Today starts this year's Microsoft TechEd conference up on the sunny Queensland Gold Coast and I'm lucky enough to be up here for the week watching many top Australian and international developers and IT professionals working on the Microsoft stack, hacking on new frameworks and tooling, and perusing product wares. This is my second year at TechEd and I'm looking forward to more of the same awesome everything that we saw last year.
New Relic's Deployment notes features have definitely been around for a while, but like a lot of things experienced by developers outside Microsoft's ecosystem, this is another service where we're a bit late to the party. The ability to track application performance against a certain release of your application is a great way to track the progress of any work your team has put in to improve your application's performance and visitor's overall experience. Implementing it is surprisingly simple which begs the question, if you're not doing it, why not?
Now that we're all configured at Amazon and we've got our solution in a state where we can easily package and deploy it's time to automate it all with TeamCity so you don't have to have any human intervention when you want to fire up a new instance of your website for testing.
Now that we've successfully setup your Amazon AWS account start new machines and serve any WebDeploy packages we'll be using during automation, its now time to get our website project in a state that will work with our Amazon AWS account and this includes some PowerShell Automation to bring it all together.
Over the last year I’ve gone crazy for some of the new automation tooling that developers have had made available to us to help setup continuous integration. The whole idea of infrastructure as code isn’t a new thing, the *nix crowd has had Chef and Puppet for years – last April Amazon added support for batch and PowerShell scripting on Windows EC2 instance initialisation, and this gives us the ability to do some pretty powerful server and website automation such as servers that initialise and install their own services and websites – potentially on command to fire up a new testing instance or automatically handle load.
Continuous Deployment is an time-saving, team-loving, kudos-earning, stress-reducing capability that any team is wise to implement. OnCheckin is definitely aiming to bring this awesome’ness to as many ASP.Net developers as possible by making it fast and easy to setup. Once you’ve started out automating deployment though iteration is the key. Deploying your website early and often is great but with OnCheckin this goes further – Add-ons. And where better to start than helping developers out than with an often overlooked part of web development: Application Security.
Recently I’ve had the pleasure of setting up a new build environment at work to replace our TFS Team Build setup and its build-information-opaqueness. In the process I uncovered a lot of not-so-fun-to-be-a-developer things that our large corporate IT Infrastructure team have in place to keep the masses at bay – one of those things is an NTLM proxy server. And so the head banging began – hopefully I can save you some brain cells and get you home on time.
Constantly over the past few years I’ve thanked my lucky stars that I’ve had continuous integration and deployment setup for the web sites I’ve been working on. It is one of the few development opinions where I break the “religion and politics” laws of social etiquette. I feel incredibly strongly about the benefits that having a good Continuous Integration and Deployment story can bring to a project and it’s team. Sadly, not everyone has been able to experience the awesome sauce of CI/CD. I’ve been working hard to change that.
When maintaining applications built in ways that make unit testing them high friction, difficult or down right impossible, we often turn to integration tests or no tests at all. Poking around the outside of your logic to see that the outcomes our code produces is often fiddly, brittle and in most cases so time consuming it just doesn’t happen. Lucky for us all, if there has been a case in the past where we’ve been unable to test part of our business logic, Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 is here to offer an answer to your prayers which you just might not be aware of.
Finishing your Windows Phone 8 application isn’t the end of your Windows Phone journey. You’ve now got to get it into everyone’s hot little hands – by submitting it to the Store. Having developed for the Windows Phone platform now for a number of years, I can attest that just uploading your XAP file isn’t the only thing required to make this happen. Similar to my post on “Must have tools for Windows Phone” I'll try and fill you in on a few things I wish I'd known before I submitted.