Build a devops pipeline for your Windows servers

Establishing an automated continuous deployment pipeline makes deploying and maintaining Windows infrastructure a breeze

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You can find this page in AppVeyor by going into my AppVeyor projects and clicking on your current project. By default, you'll see the Latest Build, which will be updated to reflect the current state of the build. Depending on how busy the build server is at the time, your build can sit in this state anywhere from a couple minutes to about 10 minutes. In my experience, it remains queued for around five minutes before it runs.

Once started, you can see a real-time look at the PowerShell being executed in the Console view. This provides the status of each of your build scripts and gives you an idea of the progress of your process.

Console view in AppVeyor of PowerShell scripts IDG

Once complete, you'll see the Pester console output showing the results of your tests. But that's not all. Because you've configured your test script to have Pester send an nUnit XML file to AppVeyor, you can view test results by clicking the Tests button in the build view.

Pester test results in AppVeyor IDG

Notice in the screen image that, in this instance, the tests have caught one problem, which is initially displayed as a dropdown that can be clicked on to show the error output. Each block in your Pester tests will have a separate row in this web view.

The devops payoff is worth the learning curve

Setting up even a simple demonstration pipeline like this will take quite a bit of time. Learning new tools and how they interact can be a struggle.

But this work pays off, because you’re setting up infrastructure automation tasks that will save time in the long run. Setting up an automated continuous deployment pipeline like this will not only save you and your team time but also ensure rock-solid code without a second thought.

Let your build system and tests do the work once the latest code commit has been made. You've got enough to worry about just keeping up with development. This is the true value of devops: sending your code out the door automatically at the push of a button.

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