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|Environment||Feature Set||Data Changes||Purpose|
|Production||Stable||Permanent||This is the live production system.|
|Sandbox||Stable||Temporary||This is a stable pre-production system suitable for training and demonstration. Here you can also review and beta-test any upcoming changes and new features that are soon to be released. Data is periodically erased and refreshed from the Production environment.|
|Development||Work in Progress||Temporary||Developers frequently release improvements to the system here for quality assurance testing by the project team. Features and data are subject to change at any time.|
Process for New Releases
Features are developed, improved, and released initially to the Development environment, where they are available for project-team review and testing.
Every two weeks the Development version is released to Sandbox, where it is subject to user acceptance testing and final sign-off.
Following sign-off the Sandbox version is released to the Production environment, which occurs at scheduled intervals that are normally between one and six weeks apart.
Change Requests and Bug Fixes
Change requests with a specific deadline must be submitted and approved at least two weeks in advance of a scheduled release date. Please note that bug fixes are an exception to the schedule. If a serious issue is discovered then a fix may be released immediately, regardless of the next scheduled update to the Production environment.