Wednesday, May 11, 2016

VSTS - New features for Build & Release

Microsoft has published a new feature set for Visual Studio Team Services which brings some very interesting new things to the tool.

Build and release summaries

There are two new bits of information that will show up on the build and release summaries. 
First, you’ll notice that console logs are now available in the Test pivot. Console logs are published as test result attachments and can be previewed in the Tests tab in the Build summary and Release summary panes.

Second, it’s very common to need to understand and identify test cases or containers that take the most time to run. You can now find this information by sorting the Duration column in the Tests tab in the Build/Release summary panes. In addition to the duration of individual tests, you can also look at aggregate duration of test containers or test runs by grouping by the respective pivots.

Release Management improvements

This release brings with it quite a few Release Management (RM) improvements. Let’s walk through the new capabilities…
First, Release Management now supports linking repositories (both Git and Team Foundation Version Control) as artifact sources directly to a release definition, enabling you to consume resources in your repos without having to publish build artifacts with the same files. Note: There is no support yet for auto-triggering new releases when a commit is made into these repositories, but that work is in flight, so stay tuned.

Additionally, you’ll find these new features:
  • Copy, Export, Import. A new extension has been published in the Marketplace that lets you copy, import, and export release definitions.
  • Schedule Based Deployment Condition. You can now configure a condition on an environment to pick up the successful deployments (or the latest one) from another environment and promote them at the selected time. This capability allows you to have time-based deployments that happen on a repeatable schedule. Chose the Deployment Condition tab in your environment to configure the schedule.
  • Release Management REST APIs. You can now use the REST APIs for Release Management service. They are published at: Most of these APIs work with the on-premises releases of RM features in TFS 2015 Update 2 as well (changes between TFS and Team Services versions are indicated in the API docs). 
  • Simplified Release Definition Wizard. The wizard to create release definitions has been simplified. You can enter most of the inputs to setup a definition with a single environment in this wizard. They have also simplified the process for adding more environments into a definition or to clone an environment. 
  • New Job Execution Variables. Below are a set of variables now available that let you access information about artifact sources when executing deployment jobs. These variables are available in the format: RELEASEARTIFACTS_. represents the artifact source that is included in the release definition. You can find the name of the alias in the Artifacts tab of a release definition. 
    Note: For scripts, replace the underscore with a period.

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