Team Foundation Server has been a great tool for managing your development projects for some time. But while it's been a great source control and work item management tool, it's always lacked a bit in terms of managing the deployment cycle of your application.
Too often, deployments rely on Frank from the Infrastructure team studiously following a word document to make sure every step has been checked off. It's error-prone to say the least.
There are two great tools that are changing that. Both give you highly repeatable and automated deployments, reducing the risk of an outage.
The first is a new tool from Microsoft called Release Management for Visual Studio 2013. Yes, that's a long name. The product has been around for a while under a different name (InRelease), but was recently acquired by Microsoft to improve this area of their offering. It's closely-integrated with Team Foundation Server and gives you the ability to control your releases and know exactly who did what. It's great for enterprises.
The other tool is one I've been using for a while called Octopus Deploy. It gives many of the same benefits as Release Management, but isn't as closely tied to the Microsoft infrastructure. That means you can use it to deploy nearly anything from nearly any source (not just TFS).
I've spoken about Octopus Deploy a couple of times in the past few months, so rather than go through the features on this blog, I'll just show you the videos.
For a quick introduction, watch my conversation with another SSW developer and MVP, Danijel Malik, about Octopus Deploy:
I also presented at DDD Melbourne recently about Octopus Deploy, and why it's a great tool to stop you "deploying like an idiot":
I hope you enjoy the videos, and I'm looking forward to talking about the other great tool, Release Management, at Tech Ed NZ.