Automating Complex Deployments in Microsoft TFS 2010
The Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) is ideal for businesses working in accordance with agile methodologies to ensure a faster application lifecycle. The platform supports continuous integration; enabling development teams to generate numerous builds a day and empowering diverse departments to coordinate their work in order to develop integrated software solutions.
However, these valuable features are futile if the application cannot be rapidly and continuously deployed to the end user. Every minute the application remains in deployment costs the business substantially in terms of lost revenue. Therefore, time to market is a critical factor but Microsoft TFS falls short of delivering this vital feature to the client. Continuous deployment cannot be supported by Microsoft TFS alone and the platform itself is unable to resolve two crucial challenges:
The Challenge of Ensuring Rapid Time to Production
Development teams using agile development methodologies and TFS templates implicitly generate numerous builds a day. However, manual deployments are often inadequate to cope with the vast quantity and frequency of application releases, and this often leads to errors, delays and operational downtime.
It is essential for development and operations teams to deploy applications into an environment to detect potential errors. A successful build in TFS does not guarantee the software will be fully operational; the only method of ensuring the application is error-free is by deploying it to an environment. It is also vital for the business to ensure rapid time to production in order to start generating revenue.
The Challenge of Releasing Applications to Different Environments
Deployment requirements vary dramatically across the application lifecycle. Development teams have to contend with multiple builds and the ensuing high frequency of application deployments. Different challenges arise when applications are moved to the QA and operations environments; deployment frequencies decrease but complexities grow. Different teams are responsible for deploying various components of the solution from TFS, each division has to follow complex instructions and work in synchronization with other teams.
Consequently, the success of the process is reliant on a diverse team of highly skilled professionals. Resources are costly and teams are left with very little back up.
View our online demo showing how to acheive Zero Touch Deployment in TFS 2010:
Achieving Zero Touch Deployment™ in TFS
Nolio's Zero Touch Deployment™ offers an end-to-end solution to the deployment challenge across the application lifecycle.
Integrating the Zero Touch Deployment™ solution with TFS enables agile deployment and sanity testing with every build. Continuous deployments are enabled and development teams can easily deploy multiple applications per day.
The challenges of releasing applications to different environments are also resolved. Nolio's fully automated processes eradicate the need for highly-skilled engineers to be actively involved after the initial set up; they are no longer needed to create and control manual scripts, read and interpret complex deployment instructions or synchronize their work with parallel teams. Not only is this is speedier and more cost-effective, but it also eliminates all manual errors. Manual errors in the TFS environment are frequent due to the size and complexity of the system (i.e. mistakes are often made while attempting to manually retrieve the correct artifacts from the right drop location in a library teeming with resources). Automation eliminates the risk of such errors and thereby improves quality, reduces bottlenecks and increases time-to-market.
Nolio's automated processes also offer full traceability, ensuring that the precise locations of all build versions can be tracked at any moment in time. Therefore, if an error does occur, the source can be swiftly located and rectified.
How Zero Touch Deployment™ is Achieved
Implementing Nolio's innovative Zero Touch Deployment™ process and connecting it to the TFS platform is quick and easy.
Zero Touch Deployment™ is achieved by automating the deployment process, capturing it in a generic Nolio workflow process and separating the process from the dynamic elements of an application release. The dynamic elements are defined in a manifest deployment file. The manifest deployment file can be generated and stored in TFS, and holds details about which resources should be taken, their specific location and version. The structure of the manifest file only needs to be defined once, and can then be re-used for repetitive deployments across all the environments that an application traverses during its lifetime.
Find Out More About Achieving Zero Touch Deployment™ in TFS 2010
Click here to view our webinar "Achieving Zero Touch Deployment™ in a Microsoft TFS Environment"
Contact us to get more information about the TFS Plugin for Nolio.