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Alex Hildyard January 2015 Entries
Deployment Tools: DSC or not DSC?
Desired State Configuration -- rightfully so -- is getting a lot of press just now, and it is becoming synonymous with certain deployment solutions, like Chef and Puppet. What about the others -- for example, Nolio or Octopus Deploy? Are they going to fall by the wayside because they don't "do" DSC? What about MSBuild? What about WiX? I want to clear up a few misconceptions.Here's my first point. *Don't confuse a workflow without conditions and an implementation with conditions.* Let's take Octopus. ......

Posted On Thursday, January 22, 2015 1:39 PM

Effective Step template design in Octopus Deploy
If you’re writing Step templates, here are some things you may want to consider. * Write a script you can run inside or outside of Octopus There are two reasons why you're unlikely to code substantial scripts within the Octopus IDE itself. First off, you don't get the Intellisense and completion you get with the Powershell ISE. Secondly, there's no kind of a scratchpad for debugging scripts in Octopus itself: the only way you can test your code is to create a release, pick the step or steps you want ......

Posted On Saturday, January 17, 2015 4:47 PM

Uninstalling MSI Files with Powershell and WMI
When you're deploying an application, you'll usually want to start by removing any previous installations of it. With MSI files, this is often less trivial than at first it appears. Typically you have two options if you're going to script this on the command line: either you uninstall the MSI by ProductCode, or you uninstall it by pointing to the previous MSI file and running msiexec /x. So far, all well and good. You will however run into problems in the following situations: - The previous media ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 13, 2015 12:51 AM

Powershell: Ways to copy locked files and folders
One of the first Octopus scripts I wrote was one to copy files and folders -- a pretty basic deployment activity. But periodically I found that resources were getting locked. I noticed that this was happening mostly when I stopped a Windows service prior to deleting and redeploying it. That makes sense. Typically when you issue a Stop command to a service, you signal its worker thread or threads, and then wait for them to check the Event, note its changed status, and work out how they're going to ......

Posted On Thursday, January 8, 2015 8:55 PM

Octopus Deploy: A Step template parameter scoping bug
Over the past months I've been putting together a minimal library of Octopus Deploy Step templates and "Library" scripts to cover all our common deployment scenarios. one of these was a Step template to unzip a file to a specified location. It took just two parameters -- UnzipFolder (the folder to which to unzip the file), and FilePath (the full path to the file to be unzipped). For a while, everything seemed to work perfectly. Then we found that files were always getting unzipped to the wrong locations. ......

Posted On Monday, January 5, 2015 7:36 PM

Calamari and Octopus Deploy: Deploying Applications without a Tentacle

One approach to deploying "Octopus Deploy" projects in a secure environment without installing a Tentacle or Production Octopus Deploy server.

Posted On Thursday, January 1, 2015 2:00 PM

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