Developing Services

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To deploy a new service:

  • Decide if your new service will be a User Service, Co-op Service or Infrastructure.
  • Work to reach Alpha level, this should take a few hours. This is about validating the idea and thinking through what you'll do and what you need to do it.
  • Ask the co-op to verify that you've achieved this
  • Work to reach Beta level. This should be the bulk of the deployment work, and involves finding some co-maintainers
  • Ask the co-op to verify that you've achieved this
  • Work to reach Live. This is mostly about simplifying future maintenance work and ensuring it will get done.
  • Ask the co-op to verify that you've achieved this

These levels exist so that users of your service are able to understand what they can expect from a service. There is no requirement that all services reach live, if all your users are happy with something less reliable you can remain at Beta indefinitely.

Running Services are expected to provide an annual update (via the AGM) that indicates whether the service continues to meet the requirements for the maturity level it is operating at. Services which start to fail to meet their requirements are given a reasonable period of time to correct the deficiencies (until the next general meeting); continue to fail to meet the requirements means the service descends one maturity level. Such a degradation may place other services also under scrutiny; for example infrastructure being degraded would also affect any services consuming that infrastructure. In addition, live service maintainers have the responsibility to notify the co-op of a change which would mean that the service no longer meets its live requirements. The board should act on these notifications by following the same process as above (ie - entering the “reasonable” grace period of time to correct the deficiencies).

Level requirements will only change at the the AGM or an EGM. Services then have until the next AGM to meet these requirements. If that is failed then the above process is followed.


These definitions and processes attempt to keep things:

Avoid over specifying, set broad targets that a service can meet many ways
Limit special cases, these should be specific agreements at the service level rather than added to the requirements
Where possible, grant autonomy to the people responsible for the service.
Clarity of requirements to maintainers
What is required at each level
What is provided by the Co-op to help achieve these requirements.
Clarity of service to those outside the set of maintainers
What’s used to create the service
What’s provided to the users of the service
How the service aligns with co-op principles
End-user focused
what can the user of the service expect in terms of Service Quality and how likely the service is to still be available in the future.
Build only what’s needed, if indirectly, by the end user

Where we fail to meet these goals the relevant requirements should be updated.