Threekit Environments - Overview & Best Practices
Threekit follows SaaS standards by providing a sandbox and production environment to all customers. This article will serve as an introduction to the Threekit environment provisioning process, cadence for product updates and patches, the purpose of each environment, how additional users are added, and general best practices.
New Threekit customers will receive provisioning links to their Threekit environments on their contract start date. During the sales process, you will inform your Threekit account executive who from your team will be the Threekit admin upon signature.
This contact will receive 2 emails for each of the environments that are provisioned to you: one for their ‘Admin-FTS’ (production) org, and one for ‘Preview’ (sandbox) - the differences will be explained in the next section. The email will look similar to the image below:
Reminder: The primary contact should receive 2 emails - one for each of the environments that are provisioned. Because the email titles will be similar, be aware that the emails may stack in email services such as Gmail.
Upon receiving the email, the contact will need to click ‘Redeem invitation’ in each email and create one login for Preview, and one login for Admin-FTS. Bookmark https://admin-fts.threekit.com/ and https://preview.threekit.com/ so these respective orgs can be accessed using the created login going forward.
Types of Threekit Environments
This is the development environment where your Threekit implementation will be built. Once the implementation is ready for go-live, your implementation will be migrated to your production environment: Admin-FTS. Consider Preview as your sandbox, where you will create content and test new things before pushing them to Admin-FTS.
This is your controlled production environment for go-live and production use. When work in your Preview org is built, tested, and ready, you will migrate that content to Admin-FTS. Admin-FTS is the actual org that will integrate with your live website and various systems because it is a more controlled and stable environment. New releases are first rolled out to Preview, and 3 weeks later they are rolled into Admin-FTS, providing a short timeframe to catch any issues that may have slipped through.
Types of Updates
There are 2 types of updates that will be pushed to your orgs: quarterly releases and bi-weekly releases. Releases are first released into the Preview (sandbox) environment, and 3 weeks later are pushed to Admin-FTS (production).
- Includes new major features, minor features and general bug fixes.
- Includes new minor features (if any), maintenance, and general bug fixes.
After Threekit access has been provisioned to you or someone at your company, that person can add additional users (including partners and Threekit project members) to the org directly. Full details on adding/deleting members, and also creating roles to establish different degrees of access, is available in the Members documentation.
An important consideration for customers is how the Admin-FTS and Preview environments should be managed and utilized long-term. Many customers choose to leverage a partner for ongoing dev work, 3D, and so on, rather than maintain it by themselves.
When it comes to the Preview environment, how it’s being used very much depends on what the company focus is at the time:
- Threekit has been implemented and is in a steady state.
- A large portion of the work in Preview is uploading/updating assets and products, reviewing them, and then migrating them to Admin-FTS. Additionally, because Threekit product updates are first pushed to Preview before Admin-FTS, customers can confirm that future updates will not have a negative impact on their live environment.
- Threekit is live and want to add new features/functionality.
- Preview can be used to create content, develop and stage new features, and so on. This is a safe way to build out the necessary code, modify the data model as necessary, complete QA, and demo the features. Additionally, the customer can continue to load and review new assets before moving them into production, and test upcoming product releases.
For Admin-FTS, the use case is more straightforward: Admin-FTS is your production environment integrated with the live website, so you want as much control as possible when it comes to changes. You should be doing all uploading, updating, testing, etc. in Preview, and then migrating those changes to Admin-FTS when they’re ready to be deployed.
Throughout your Threekit implementation, the majority of work will be completed in the Preview environment. As you get closer to go-live, the work will be migrated to Admin-FTS; however, there are several scenarios in which varying degrees of migration would be used. Check out our documentation on Environment Migration for a full explanation of migrations.
Bookmark Threekit Status
Validating the operational status of essential systems such as Threekit is important for our customers, as any downtime can impact the customer experience. Threekit Status (https://status.threekit.com/) can be accessed to review the uptime of the platform, past incidents, and upcoming maintenance.