Protect source code and use code policies in VSTS

As part of best practices, your source code should always in working state so that it can be readily made available in case of the disaster. The easiest way of maintaining this is by making use of various branches for source code modification and merging only valid source code changes in the master branch. Also build and release process is often set on the master branch so that you can always deploy release from working source code. So it becomes further important to protect your master branch from unwanted changes. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to protect master branch from unwanted changes in VSTS by making use of both permissions and code policies.

Making use of Permissions to adjust Security

A project can have multiple source code repositories for different parts of the project. Continue reading “Protect source code and use code policies in VSTS”

Continuous Integration and Deployment for SQL Database using SSDT and VSTS

The combination of technical and cultural processes behind databases makes automation difficult. Databases has a state associated with them, so you cannot blow them away like application code and create again from scratch without losing the data. Managing change in a way that doesn’t impact the data is very problematic. Combine that with the cultural issues, the silos, it creates a really difficult problem. There are some general best practices that you can apply to tackle a lot of this complexity, but any time you try to design the solution and get into the technicalities, a lot of time you end up implementing something very specific to a particular type of database. In this blog post, we’ll learn how to use SSDT to implement continuous integration and deployment for SQL database Schema to take some of these worries away.

Continue reading “Continuous Integration and Deployment for SQL Database using SSDT and VSTS”

Configure Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) to create Nuget feeds

Any software development team working on a software product generally needs to consume the components either already developed by another team in their organization or another third party organization. So they require a mechanism through which they can create, share and consume the source code. Most often a times, this code is bundled into “packages” that contain compiled code (as DLLs) along with other content needed in the projects that consume these packages.

An Introduction to Nuget

In .NET world, this mechanism has come to be defined by Nuget. It defines how .NET packages are created, hosted, consumed and provides necessary tools for mentioned roles.  In this blog post, we’ll learn how to configure Visual Studio Team Services or VSTS for creating and consuming nuget packages.  Continue reading “Configure Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) to create Nuget feeds”

Navigate Visual Studio Team Services Projects like a file system using PowerShell

Visual Studio Team Services or VSTS is a great tool for continuous integration and continuous deployment. It is a cloud based SaaS offering from Microsoft. So most of the time you would be navigating it using a web browser like google chrome, firefox or Edge. In this blog post, we will learn how to treat VSTS like a file system using PowerShell.


You must have PowerShell version 5 or later or PowerShell core installed on your operating system for this to work.
Continue reading “Navigate Visual Studio Team Services Projects like a file system using PowerShell”

Create Azure service endpoint in VSTS

To deploy resources on Azure using VSTS as part of ci/cd process, first VSTS needs to establish an connection with the Azure and ensure it has proper permissions to manage resources. For this purpose, if you are using VSTS to manage azure resources, you would need to create an Azure Service endpoint first. In this blog post, we’ll learn how to do the same.

If you are doing in this your personal subscription, you will probably already have required permissions on Azure AD. In that case, you can skip directly to section: Create Azure endpoints in VSTS and use short version of dialog only. VSTS will automatically query and create required configuration for you. If you are working with medium or large sized organizations, you’ll need to create it via long way which provides more granular level of access and control.  Continue reading “Create Azure service endpoint in VSTS”

Add a private build agent to VSTS and configure for capabilities

VSTS or Visual Studio Team Services is a great DevOps tool from Microsoft and it comes as a Software-as-a-Service. While configuring build pipelines, once can choose the option to build and deploy using a hosted agent. A hosted agent is provided by Microsoft and is pre-configured with all major build tools installed like Visual Studio, Java, Ant, etc. So for many organizations, this is the simplest way to build and deploy.

However, the hosted agent might not suffice for your needs. For example, you may want to use your own testing engine or compilation engine, or you are working on a not so common programming language, etc. In such cases, you will need to setup your private build server. Private agents give you more control to install dependent software needed for your builds and deployments. In this blog post, we’ll learn how to add a build server to VSTS and also configure it for build capabilities.

Continue reading “Add a private build agent to VSTS and configure for capabilities”