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Alright, so my situation is as follows:

  • 1 Front End Developer
  • 2 Back End Developers
  • 1 QA Tester

We all currently have Virtual Machines, or Second PC's set up with our windows environments to test. Now, the real issue is our Windows Environments expire.

We're now running into points where randomly parts of our team forget to set up their refreshed environments, and we lose a few hours of productivity.

What I'm hoping to accomplish?

I'm looking to try and set up an external environment that we can all remote to and test on. Something that's separate and external. The only people that really need the environment regularly would be the Front End, and QA parts of the team. They'd also be working on the same section.

Anyone have a suggestion for this setup? Has anyone accomplished something similar? Anyone have a suggestion for a better method behind consolidating these Windows Environments?

Clarifying: by 'windows environments' I mean a local machine running a copy of windows to test on, not a Windows Server where we would deploy code.

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I'm not sure why you don't just set up a VM on a server somewhere and give access to the people that need it? Also, I am assuming that by "our Windows Environments expire" that your dev team is failing to deploy the changes to the windows env. and test them locally? –  aceinthehole May 11 '11 at 16:17
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What do you mean, "expire"? –  Mike Baranczak May 11 '11 at 17:05
    
@Mike: Windows offers virtual environments that expire. Alternatively, I'm using unauthenticated windows XP versions for pseudo testing locally. They expire after 30 days. –  Paul May 12 '11 at 20:18
    
@aceinthehole We don't have a dedicated windows testing environment. We each individually have our local environments, and test deployed code from those environments. I didn't mean a Windows Server Environment. –  Paul May 12 '11 at 20:20
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1 Answer

Sounds like you need to set up a continuous integration environment. Set up something like team city and configure it to pull down your changes from your source control and deploy them to a Windows VM sitting out on a server somewhere.

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We already have continuous integration environments, including Dev/Stage testing areas. The issue is viewing these environments in Win locally, for each individual developer. –  Paul May 12 '11 at 20:17
    
I guess I don't understand why they need it locally. Why can they not just remote desktop into the windows boxes and test there? –  aceinthehole May 12 '11 at 20:35
    
That's technically what I want. I'm looking for guidance / a solution in that regard. Where we can have one accessible / equal testing center for everyone to use. –  Paul May 13 '11 at 0:28
    
What vendor stack are you on? If you are on MS, I would suggest buying a license for whatever windows system you are on. Set up a stable environment and host a instance of Team System Foundation as your source control / continuous integration solution. If you are not MS, use subversion or git (if you are not already), and use Team City on your build server. You can configure multiple agents to build on on your various environment and automatically deploy your product on your windows environment (and your others ones for that matter) in response to a code check in or kicking off manually. –  aceinthehole May 13 '11 at 1:54
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