Thursday, May 27, 2010

Team Build Server (2008)

The Backstory
We have grand schemes of checking in code, having it build, test, and deploy all magically. Then we can remove developer access from the web servers and prevent out of band changes.

Unfortunately, we are missing one piece: the guy; We need the guy who can make it all happen.

It should be simple. We are a Microsoft shop with Visual Studio 2010 and Team Found Server 2008. That supports the Team Build Server and it's all designed right in. But, since we don't have the guy we've made little progress in that direction.

But, we've found another reason to get team builds in place. Our content designers (who are in a separate department) also have access to the web servers and have become our "analog hole". We've implemented change control processes and they have not. So we are working to get them on board. The biggest problem is: they use Macs and don't use Visual Studio.

We were pleased when Microsoft announced Team Foundation Server 2010 and its acquiring of the Teamprise software. Our software license would now include our Mac users and they could begin checking in to TFS. This turns out to be a real pain for them.

They use their own test web server where they build their content. When it's ready they copy the files out to the production web server. Now, in the TFS process, they have to 1) check out the files they will change, 2) copy them out to their test web server, 3) make their changes, 4) copy them back to their TFS workspace, 5) check the files back in, 6) ask our deployment guy to deploy it to Pre-production, 7) make sure it looks good in Pre 8) ask our deployment guy to deploy it to Production.

So, although we are now all synchronized and have regained control over the changes made to production we've totally given the content design team the shaft. They need to be much more dynamic that what the new process allows for.

So, the compromise is to set up the build server to automatically deploy to Pre-production when they check in content changes. They will worry about streamlining the rest of their process.

So, I became the guy who gets to set up Team Build. See the next post for details of the nightmare.

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