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When your team is collaborating on a project, you need a regular and reliable development process to ensure smooth delivery while maintaining high quality. This process typically includes frequent integrations from team members, regular builds, and testing against the new build to measure quality. Continuous integration is a great way to manage this kind of process.
In SharePoint development, continuous integration has historically meant setting up a SharePoint server together with a build server in your organization to get regular builds and run tests on it. With the launch of Office 365 and Team Foundation Service (TFS), this onerous setup is no longer required. Instead, you can simply sign-up for each of these services. In this post, we’ll walk through configuring these services so that you can enable continuous integration for your projects.
To develop, test, and deploy apps for Office and SharePoint, you can sign up for an Office 365 Developer Site. Follow the instructions in Sign up for an Office 365 Developer Site to start your free trial.
Team Foundation Service lets you plan projects, collaborate with your team, and manage your code online from anywhere without needing to set up your own Team Foundation server. Instead, it stores your source code and work items in the cloud. You can check your code directly into the cloud through Team Foundation Service using Visual Studio or Eclipse, and you can manage your work items and bugs in the browser.
Team Foundation Service offers a free plan for up to five users per account. It provides features including version control (through Team Foundation Version Control or Git), work item tracking, agile planning tools, feedback management, and build and test management. Go to the Team Foundation Service site to get started. The cloud-hosted build service on Team Foundation Service is preconfigured with the right environment for apps for Office and SharePoint 2013, and also for SharePoint 2010 or 2013 farm and sandboxed solutions.
Note that the build machines on Team Foundation Service can access only public visible SharePoint (and web) servers. This means that your target SharePoint site should be either on Office 365 (for apps) or on a SharePoint virtual machine (VM) in the cloud (for SharePoint farm and sandboxed solutions).
Earlier this year, we shipped Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012 for developing apps for Office and SharePoint 2013. At the same time, we also published a CodePlex project to support continuous integration for Office and SharePoint 2013 projects using TFS 2012: see Office/SharePoint 2013 Continuous Integration with TFS 2012.
This CodePlex project contains a set of Windows PowerShell scripts for deployment and a custom TFS Build workflow template, which lets you build and deploy (for testing purpose) apps for Office and SharePoint 2013 projects using TFS 2012. Here’s all you need to do:
For detailed instructions, see the Documentation page of the CodePlex project.
Using these resources, you will be able to do continuous integration for Office and SharePoint 2013 projects. Depending on your project, you may find these tips helpful:
<Target Name="xxx" BeforeTargets="PackageSharePointApp">
I hope that you will give continuous integration a try. Like always, I’d love to hear from you. If you have a suggestion, question, bug, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to let me know!