Purpose

Built by Data Centre, the Staging Manager programme uses only the HTTP protocol to connect to the server and works only with the standard Commission browser (MS Internet Explorer 7 and higher) - it does not work with other browsers.

The Staging Manager does not enable you to load more than one local file to the server staging without individual selection: this tool is therefore best used for small numbers of files. To transfer larger numbers of files, Staging Manager enables you to use ZIP files, with automatic unzipping.

Traditional FTP tools are still the suggested alternative for large-scale transfers of local files to the staging environment.

The Staging Manager also compares files and indexes between the staging and production environments, enabling each manager to synchronise and tidy up their content.

Read and write authorisations are identical to the ftp access allocated to webmasters in their individual staging environment: depending on the specific rights they have, they can write to the file ‘request.update’ or ‘request.delete’ and launch a production run (‘mise en production’).

Production runs are processed in parallel (up to 20 at a time) to speed up the process and limit queuing. 

Sites are put online in 3 steps

The transfer to the production server applies to the files/directories on the staging server that are indicated in the .request.update or .request.delete folders placed at the root of the site in order to be copied or deleted on the production server.

In an emergency you can immediately copy files/directories to a production server by using the Staging Manager's save and execute function.

Rules

The Europa team at DG Communication B3 is responsible for granting access rights to the static Europa server. The central management programme Staging Manager, accessible from the IE navigator, is adapted for

The Staging Manager tool is accessible at http://doteu.staging.cc.cec.eu.int:8888/

Procedures

Procedure description

Four special files are used by the staging to production transfer procedure (also known as MEP, or Mise en production). For each 'subsite' these files have to be located in the root directory of that 'subsite' on the staging server.


All file names listed inside these special files are relative to the root directory of the subsite they apply to (metacharacters "* or ." are not allowed).


The special files used by the MEP update procedure are likely to exist within each subsite document root directory of the staging server as follows

Important remarks

Scheduled or immediate production

Files and directories are automatically copied to the production server everyday between 13.00 and 22.00.

In certain circumstances, the webmaster can ask for this timeframe to be changed by emailing Comm Europa Management.

The '.request', etc. files must be ready and correct prior to the scheduled move to the production server.

In an emergency you can immediately copy files/directories to a production server by using the Staging Manager's save and execute function.

Transfers to production servers use significant amounts of resources and reduce server performance. 

N.B. Because of the reverse proxy's caching mechanism, it may take up to 15 minutes before newly copied html pages are displayed, slowing down the operation. If necessary, you can force a refresh of the proxy with Firefox, by pressing ctrl + shift - reload.

The reverse proxy makes access to Europa faster by memorising all the static pages (with the exception of PDFs). The refresh algorithm works like this

Guidelines

File names, extensions and invalid characters

Some file names and extensions cannot be copied to the production server. In addition, certain characters may not be used, because they are reserved for the operating systems of the Data Centre servers. The use of these characters would prevent the server management and maintenance programs from functioning correctly.

See:

DownloadPDF - 261.3 KB

Every time a transfer is carried out, a '.request.output' file is created and placed at the root of the site. This report is emailed to recipients chosen by the DG's webmaster.

It is important to read each report to be sure that the operation was successfully completed. The last lines of the report indicate the status of the transfer

Warnings are typically displayed when certain files are not copied. It is important to verify that the problem files do not impact the overall coherency of the site.

Here are 4 examples

  1. Correct transfer: no errors, no warnings and nnn octets copied.
    Total bytes copied: 541955
    no error
    no warning
  2. Correct transfer: a file was not copied; check whether it is in fact necessary on the production server.
    Warning File not copied: north_korea/nav/_vti_cnf/north_korea_nav.htm 
    [...]
    Total bytes copied: 242601
    no error
    1 warning(s) during update
  3. Transfer failed: If even 1 error occurs, no file will be copied or deleted.
    Error: can not read news_corner/speech12_en.htm, file not found
    Too many errors (1). No file copied or deleted.
    1 error(s) during update
    no warning
  4. Transfer rejected because the date of the files on the staging server is older than those on the production server. No error detected but 0 octet transferred.
    Total bytes copied: 0
    no error
    no warning

Background

Transfer tools

In order to publish your files on the Europa server you need a transfer tool. There are 3 main types

Classic FTP tool

Those such as FileZilla, WS FTP Pro, etc. adapted to transfer

Information to set up your FTP tool

Staging Manager tool

See 'Rules' above. 

Procedure or programme

Every procedure that uses command systems or IT programmes that support the FTP transfer instructions is adapted for intensive or regular internal production (e.g. news).

This method needs to be able to perform the following operations

An old procedure that was installed by the Data Centre is still being used for a limited number of sites. This is due to disappear in favour of the latest solution.

Policy

Responsibility for transfers to production servers

Managers authorised to carry out transfers to a production server must agree to



Related links


Access to servers from outside the European Commission

Contact and support

Type of access rights

FTP-access

Makes it possible to upload files/folders from your own development-environment (local disc, shared disc or development-server at your DG) to the staging-server of Europa.

Permission to make scheduled transfers

Makes it possible to place .request.update and/or .request.delete-files commands, for lists of files to be transferred from the staging to the production server, or to be deleted from the production-server. Updates take place automatically at 13.00 and at 22.00 every day.

Permission to make immediate updates

Makes it possible to place the .request.update and/or .request.delete-files commands and to execute the transfer immediately (via the "save and execute" function of the staging-manager).

Please note that in order to obtain permission to make scheduled and urgent updates to the production server, the request has to be made by the relevant DG webmaster and the person requesting access.

How to obtain access rights

In order to obtain access rights, the webmaster of your DG should send an application to the Europa team, giving the following information (please copy + paste the following text to your mail and fill in)