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Creating Release Management Workflows


In the previous step, you looked at Release Management as a Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services service and how it works. Here you will briefly look at the Release Management Workflow. You will gain a foundational understanding of how to create a Release Management Workflow.

When you find yourself in a position where you have to use release management and create release management workflows, you can follow these steps:

  1. Create release definitions. You start using release management by creating a release definition in the build-and-release hub of your team project. A release definition specifies (a) What to deploy – the set of artefacts that constitutes a new release, and (b) How to deploy – the series of automation tasks that should be run in each environment.

  2. Add environments. You add one or more environments to a release definition. Each environment is simply a named logical entity that represents a deployment target for your release. For example, you create environments for test, quality assurance, staging, and production. You then edit the environments to specify the lists of users that must approve the deployment where this is appropriate.

  3. Add tasks. You add automation tasks to each environment. These tasks describe the deployment and testing process. There is a wide range of predefined tasks that you can use. These tasks can take advantage of shared custom variables and built-in properties in their configuration. Your tasks might need to connect to other services, cloud platforms, or third-party deployment and testing services. For this, you define your global service endpoints.

  4. Create and deploy releases. After you have created a release definition, you can manually create a new release based on this definition and deploy it to various environments, or you can let a release be created automatically and deployed upon completion of a build. There is a wide range of options for creating a release and deploying it, including release date and time, pipeline or parallel deployment, and more. You can also monitor the new changes that went into each release.

  5. Track deployments. As a release is deployed to various environments, you track its progress. You can approve new deployments to an environment, and view the logs of deployments as they happen.

In the following step, you will watch a video on Automated Deployments Using Release Manager.

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