Switch Between Live and Staging Versions of an In-Development Hub

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Learn how to switch to a "staging" version of your Hub to review OnBrand customizations during development, as well as how to switch back to the live version again.


Note

This article applies to Hubs which are using the new OnBrand staging process. While this process is used for the majority of Hubs, in some cases it may be necessary to use an alternative process (separate staging Hubs), or to apply changes without staging. In these cases, the process described in this article is not applicable.

Which process will be used for your Hub will be communicated to you by your Uberflip Customer Success Manager or Implementation Specialist before development begins.

Before You Begin

  • There are no restrictions on this feature: no Uberflip account is required, and anyone with the unique OnBrand staging URL can do this.

 

About OnBrand Staging

When developing and deploying software, it's standard practice to use distinct software environments for different stages in the process. These environments are separate from one another, and allow developers to write and test new code without affecting (and possibly breaking) the software that end users interact with (known as the production environment).

One type of environment that is commonly used is the staging environment, which is a duplicate of the production environment. The purpose of a staging environment is to allow stakeholders to try out changes in the software in a way that closely resembles the final experience, but without any risk to the production environment.

For this reason, Uberflip's OnBrand team uses a staging version of your Hub when deploying customizations you have requested. The staging version incorporates the changes that OnBrand has made, but is otherwise identical to your production Hub. This gives you the opportunity to review and approve the changes before they are pushed to your live Hub.

In this article, you will learn how you can access the staging version of your Hub, as well as how to switch back to the live version once you've finished reviewing the changes.

 

How It Works

Uberflip's servers send you the live or staging version of a Hub based on whether or not a cookie exists in your browser. By default, this cookie does not exist, and the server returns the live Hub.

To switch to staging, you simply access your Hub using a modified version of its normal URL. Using this URL sets the staging cookie, and returns the staging version of the Hub at the same time.

Once the cookie is set, it will remain in your browser until you delete it. This means that you'll remain on the staging version of the Hub, even if you use your Hub's normal URL (or your bookmarks). To switch back to the live Hub, you must delete the cookie either by using a different modified URL, or by manually deleting your browser cookies.

 

Switch to Staging

To switch to the staging version of your Hub, you add a unique query string to the end of its normal URL. This query string is in the format ?ufcc_onbrand_branch=OB-1234, where OB-1234 is replaced by a code that is specific to the current customization project.

For example, if your Hub URL is:

https://resources.mycompany.com/

Then the URL to switch to the staging version would be something like:

https://resources.mycompany.com/?ufcc_onbrand_branch=OB-1234

When you use this modified URL, Uberflip's server will set a cookie in your browser to indicate that you are now on the staging version of the requested Hub. Note that when you use this URL, the query string will disappear as soon as the page loads. This is intentional: as you have been successfully switched to the staging version of the Hub, the query string is no longer needed.

Important

The cookie used to switch to staging will remain in your browser until it is deleted. As long as the cookie is present, you will be served the staging version of your Hub, even if you use the normal, unmodified URL, or browse to different pages in the Hub.

This only affects your browser: any other visitor to your Hub will still see the unchanged, live version of the Hub.

Your Uberflip Customer Success Manager or Implementation Specialist will provide you with the specific modified URL that you will use. Note that you may also use various different URLs over the course of a project for different changes.

 

Switch Back To Live

Once you have switched to the staging version of your Hub, you will continue to remain on that version as long as the cookie remains in your browser.

To switch back to the live version of your Hub, you need to delete the cookie by adding the following query string to the end of your Hub's normal URL: ?ufcc_reset.

For example, if your Hub URL is:

https://resources.mycompany.com/

Then the URL to switch back to the live version would be something like:

https://resources.mycompany.com/?ufcc_reset

When you visit this URL in our browser, the cookie that switches you to the staging version is deleted, and Uberflip's servers will once again serve the live version of your Hub.

Alternatively, you can also simply clear your browser's cookies, which will have the same effect: after you delete your cookies, visiting your Hub's regular URL will once again return the live version.

Tip

Try using Incognito Mode in your browser when switching to staging: since the cookie will be deleted when you exit Incognito Mode, you'll be switched back to the live version automatically.

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