements listed in the table below, the Apache user the runs PHP on your staging website should be configured to allow shell_exec(), proc_open() and proc_close() calls. The Apache user should also be allowed to run at, i.e. it should not be in the at.deny file.

  Minimum Recommended
Joomla! 2.5.9 2.5.14
MySQL 5.0.8 5.1+
PHP 5.3.10 5.3.27
rsync 2.6.9 3.0.6+



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