RFC workflow for Launchpad

Now that we are actually getting some Rails code to production, I have worked with the Change Control team and Change Advisory Board to incorporate Launchpad into the OIT change control process.  This process is similar to the old one, with some fantastic new features:

  • The developer (submitter) will get the BUILD TEST task
  • Upon receiving this task, the developer can deploy with Launchpad as many times as necessary (incrementing tags — see below).
  • Each TEST/PROD deploy generates a notification to change control.  They will be checking for an associated RFC!
    • A forthcoming change to Launchpad will include a field to give the RFC number, further reinforcing this
  • Change control will update the BUILD PROD task to use the latest deployed tag.  You may want to state this explicitly in the closure text, in addition to pasting the deploy history.


  • Rules:
    • Deploy tags only (more on git tagging)
      • Always include a tag message summarizing the changes
      • Tag convention:  v1.0.1, v3.2.21, v1.2.4a
        • First digit:  major releases.  Very rare, for large milestones in the project.  (Note not large BUNDLES of updates… we should be more iterative than ever now!)
        • Second digit: significant feature additions or enhancements
        • Third digit: minor additions, tweaks, or bug fixes.  This number can get high if necessary!
        • Letter:  optional, rare, only for hotfixes
    • DO NOT ALTER TAGS.  This new process allows you to iterate tag numbers in TEST.  It’s easy to make new ones.  DO IT!
    • Document deployments in Assyst.  Upon closing the task (when you’re ready for PROD), paste into Assyst a list of all your deployments
      • See <app_web_root>/version.txt, a file generated by Launchpad, to help with this.

Here’s a sample RFC:

Banner Web Services v1.0.2 
v1.0.2 contains a new service to return a student's favorite color

Step 1 - [YOU, THE SUBMITTER] - api-internal-test.dc.nd.edu 
a. Use Launchpad (launchpad.dc.nd.edu) to deploy app "ndapi" to the TEST environment. 
    App: NDAPI
    Environment: test
    Task: Deploy:cold
    Tag: v1.0.2
    Do_Migration: True

Step 2 - [FUNCTIONAL_USER] - Test using attached testing spreadsheet. 

Step 3 - Webinspect 

Step 1 - [Bruce Stump|Pete Bouris] - api-internal-prod.dc.nd.edu 
a. Use Launchpad (launchpad.dc.nd.edu) to deploy app "ndapi" to the PROD environment. 
    App: NDAPI
    Environment: production
    Task: Deploy:cold
    Tag: v1.0.2
    Do_Migration: True

Step 2 - [FUNCTIONAL_USER] - Test using attached testing spreadsheet.

Note that you must be specific in your Launchpad steps for the person running the prod deploy.  Soon, I will release command line tools / API endpoints for Launchpad that will make this less error-prone.

This is a great step forward, enabling developers to react quickly to issues that pop up during functional testing.  Thanks to the Change Control team and the CAB for their time, attention, and approval of this new process!

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