Glossary

Active environment 

An environment that’s deployed. See how to deactivate an environment.

Apex domain 

An apex domain is a domain name that doesn’t include a subdomain.

For example, example.com is an apex domain and www.example.com is a subdomain.

Branch 

Branching an environment means creating a new branch in the Git repository and an exact copy of that environment.

The new environment includes all of the parent environment’s:

  • Code
  • Running services and their configuration (only copies, not the data)
  • Data that’s stored on disk (databases, uploaded files, and so on)

This means that when you branch an environment, you also branch the complete infrastructure.

When you branch an environment, three things happen:

  • A new branch is created in Git.
  • Your apps are rebuilt on the new branch, if necessary. (This is skipped if the same code with the same variables has been built for any environment.)
  • The new branch is deployed.

To create a new branch from an existing environment:

  • Navigate to the environment you want to branch from.
  • Click Branch.
  • Enter a name for the new branch.
  • Select which environment type it should be.
  • Click Create branch.

Run:

platform branch <NEW_BRANCH_NAME> <PARENT_BRANCH_NAME>

To define the environment type for the branch, include --type <ENVIRONMENT_TYPE>.

For example, to create the branch develop as a Development environment from the branch main, run:

platform branch develop main --type development

Cluster 

Every active environment is deployed as a cluster, which is a collection of independent containers representing the different services that make up your web application. That may include a database container, an Elasticsearch container, a container for your application, and more. They’re always deployed together as a single unit.

Dedicated Gen 2 

Dedicated Gen 2 environments are managed virtual machine clusters with triple redundancy. Their dedicated architecture makes them differ from Grid environments. See a list of differences.

These differences aren’t present with Dedicated Gen 3 projects.

Deprecated versions 

Older versions of languages and services eventually reach the end of their lives. This means they stop getting security and other updates and may have security vulnerabilities.

When that happens, the versions in Platform.sh are deprecated. This means you can still use them in your project, but they aren’t fully secure. It’s also possible they’ll stop working at some point.

If you’re using a deprecated version, you should upgrade to a supported version as soon as possible.

Drush 

Drush is a command-line shell and scripting interface for Drupal.

Drush aliases 

Drush site aliases allow you to define short names that let you run Drush commands on specific local or remote Drupal installations. The Platform.sh CLI configures Drush aliases for you on your local environment (via platform get or platform drush-aliases). You can also configure them manually.

Grid 

Grid environments are standard for Professional plans. They run on shared infrastructure. This architecture makes them different from Dedicated Gen 2 environments.

Inactive environment 

An environment that isn’t deployed. It has no data of its own and no running services. If you reactivate it, it copies data from its parent.

See how to reactivate an environment.

Live environment 

A publicly accessible environment that’s deployed from the Production branch under a production plan.

Merge 

Merging an environment means copying any code changes from that environment into its parent environment and redeploying the parent.

When you merge an environment, three things happen:

  • Any code changes are merged via Git to the parent branch.
  • Your apps rebuilt on the parent branch, if necessary. (This is skipped if the same code with the same variables has been built for any environment.)
  • The parent branch is deployed.

PaaS 

A Platform as a Service is an end-to-end hosting solution that includes workflow tools, APIs, and other functionality above and beyond basic hosting. The best example is Platform.sh (although we’re a little biased).

Production plan 

A subscription level that allows you to host your production website by adding a domain and a custom SSL certificate.

Sync 

Synchronizing an environment means copying changes from a parent into a child environment and then redeploying the child environment. You can synchronize only the code, only the data (databases, files), or both.

Be aware that sync has the same process and same concerns as backups.

Sync is only available if your branch has no unmerged commits and can be fast-forwarded.

It’s good practice to take a backup of your environment before synchronizing it.

Transport Layer Security (TLS) 

TLS is the successor of Secure Socket Layer (SSL). It provides the cryptographic “S” in HTTPS. It’s often still referred to as SSL even though it has largely replaced SSL for online encrypted connections.