Tag: OctoPus Deploy

Octopus Deploy – my wishlist

OD First of all I’ve been using Octopus Deploy for a couple of months maybe less, and to be honest its freaking awesome, its easy to set up, easy to use, has an awesome API and is just a really well thought out piece of software.

Having used it I have one or two minor little things I’d love to see in the next version, I could go off and find out if there in the uservoice system for Octopus but I like giving credit where credits due so mentioning Octopus Deploy in another blog post is never a problem, anyone I talk to who I don’t work with currently, I always try to get them to go off and take a look at Octopus Deploy.

Moving on here is my wish list for the next version of Octopus, some of them may already be done, may not be an issue, might even just be pilot error from myself but any hoo here goes, off the top of my head.

  • Ability to make a step disabled I know a workaround is to create a dummy environment and set the task to this which will be ignored but disabling steps would be great.
  • Export settings option to be able to export all of the variables.
  • Variables, be able to go back and time and see the variables held against a specific release at on the date and time it was released at.
  • Email Template that you can use to send out which allow variables, this can be used across all projects.
  • Automated releases for doing out of hours releases, this options hard to find.
  • Automated releases which have the option to ignore manual step, so we can release to production out of hours without having to still accept the manual step we normally have
    for production.
  • Backups, when you take a backup have the ability to restore it and not lose all of the packages you had originally – this isn’t huge but a bit of a shock when I restored and we had no packages.
    • I will add more if I come across any but to be very fair this is all pretty much nice to have options.

      By the way did you check our the api for Octopus Deploy in case I haven’t mentioned it before – real nice work!

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.