The production environment refers to the live deployment environment where completed software is running and serving real users. It is the final stage in the software development lifecycle, and it is where the codebase undergoes performance optimizations and handles heavy traffic. The production environment must meet essential quality attributes such as high availability, scalability, performance, security, reliability, and recoverability. It is the environment in which urgent fixes can be made if necessary. The production environment ensures that the code is stable, secure, and capable of delivering a seamless user experience. It is often referred to as the "production" or "prod" environment.