Giving Octopus Deploy a Test Drive

The last couple of days I have been taking Octopus Deploy for a spin, we have been working on a new project and I have been tasked with using Octopus Deploy to see how easy it would be to deploy our application to our Development, Staging and Production environments.

The application itself isn’t really import but its a TopShelf Web Service running on Katana which includes the use of certificates, url acl’s, MSMQ and some RavenDB for good measure.

Current Setup
Our current deployment setup makes use of Teamcity and MSBuild to deploy our applications, making use of a set of standard .proj files we use to deploy all types of applications, we have it down to 1 click deployments, which covers:-

  • Checkout from Source Control
  • Inspections
  • Compile/Build
  • Unit Tests / Integration Tests
  • Deploy

Change to our process
With Octopus Deploy (calling it OD from here on in) I changed this slightly removing the Deploy step above from our MSBuild script and looked into how to deploy the code using OD.

OD takes your code and bundles into a nuget Package using a tool called OcotPack, an add-on for Visual Studio as well as an executable which looks at your code and figures out what’s needed to package your code into a Nuget package. Once you have your Nuget package you put that into your Nuget feed, either your own or using OD’s in built Nuget feed (very handy and much quicker to use) and then you create a Release based on the nuget package, steps outlined below for clarification:-

  • Run OctoPack on project you wish to Deploy, this creates you a Nuget package
  • Copy your nuget package to Nuget Feed (even has an option to do that for you)
  • Create a Release pointing to your package
  • Deploy to chosen environment
  • Job done

I will be covering more on Octopus Deploy but so far I have managed to deploy the application in question to Development and Staging, register URLACL’s, register the Certificate, create our private message queues, and install and start the Katana based Top Shelf Service in 2 days worth of work from having really no idea about how Octopus Deploy works, fair to say I like what I see and so far so good! – Oh and the documentation and sample videos are excellent – more coming soon on my use of OD, if your deployments aren’t using Octopus Deploy I recommend you take some time and take a look, its been well thought out with a REST API and the UI built on top of that, it allows you to run custom PowerShell scripts which I really like and in general looks like a good addition to our tools belt.