For the past several days, I have spent a lot of time mired in the very bureaucracy that I identified in this blog entry... all for one reason - to get DebugDiag and the IIS Diagnostics Toolkit integrated and released.
Yes, the Windows OOB process has bogged things down for about six months, mostly because we had to move all source code from the original source tree into a new arbitrary source tree and successfully build. A lot of other dependencies (like CHM and documentation) had to be identified and resolved, which is quite a bit of work for one MSI.
In particular, DebugDiag presented a formidable challenge since it never started from an NT Build Environment, so it had to be wedged in. I spent a week just getting all parts of DebugDiag to successfully build in an NT Build Environment. Funny... I don't recall getting paid to do any of this, since Windows OOB is supposed to take care of all this (remember, we are paying them to do this release for us). But, I had to jump in to make forward progress because otherwise Windows OOB languished for weeks without making any significant progress. At that pace, we would not be shipping DebugDiag or IIS Diagnostics Toolkit for years, and Chris would not have any hair left. J/K. :-)
Then, there were issues surrounding WiX source files to build the actual IIS Diagnostics Toolkit MSI. Or rather, I produced the original WiX source files that simply worked, and I checked it in, but Windows OOB required some other arbitrary details that made everything more complex and simultaneously non-functional... and I had to step in again to bail things out. Sense a repeating pattern here?
In all, let's just say that there were several points where one could have easily given up and let the red-tape win. And despite the fact that Windows OOB was paid to do this release, I definitely did way too much of their job... but Chris and I weren't thrilled with letting the red-tape win, so we had to push it through.
And the ironic thing is that the Windows OOB folks feel that we left them with a real mess that they had to spend lots of time to "fix". Now, if I had no history, I would probably agree with them... except for the fact that we've already successfully built and released the DebugDiag and IIS Diagnostic Toolkit MSIs. So, it is not as if we had non-functional source code; the problem is that Windows OOB cannot make it functional. I find it hard to believe that we are at fault when they are the ones being paid to make the release work... and we've already shown that the release works. Yup, it's because we need to get that darn "check-box".
Anyhow, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel... hopefully it isn't an oncoming train. So, don't ever say that I haven't taken one for the team... because I probably took several shots here. ;-)
IIS Diagnostics Toolkit and DebugDiag should be released shortly. Please consider it a Christmas Present from the IIS team. I know I will enjoy announcing its release. :-)