FreeAgent provides Pre-Production instances to customers to manage their current production setup so that changes can be captured, tested, and signed off before applying to their production instance via plugin installation.
Pre-Requisities: Must be Administrator.
Baseline capture is an operation that captures your current system configuration in JSON files allowing you to import the configuration from your production Instance to your Pre-Production.
In your production instance, navigate to Plugins under Admin Settings and click “Capture Baseline” located on the top right of the page.
Note: If you are now on Hazel, go to Admin Settings > Automations > Plugins.
You will receive a message showing capture is in progress and you will receive a notification once the capture completes.
On the Plugins page, you will see the baseline plugin record which you can select and click "Download". This will download the zip file to your computer.
Installing Baseline Plugin:
To log in to your Pre-Production instance, you will need to go to https://dev.freeagent.network/
Once logged in using your current production instance credentials, navigate to the Plugins page.
First, you need to import your baseline plugin. To do so, click on the "Import Plugin" button on the top right of the page then, click Add File.
Select the zip file you downloaded from your production instance and click Import.
Once the file has been imported select it on the list and clicks "Install".
It will take a few moments to complete the installation and you will receive a notification once it completes.
Populating Pre-Production Instance with Data (Optional):
After the baseline plugin has finished installing on your Pre-Production Instance, you have the option to import data to populate the App(s) you are planning to update. This will provide a more comprehensive setup and testing experience because you will be able to see how the changes will impact the data of your production instance.
To do this, export data from the app(s) in your production Instance that you plan to work with.
To learn how to export your data, please visit the following tutorial:
Important: Make sure you delete the "ID" column from your exported data and re-save the CSV file before importing it to the Pre-Production instance. If you do not, the import will attempt to locate those existing records in the Pre-Production instance and fail because the records do not exist.
Then in your Pre-Production instance, using the navigation menu find the app you will be importing records for, click import and upload your CSV file. You will be notified when the import completes.
To learn more about how to import data, please visit the following tutorial:
Repeat the steps above for other apps as needed.
Capturing Changes with the Listening Engine:
When the baseline plugin installation is complete and you are ready to make configuration changes, click "Create New Plugin" in the upper right of the page.
Name your plugin something that makes sense for what you are doing, for example: "Contacts Fields and Automation Updates" with more detail in the description as needed.
Make sure the Stage is "In Progress" and Capture Enabled = "Yes". For Prerequisites, select the baseline plugin you just installed and click save.
Now every system change you make while capture is enabled will be captured in this new Plugin. You can see the changes being captured as you go in the Plugin Lines.
Updating Production Instance:
When you’ve finished making and testing the changes, navigate back to the plugins page. Select your new plugin, and click Edit. Change the Stage to Completed and turn off the listening engine by changing Capture Enabled to No. Then click "save".
Next, on the plugins page, select the new plugin and click "Download". Just like the Baseline Capture, your new Plugin zip file will download to your computer.
Log back into your production instance on https://freeagent.network and navigate to the Plugins page. Click "Import Plugin" select your zip file and click "Import".
Once the import is complete, select your new plugin at the top of the list and click “Install”. This will take a few minutes to complete and the system will notify you once it does.
Your new configurations have now been installed and will be up and running in your production Instance!