Release Management Improvements in Visual Studio 2015

This this article tries to show how to manage the release of an application from the client side in Visual Studio 2015.

Introduction

Basically, Release Management is a tool that Microsoft purchased from a company and made compatible with Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server (TFS). This tool was designed to improve and automate the delivery process of your software in multiple environments. Basically, it takes the builds from TFS and runs through the approval process, a coordination of development, operations and quality assurance. Once the release is approved, it proceeds with the installation.

Before you start, you will need:

  • A Visual Studio Online account if not there then please create an account
     
  • A team project If you haven't created it then create one
     
  • Azure Virtual Machines
     
  • An Azure storage account
     
  • A deployment script

Now this is a service provided in the latest release via an online Visual Studio account. So if you make an application and want to host it on the cloud, say on Microsoft's, then there is a need to register yourself and your server as well where your application will be deployed.

Release Management provides a desktop-based control panel to enable the administrators to configure the delivery process by defining the procedure to map the release process. The administrator can visually create and configure the paths that represent the environments where the application will be released to.

During the configuration process, the work flow is also established. The work flow automates various procedures throughout the delivery process, such as copy files, provision IIS environment, determine reviewers and approvers, install MSIs, schedules and so on. The latest release includes that the same configuration can be used to deliver other applications with some minor adjustments. Basically, the administrator could create templates and re-use them for multiple environments.

How to Configure Release Management Tool

Setup Online Visual Studio Account

Since this seems to be a very simple process, just go to Visual Studio and open the website and login. The following window will then appear and the link appears below the owner. You need to put this in the space provided as shown in the next step.

account pics

Initial setup filling URL

This is the process after loggiing into the Visual Studio website. A setup starts asking for your URL and that URL will be given by your Visual Studio Website after the login as shown above.

filling  url

After you provide your URL then a page will open and will show various tabs and explorers and will manage them as shown below.

basic screen tab

Add Stages

This the very first stage in the configuration. While configuring the release management tool theses procedure must be on the priority of the user. The figures given in the following might help configure the tool.

add stages

Manage Azure

Before managing the entire setup of release management you should have created a Virtual Machine that might help to manage an application. After managing and setting up the Azure tab in this tool.

azure managing

Setup Server and Environment

In this section while doing configurations one must ensure that he has taken Microsoft's Azure subscription and also created the virtual machine that will take care of the deployment of your application.

environment tab

Manage Application

In this tab of manage application one should manage the application depending on the choice of user and owner.

 manage application name

Summary

In this article we just tried to manage the release of an application from the client side and this is innovative idea of Microsoft by providing such functionalities at the client side.