What is Commerce Server Staging?
Commerce Server Staging (CSS) lets you synchronize multiple servers in a Web farm, or copy Web site content and data between separate environments. By using CSS, you can reliably update Web content and business data from a source server to one or more destination servers.
CSS is especially useful in deployments where changes must be reviewed and approved in a design-time environment before they are published on a live, run-time Web site. CSS copies changes from a source server to a test environment where you validate the changes. After validation, CSS publishes those changes to the run-time site.
CSS creates the CSSTemp directory at the root of the drive where the destination folder exists. For example, if you are staging the files to drive D, CSS creates the CSSTemp directory at the root of drive D.
Synchronizing Web Farms
You can use CSS to synchronize the multiple servers in a Web farm so that each server contains the latest files. You should synchronize a Web farm during off-peak hours to minimize any disruption in your run-time operations. For example, you can schedule staging projects to occur weekly on a weekend, or you can schedule staging projects to occur daily at night.
To maintain site availability when synchronizing a Web farm, take half of the servers in the Web farm offline, stage the content updates to those servers, and bring those servers online. Then take the other half of the servers in the Web farm offline, and repeat the process.
Staging Between Environments
You can use CSS to synchronize changes between different environments so that each environment has the appropriate updates. For example, you can stage updates to Web pages, product catalog data, and marketing data from a test environment to a production environment. Or, you can stage new components and controls from a development environment to a test environment.