Release Strategy for Dynamics CRM - Part 3 - Setting Up the Release

This is the final installment of the a three part series. Use to following links to access part 1 and 2:

In the previous two posts I show you how to create the project structure and create a basic team build for your CRM solution artifacts. In this final installment I go about setting up a release definition for the build that we created.

  1. Let's start off by creating a new release by navigating to the Build and Release > Release in your team project.
  2. Select the Empty template option and click the next button.

    Empty release template

  3. On the next step, choose the source for this release - we'll be using the build definition that we created in part 2. Once ready click the Create button.

    Select build defintion

  4. Now lets declare the variables that would be used later in the process. Navigate to the Variables tab and define the following variables:

    • DevDeployLogin - The username that used to deploy the solution.
    • DevDeployPassword - The password for the same account.

    Make sure to define the DevDeployPassword as a secret by clicking the padlock icon next to the field.

    Release Variables

    Read more about build and release variables here.

  1. Next, create a new agent step by clicking the Add tasks and selecting Add an agent phase in the context menu.

    Add agent phase task

  2. Select a PowerShell in the task catalog and click the Add button.

    Add agent phase powershell

  3. Once the task is added, set the type to Inline Script and add the following script in the Inline Script field:

    Install-PackageProvider -Name NuGet -MinimumVersion -Force -Scope CurrentUser

    The purpose of this script is to install the NuGet provider on the agent. This is a prerequisite of the Install-Module command that will be used by the Deploy-CrmSolution script.

    And while we're here, let's rename the task to a more appropriate one. This would help us to distinguish it better.

    Configure environment prerequisite powershell

  4. Now, add a second PoweShell script. This time set the type as File Path and rename the task to Deploy CRM Solution. This task would be performing the actual deployment to CRM.

    Add CRM deploy step

  5. Click the ellipsis on the Script Path field to browse and find the Deploy-CrmSolution.ps1 script.


    Configure CRM deploy step script

  6. Set the following arguments for the script - notice that the previously defined variables DevDeployLogin and DevDeployPassword being used as part of the script. -serverUrl "" -username "$(DevDeployLogin)" -password "$(DevDeployPassword)" -solutionName "Demo.AlphaSolution" -publishChanges -activatePlugins

    CRM deploy step final

  7. Expand the Advanced tab and click the ellipsis button on the Working Folder field. Set the working folder to the Nullfactory.Xrm.Tooling\Scripts folder on the resulting dialog. I do this in order to minimize the chance of encountering any long file path issues.

    Configure CRM deploy step target

  8. Now that everything is setup, time to test out our new release definition. Let's queue a new release.

    Create new release

  9. Ensure that the release is being deployed and that it completed successfully.

    Verify release status

    Verify release status complete

That's it folks. That's the end of the three part series showing how to setup a project structure, configure a build and finally release a source-controlled CRM solution.


comments powered by Disqus