Deployment Administrators

Topics: Getting Started/Beginner, Server Deployment
Feb 23, 2011 at 12:53 AM

Hi,

my company is in dire need of a tool that will assist our administrators in minimizing the manual efforts of deploying our BTS applications to a multi clustered environment.

BTDF seems to be tool that can greatly assist us with this; however, since the developers are not responsible for deployment, I would like to know how we can customize BTDF for the administrators.

Here's our current deployemnt process at high level:

(1) the developers provide the msi and binding files to admins

(2) admins are responsible for manually importing the msi, importing binding files and creating any related components; e.g. host, host instances, adapters, system folders, virtual directories, etc

Can you tell me how can we structure a deployment solution that would automate the tasks on step#2 using BTDF?

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Coordinator
Feb 23, 2011 at 3:02 AM

The Deployment Framework for BizTalk can help you automate every aspect of your deployments.  A whole lot is built in, and what isn't can be added by a developer through a number of extensibility points.

You can automate deployment of all types of BizTalk artifacts with the built-in tooling.  You can also create virtual directories (with somewhat limited flexibility).  If you need to do more -- creating hosts, adapters, etc. -- then you can script and test those extra steps, and you can make them conditional (i.e. they execute on a server deployment, but not on a developer workstation).  The deployment process is all built on top of MSBuild, so you can easily call out to command-line tools, use MSBuild task libraries from the Internet or write your own custom tasks.  There are really very few limitations.

Once you script everything the way you like it and test it all out on your workstation, then you can build a self-contained MSI to hand to your admins.  They will run it on the server with elevated rights, allowing those admin-only tasks like host and host instance creation.

You can also create a templated (master) bindings file, and at deployment time the admins can choose a settings XML file that they keep to themselves with passwords, etc.  Or, if you don't have anything sensitive in your settings, you can just include the settings Excel spreadsheet in the MSI.

I think you'll find that BTDF will completely meet your needs.  If you want to create hosts and host instances then you will need to use the extensibility points that I mentioned, because that particular thing is not built in -- but is easy to implement.

Thanks,
Tom