BuildMaster Documentation

Manual Steps and Tasks

While OtterScript and PowerShell will allow you to automate just about anything, there are times when it’s simpler to do things manually. For example:

  • Updating a version number on a WordPress page as a new release is being published
  • Enabling a VPN to a customer site for a short time during a deployment
  • Running an ancient GUI-based deployment for part of an application

This is where the Manual Operation comes in: when executed in a deployment plan, the execution will halt until an assigned person indicates that a specified task has been completed.

Using in a Deployment Plan

You can add the Manual Operation to your plan just like you would any other operation, by dragging-and-dropping it from the statement list, or directly in OtterScript.

  • Visual Mode
  • Text Mode (OtterScript)
Manual operation Plan Block (Visual Mode)
    Name: Run HDARS-Deployer,
    Description: "Log onto HDARS server, run the desktop hdars-deployer.exe app and follow instructions",
    AssignedTo: Deployer,
    SendEmail: true

When this statement is encountered, the execution engine will first send an email (if specified) to the user and/or groups specified with a link to their My Tasks page in BuildMaster. You can also specify additional email addresses in the Advanced tab.

From the My Tasks page, a user can see all pending manual tasks, and mark them complete as needed. After marking a manual task complete, the execution can continue.

Debugging with Manual Tasks

Manual tasks can also help you debug a deployment plan.

  • Inspect working directory; If an operation is failing, indicating that files are missing from the current working directory, or are otherwise different than expected, you can simply put a manual operation immediately before the failing operation to investigate the state of the working directory
  • Manual error handling; you can place a manual operation in the error handler of a Try/Catch statement to allow for manual intervention