Monday, 9 September 2013

How an automated release looks like – the Team Foundation Build side

Well, when it comes to the Automated Release our beloved Team Foundation Build has not so much to do…apart from hers usual stuff, with a slightly different Build Process Template.
For enabling an Automated Release, you have to add a custom Template and create a Build Definition using it. You are going to find it into the InRelease installation folder (…\InCycle Software\InRelease\Bin).
You are going to notice that there is a dedicated InRelease section for its parameters. If Release Build is set to True you are going to deploy the build.
You can set a Release Target Stage – if needed. Leaving it blank will make it go through all the possible stages unless stopped - and a specific Configuration to Release – leveraging the same configurations you might use in the Configuration Manager.
Every component must be configured to Build with Application or Build Externally. A Build Independently component won’t work. This is a known limitation of InRelease.
And obviously, both Acceptance Step and Deployment Step of the very first stage of the associated release path must be Automated.
The main task it does is the Configuration File Tokenization. This feature, together with a specific syntax into the configuration files themselves (usually __VALUE__), makes a build-time transformation based on the target stage.
For achieving this, it is needed to install the Client Component of InRelease on the Build Server.
It is not something that hard or trivial – you can integrate these specific tasks into a pre-existing customized Build Template so you are going to get a single template if you need.
After that, the InRelease Release Service is invoked, and everything passes through that, with the related configurations and settings.

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