Deployment plans are at the heart of BuildMaster’s automation, and are used to direct the execution engine. They provide an easy-to-understand, visual representation of the “code” that is directing and structuring a deployment.
From a simple, single action deployment plan to a complex deployment plan involving multiple actions, PowerShell integrations, and customized action created via the BuildMaster SDK, plans help bring visibility to the entire release process.
Beginning with version 5.0, BuildMaster’s visual editor provides a drag-and-drop interface to build deployment plans one step at a time, allowing for the entire development team to know exactly what’s happening to your release.
Plans allow you to deploy applications through various stages, targeting numerous environments, and are created through either the visual editor or text mode. Giving you the flexibility to work in whichever mode you prefer.
The execution engine interprets a plan as a series of statements and blocks, in a top-down manner.
If you're comfortable with programming or scripting, you may already be familiar with how these blocks work.
Blocks provide an easy way to organize your plans and the sub-tasks those plans are made of. They can be nested as many levels deep as you need, and all blocks provide variable scoping (i.e. if you set a variable in that block, it will only be available within that block) as well as log scoping.
There are dozens of built-in operations in BuildMaster that allow organizations to create simple and complex deployment plans. Operations for Build Artifacts, Configuration Files, Database changes, Issue Tracking, Source Control, and even Email Notification are all ready to use ‘out-of-the-box’ in BuildMaster.
With BuildMaster’s tight PowerShell integration, actions are extensible for any organizational need.
Creating a Global Script in BuildMaster allows you to leverage the use of your current PowerShell and Shell scripts to automate part of the deployment process. Once a global script is created it can be used as an operation in any deployment plan. If you use PowerShell's header documentation standards, you'll even get rich descriptions for script arguments when editing in visual mode.
Global deployment plans in BuildMaster allow you to use the same plan across multiple applications and stages. When a global plan is edited, each use of the global plan is modified. Once the global deployment plan is created, it’s added to any stage or pipeline as an operation within a deployment plan. The combined use of variables and global deployment plans enables flexibility at an application level and automation on an organizational level.
Templates are reusable plans that can be called from another plan or another template, as if it were an operation. Like other plans, templates are created using the BuildMaster visual editor, or text mode, and consist of blocks. Template reusability allows for quick plan creation, greater accuracy, and infinite extensibility. Templates are commonly used when a portion or part of a deployment is used across multiple releases but customization is needed.