Tips, Tricks and Tools

Posted by Graham Smith on January 13, 20154 Comments (click here to comment)

This page lists posts in my blog series on Tips, Tricks and Tools.

  • Zac

    Great series, I’ve been following an progressing to DSC vNext from Agent Based. Quick question, I was playing around in a ‘vNext Release Template’ the other day and found I’d accidentally deleted one of my ‘Deploy Using PS/DSC’ actions. Not a big problem but it had around 15 custom variables set for that environment.

    How do you handle backing up your release templates in RM or version control in case of accidental deletion?

    • Graham Smith

      Hi Zac

      Many thanks for your kind comment! In answer to your question, the news that you probably don’t want to hear is that you should really be thinking about moving away from the original Release Management tooling (what I call classic, for which there will be one more update and then that’s it) in favour of the new web-based tooling that has been part of VSTS for some time and which shipped with TFS 2015 Update 2 last week.

      My new blog post series is going down the path of the new tooling, although I’m yet to blog about the new RM interface as I’m explaining first how to create and configure servers through code which is taking time to research and complete. One of the core tenets that I’m espousing in this new series is that pretty much everything should be in version control. The classic tooling led you down the path of creating your deployment structure (all those components!) in Windows Workflow which (in the tooling) isn’t versionable and is (in my experience) brittle. With the new tooling I’m planning on having my ‘structure’ as PowerShell code which will be in version control and only having a minimal set of tasks in the Release Management tooling so that if it all goes pear-shaped there is very little lost.

      Hope that makes sense!

      Cheers – Graham

  • John Scott

    Hi, I’ve created over 40 release templates in VSTS to deploy 40 services. How to trigger a release for all these templates with one click?