RFC Octopus Data Center Manager

I’ve been using Octopus Deploy since early 2014. Around version 2.2 or 2.3 is when I started investigating Octopus and then implementing it in an enterprise scale environment. It’s been over a three year long journey for myself. A ton of changes have been made to Octopus during that time and it’s not without a sense of appreciation and respect that I have for the folks at Octopus Deploy in part due to fact that: it’s simply awesome very easy to use and understand it keeps getting Continue reading →

The Zen of Deployment Automation Retrospective

Every now and then, I’m asked by one of our Octopus users: “Sometimes we need to change one or two files. Can I just deploy one or two files?” It’s at this point, I place my elbows on my desk and put my head in my hands. And I thought I was bad at letting go. Let me backtrack a little. Several weeks ago, we had a team meeting as we were inundated with numerous requests and it’s been one of our operations sore spots. When you Continue reading →

Setting up continuous deployments with Octopus Deploy and TFS

One reader asked in my Octo.exe deep dive if I had published how to setup continuous deployments. I had mentioned it in the deep dive and while I’d rather do a comprehensive piece to see how many different ways we could set up a continuous deployment, a simple post on how to setup continuous deployments in TFS is just as effective for the mean time. Let’s jump right in. Whether you’re using your own TFS 2013 server or Visual Studio online (VSO), you can use the octo.exe to Continue reading →

Octopus 3 now available!

Monday, July 20th 2015 was a big day for the .NET ecosystem. Microsoft officially released Visual Studio 2015 and Release Management 2015. Coincidentally, Octopus Deploy 3.0 was released as well. While I’m habitually (or obsessively) focused on Octopus Deploy, I use Visual Studio and have a mild interest in what Release Management 2015 has to offer. With the simultaneous releases of Octopus Deploy and Release Management, I’ve decided to do a three-part mini-series analysis and comparison on the two products: Octopus Deploy 3.0 vs. Release Management 2015 showdown. In terms Continue reading →

The Octo.exe – your utility knife for automation

If you’ve started using Octopus Deploy and want to fully maximize it’s potential via automation but you don’t know where to start, you need to begin investigating the Octo.exe. The Octo.exe is a neat little utility that allows you, through the command-line (and by extension, PowerShell) to interact with your Octopus Server without using the web interface. There’s a number of functions that the Octo.exe serves but from a high-level, it’s all about interacting with your projects. Whether it’s deleting an old release to creating a new release Continue reading →

The Zen of Deployment Automation

I work with a lot of users using our Octopus Deploy server on a daily basis. It seems that not all, but many of our users don’t fully grasp the philosophy behind automated deployments so I thought a rant was in order. If you’re using Octopus Deploy or even thinking about implementing it, Octopus is indeed a great first step into automation – but that’s it. It’s the first step – not the final step. Simply using Octopus Deploy doesn’t mean you’re automating your deployments. How so? I find Continue reading →

Chicago ALM Users Group – Agile Metrics

Yesterday night I attended the Chicago ALM Users Group session on Agile Metrics, given by Doc Norton. It was a very interesting topic and a great presentation altogether. Rather than reiterate the subject itself, you can view a video that Doc has available on his blog. A big thank you to Angela Dugan (blog) for organizing the event and to Polaris Solutions for sponsoring. Another thank you to Doc Norton (blog) for the presentation itself. I feel I came away with a better sense of Agile metrics and how to Continue reading →

Backing up projects on Octopus Tentacles? Think twice

I’ve noticed many of our Octopus teams use the File System – Backup Directory step template from the library to implement a backup step. Unfortunately, I’ve seen minimal prudence from said teams implementing backups. Many of these teams simply backup their project across most if not all of their environments while having no rollback steps whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Octopus Step library, but the backup directory step (or similar steps) are seldom worth implementing. It’s very tempting to use them and I can understand the appeal. Backups seem like Continue reading →

Including solution level files in your NuGet package

Rarely, if ever, does the OctoPack or for that matter NuGet.exe, miss a file or files that teams are looking to have in the NuGet package. Earlier this week I was helping a team with their NuGet package and they wanted to include files that were inside a folder at the solution level, not within a project folder. Normally, it’s not a difficult solution to solve. Most files under Visual Studio have the option to be included as shown below. That said, when you have files outside of the project folders themselves Continue reading →

Encore presentation on Octopus Deploy for Chicago ALM Users Group

I had another Octopus Deploy presentation today in Chicago for the Chicago ALM Users Group. Big thanks to Angela Dugan (@OakParkGirl) for letting me ramble on for Octopus for well over the time alloted. Had some good questions from audience members and interaction as well. I tried changing some things around in the presentation and adding more content but alas it didn’t quite work out as I had hoped. I’m still learning how to give these talks (and give away free swag) so it’s a process, Continue reading →