Saturday, March 14, 2015

Installing Visual Studio Release Management

If you are not familiar with Visual Studio Release Management, it is a new feature offered with Team Foundation Server 2013 and Visual Studio 2013 that allows you to manage releases/deployments to your servers.

Release Management is mainly targeted towards teams that leverage various different server environments for testing releases (such as a Dev, QA/Staging and Production environment).

Having a Release Management process in place allows workflows to be geared around deployments from one environment to another to facilitate testing in the various environments.

For example, if a defect is found in the Dev environment, it can be fixed and then deployed to a QA/Staging environment for validation of the fix before it is finally approved for release to production.

Many development teams have been using a Release Management process without a formalized set of tooling to accomplish this, so having integrated tooling as part of the Microsoft suite of tools is an immense timesaver and productivity enhancement.

Visual Studio Release Management consists of 3 parts:

  1. Server installation which integrates with Team Foundation Server 2013
  2. Client installation which integrates with Visual Studio 2013
  3. Agent installation which is used to deploy your releases to your various server environments
As you can probably guess, you need to begin by setting up your server installation as follows:

As you can see from the screenshots, the installation process is relatively straightforward.  Of course, as you can tell from the error message above, the service account that you use to configure Release Management must be a member of the Administrators group on the TFS Application Tier Server

Once the server installation is complete, you can proceed with the Client installation:

When you configure the Release Management Client, you simply point it to the Url you set up for your Release Management Server and you will finally be presented with the Release Management Dialog shown in the final step!

You can then begin configuring Release Management from Right to Left (starting with the Administration tab).

Once you have your environments set up for your Releases, you can then install your Agents on your various server environments to manage the deployment of your releases.

That is all there is to it!!

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