[Cross-post from old blog.]
Recently a customer needed a way to deploy BizTalk applications to a shared development server, but due to corporate IT policies they were unable to run a local instance of BizTalk Server to test from. Deployment from Visual Studio would create the BizTalk application on the remote server and register the assemblies in the application database; however the assemblies were not present on the server nor were they in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC).
For QA or production, please do a true deployment using an exported MSI. =)
There are a number of elaborate frameworks for handling remote deployments, such as Scott Colestock's remote deployment framework using NAnt, or using Stephen Thomas' MSBuild method. I wanted to provide a much simpler solution for the customer, and while it lacks a certain "cool factor," it gets the job done pretty well.
The first step was to create a "deployment" location on the development server, and expose it via a network share. Then on the development PC, we set up a simple batch file. For each assembly in the solution, we have a three-step process:
- Un-GAC the assembly on the remote server (optional, I suppose):
- PSExec \\servername [args] gacutil /u ...
- Copy the assembly to the remote server:
- Copy BizTalkAssemblyName.dll \\servername\remotedeploy\projectname.
- GAC the assembly on the remote server:
- PSExec \\servername [args] gacutil /i ...
Now during development, when ready to test a portion of code on the development server, they simply right-click the solution in Visual Studio, choose deploy, then once the deploy completes successfully (fingers crossed), double-click the batch file.
I'm sure there are other "cool" ways of accomplishing this, hopefully in a more automatic way (please share if you know of any). Again, don't do this for QA or production.