BuildMaster Documentation

Text Templating

Templating allows you to combine plain text, variables, and code to render a desired output, such as a configuration file or an email message. Some operations have special handling for templating, and there is a special operation that allows templates to be resolved to a variable to be used anywhere in a plan.

Templating Syntax

There are two different template syntaxes:

  • The simple syntax is used by default, and works just like regular OtterScript strings and values in that it allows for scalar variable expression replacement. For most use cases, this is adequate. Essentially, this is just the normal variable expansion that happens in OtterScript string literals or the eval function.
  • The full syntax adds support for tags that allow you to add branches and loops to your template. This syntax is only available where it is explicitly documented as supported (such as the Apply-Template operation).

Simple Syntax

Because the Simple syntax uses the same processing engine as regular string replacement, the OtterScript strings and values documentation covers the syntax.

Full Syntax

The full syntax uses the same string processing engine for variable replacements, but it is first preprocessed into OtterScript. A tag is a code fragment between a "<%" and a "%>" string sentinel. Only two grammar elements are supported in templates: Iteration Block and Predicate Statement. A tag can be escaped using the standard OtterScript escape character ` (grave apostrophe). For example: <`%

Note that tags are considered first when processing a template, so even when passing a literal to a function, the tag must be escaped. For example: $func(<`%)

A closing tag does not need to be escaped, but it is not an error to do so.

Following are some examples of the full syntax.

  • Config File
  • Email Message
<?xml version="1.0"?> <configuration> <appSettings> <add key="Accounts.Value" value="$EnvironmentName"/> <% if $DebugMode { %> <add key="Accounts.BuildNumber" value="$BuildNumber"/> <% } %> </appSettings> <system.web> <compilation <% if $DebugMode { %> debug="true" <% } else { %> debug="false" <% } %> targetFramework="4.5.2"/> <customErrors mode="Off"/> <pages controlRenderingCompatibilityVersion="4.0"/> </system.web> <system.webServer> <modules runAllManagedModulesForAllRequests="true"/> </system.webServer> </configuration>
<p>Hi $HtmlEncode($name)!</p> <p> Just letting you know that the $HtmlEncode($EnvironmentName) environment contains these servers: </p> <% if $ListCount(@ServersInEnvironment) = 0 { %> <p>none</p> <% } else { %> <ul> <% foreach $s in @ServersInEnvironment { %> <li>$HtmlEncode($s)</li> <% } %> </ul> <% } %> <p>Hope you find this useful!</p>

Apply-Template Operation

All templating functions can be performed using the Apply-Template operation. For convenience, a few other operations may include direct support for full templating as well (such as the Send-Email operation), and the documentation will indicate that full templating syntax is supported in these cases.

The Apply-Template operation is flexible in terms of its inputs and outputs. It can process a template stored in any of the following:

  • asset - a named text template asset stored in a raft
  • literal - literal text embedded directly in the OtterScript
  • file - a file relative to the working directory of the server in context

You may also specify where to store the resulting text:

  • variable - a runtime variable is created containing the output
  • file - a file relative to the working directory of the server in context (this may be the same as the input file to overwrite)

Following are some examples of the Apply-Template operation in OtterScript:

  • Asset
  • Literal
  • File
Apply-Template MyTemplateAsset ( OutputVariable => $result, AdditionalVariables: %(name: Steve, number: 1000) );
Apply-Template ( Literal: >>Hi $name, This is just a test. >>, OutputVariable => $result, AdditionalVariables: %(name: Steve, number: 1000) );
Apply-Template ( InputFile: MyWebConfigTemplate.config, OutputFile: C:\Websites\HDARS\Web.config, AdditionalVariables: %(name: Steve, number: 1000) );