DevOps: Release Management (MS RM 2015)
Author: jason
Date: 2015-09-01 10:30:12
Category: Technical

Microsoft's Release Management 2015 product with Team Foundation Server 2013 can be used to automate code deployments. Here is a quick overview.

General Overview
Release Management enables a continuous and automated “develop – test – deploy” application workflow.

Here is a workflow example

Release Management supports a rapid release cadence through a path of stages and environments. Paths have Acceptance, Deployment, Validation, and Approval Steps which require stakeholder approval (manual/automated) to move through. Each Stage / Environment can have different Stakeholders, Notifications, and Servers.

Overview (figure)

Release Management is tied to TFS and will pull out Build Versions and Locations. A deployment of the software can be initiated by the developer from Visual Studio by using the Release Management Build Template definition. This template adds 3 additional fields: Configuration to Release, Release Build, Release Target Stage. Deployments can also be kicked off by using the RM REST API i.e. we can kick off releases at scheduled times. Configuration files can be updated/removed (or file contents adjusted) via Release Management as the release is deployed to an environment.

Build Definitions need to be setup to automate application builds and drop locations.

The intent is to be able to deploy all application components and configuration to a target server from the Release Management server. There are 2 deployment methods: Agent and Agentless (vNext). Agentless uses PowerShell (v4) and Desired State Configuration.


Release Management
Here is where the bulk of the configuration and setup is performed to start the automated continuous deployment of an application.

Release Path (figure)

Pieces of Release Management (RM)

Start a Release from a Template (figure)

Approve or Reject the Release via the client (figure)

Approve or Reject the Release via the Web Page (figure)

Monitor the Release (figure)

Configure the PS/DSC Actions (figure)

Release Path (figure)


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