If you are a .NET Developer and you are not ready for Continuous Integration yet, but you want to implement automated deployment of your software product from your local development machine in as straightforward and easy as possible, then we have a solution for you. It is 'Visual Automated Deployer'. Yes, you get Visual GUI based solution as a bonus if you take this solution.
The idea is simple. You write your deployment tasks in C# or VB.NET following a pattern (implementing a base class) as follows:
And prepare the Task List as follows:
Then, invoke the Visual Coded Task Runner application which can load the tasks and present you a screen like these:
How to invoke the applications? There are two ways. You can directly invoke Visual Coded Task Runner from Visual Studio by Hitting the START button when you have a separate Task Container Class Library Project set as Start Up Application. Also, you can compile the Task Container class library project as a DLL and load that DLL directly to the Visual Coded Task Runner.
And, whenever you start the application, if you run in Debug Mode, then, you can set Breakpoint on your task code and step through your code from Visual Studio Debugger.
And from the Visual Coded Task Runner application, you can always get visual feedback about your task progress, task result, status, Exception etc.
You can click on a completed task to see the result returned from the task as follows:
And you can click on the Exception icon a task that completed with Exception and see the exception details as follows:
And anytime when you hit the ‘View Log’ button, you see the log like this where you will see the sequential log of all events and task results along with exception details.
Of course, MS Build is a Giant solution for automating a broad range of automation tasks especially when you plan for Continuous Integration and Delivery. So, we are not advocating this solution as a replacement to a full Continuous Integration solution (like MS Build based automation, Team City Server, etc.) but this application serves a niche requirement. If you are a Micro ISV where you developed your software product and want to automate the deployment of your software product using your C# or VB.NET Skill and not ready for Continuous Integration, then, this solution will serve the purpose perfectly. Moreover, you can not deny the productivity and comfort of using a visual / GUI solution comparing the Command Line tool.
4.5 or later