The Inedo Agent and Legacy BuildMaster Agents

KB#1039: Last Updated Jan 15, 2018

The below applies to BuildMaster users upgrading to v5

Both BuildMaster and Otter need to be able to communicate with servers in order to configure, orchestrate, or deploy applications to them.

For Windows servers, this is generally accomplished using a lightweight agent that's installed on the server. Alternatively, SSH/SFTP could be used for agent-less communication, as it is for Linux servers.

Inedo Agent (BuildMaster and Otter)

The Inedo Agent was designed from the ground-up to support multiple products using a secure, lightweight, highly-optimized, and resilient protocol.

The agent needs to only be installed once, and will be available to any compatible version of BuildMaster or Otter with the proper decryption key.

Upgrading the Inedo Agent

Unlike the Legacy BuildMaster Agents, the Inedo Agents will not need to be upgraded on every upgrade of the product. Because they are backward- and forward-compatible, upgrading the agent will generally be optional; if and when an upgrade is available or required, the release notes and software will advise of the upgrade.

Because upgrading an agent is inherently risky (essentially, the agent needs to overwrite itself then restart itself), both BuildMaster and Otter will have a utility that will upgrade these agents en masse.

Legacy BuildMaster Agents

In BuildMaster 5.0 and earlier, a different agent model was used. We recommend using the new (Inedo) agents for new installations/servers, and slowly transitioning your legacy agents as time permits to test deployments to those servers. We will likely remove legacy agency support in BuildMaster v6.

Migrating from Legacy BuildMaster Agents

As of BuildMaster 5.1, agents may be converted from a Legacy to an Inedo Agent by navigating to the server page, then edit > convert. This will display the following dialog:

This could also be scripted with the manual installer. We may add a feature or tool to migrate agents en masse; please contact us if this would be of interest, or for other assistance with large-scale agent migrations.

Legacy Agent Types

Self-Hosted Agent

This agent uses a lightweight binary TCP-based protocol that provides all of the functionality of the SOAP-hosted agent but with much less overhead. It is currently only available on Windows as an installable service.

SOAP-Hosted Agent

This agent is a simple SOAP-based web service that can be installed on a Windows (or Linux using Mono) based server. It grants all of the abilities of a Local Agent, is fairly easy to set-up, and can be hosted using IIS for to enable a wide range of options for security/accessibility. However, the SOAP protocol can add significant overhead which may be a problem for very large deployments.