Microsoft Release Management - Part 1: Installation

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In the Visual Studio 2013 launch event (where Plain Concepts. the company where I work, contributed making the demos), Microsoft presented a new product for Team Foundation Server 2013: Microsoft Release Management.

Nowadays, a lot of people are talking about continuous delivery. Companies like Amazon deploys a new version of its website every 12 seconds. Until now, if you try to do this with TFS you don't have a specific tool and you have to do magic with TFS Builds. It's a little bit weird because you don't want to build, you want to deploy.

Luckily we have a new tool in our toolbox now that will help us in our path to continuous delivery: Microsoft Release Management. In this series of articles I will show you how to work with this tool.

First of all we need to install the tool. Microsoft Release Management is composed by three components: a server, a client and a deployment agent. So let's go to the download page and download the three components.

We will start installing the server. Double-click on the file.

[caption id="attachment_112" align="alignnone" width="460"]Server installation, step 1. Server installation, step 1.[/caption]

Click on Install.

[caption id="attachment_113" align="alignnone" width="460"]Server installation, step 2. Server installation, step 2.[/caption]

When the installation finishes, click Launch. The configuration window will be shown.

[caption id="attachment_114" align="alignnone" width="576"]Server installation, step 3. Server installation, step 3.[/caption]

Provide an account for the service and configure the web service port and the database server where the database that Release Management uses will be created. Click on Apply settings.

[caption id="attachment_115" align="alignnone" width="500"]Server installation, step 4. Server installation, step 4.[/caption]

We have the server installed now. Let's install the deployment agent. The deployment agent is the service in charge of deploying our applications. So, if you want to configure an environment with three physical machines you will need to install three deployment agents, and pay for them. More information about licensing here.

We have a 90-day trial installer, so double-click on it.

[caption id="attachment_116" align="alignnone" width="460"]Deployment agent installation, step 1. Deployment agent installation, step 1.[/caption]

Click on Install. When the installation finishes, click Launch. The configuration window will be shown.

[caption id="attachment_117" align="alignnone" width="576"]Deployment agent installation, step 2. Deployment agent installation, step 2.[/caption]

Provide an account for the service and configure the URL of the Release Management Server just installed. Click on Apply settings.

[caption id="attachment_118" align="alignnone" width="500"]Deployment agent installation, step 3. Deployment agent installation, step 3.[/caption]

It's time to install the client. Double click on the installer.

[caption id="attachment_119" align="alignnone" width="460"]Client installation, step 1. Client installation, step 1.[/caption]

Click on Install. When the installation finishes, click Launch. The configuration window will be shown.

[caption id="attachment_120" align="alignnone" width="700"]Client installation, step 2. Client installation, step 2.[/caption]

Provide the URL of the Release Management Server just installed and click OK.

Before using Microsoft Release Management, we have to configure it a little bit. Open the Release Management Client and go to Administration tab. Click on Manage TFS.

[caption id="attachment_121" align="alignnone" width="1036"]Initial configuration, step 1. Initial configuration, step 1.[/caption]

Here we will configure the connection to our TFS. Click on New.

[caption id="attachment_122" align="alignnone" width="1036"]Initial configuration, step 2. Initial configuration, step 2.[/caption]

This window is quite similar to build service configuration window. Provide a TFS address, a collection name and a user to connect to TFS. Click on Verify to verify the data provided is correct and Release Management could connect to TFS.

[caption id="attachment_123" align="alignnone" width="1036"]Initial Configuration, step 3. Initial Configuration, step 3.[/caption]

We need another step to be made before configuring our first deployment. We must assure that the user configured to access TFS from Release Management has the "Make requests on behalf of others" permission. So, let's open the team web access URL of our TFS and click on the settings button.

[caption id="attachment_124" align="alignnone" width="926"]Initial configuration, step 4. Initial configuration, step 4.[/caption]

And grant the permission to the user.

[caption id="attachment_125" align="alignnone" width="1012"]Initial configuration, step 5. Initial configuration, step 5.[/caption]

And that's all! In the following articles I will show you how to configure a deployment for your website.

See you soon!


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