he wants to test is his code's environment-dependent behavior. I maintain
that no solution requiring a different environment to be declared than the
one he wants to test can in fact test such behavior adequately. I don't
see how hiera into the mix changes that in any way.
The same considerations apply to a lesser extent to using some different
data to distingish environment-A-testing from environment-A-production:
when you want to transition the test code and data to production, it can
really be quite tricky to make the latter act exactly as the former did,
but when fed with different data.
Environments are fine for a lot of things, including configuring test
environments for other software, but they are not so good for testing
Puppet itself. I maintain that the best approach is to stand up test
manifests and data in a separate master, leveraging your SCM system to put
that code and data into production when the time comes. That way you can
be confident that you have tested the scenarios that will actually be
encountered when your code goes live.
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