BRDLite one of the main Epics of the Visual Studio Build Customization Guidance solution … but what is it and why is it called *Lite?
Why is it called *Lite?
Build-Release-Deploy (BRD) Lite is based on its heavier and much more comprehensive BRD predecessor which was developed and used extensively in the field. Over time the BRD toolkit became heavy and complex which is why one of our Rangers, Joseph A., advocated the lighter version (BRD Lite) as part of the Ranger FY11 project nominations.
We subsequently included the BRD feature as part of the Visual Studio Build Customization Guidance, defining a few essential goals:
- Lightweight reference template, based on Visual Studio Build Customization Guidance
- Allow the user to extend the reference template to meet their specific requirements
- Include a few commonly used build activities to demonstrate the use and extensibility
We quickly realised that the definition of “commonly used” varies greatly within environments administered by the Rangers and are aware that we will unlikely ship a reference template that is the silver bullet to all build environments. Instead the team invested in a tight integration with build activities developed by the community as part of Community TFS Build Extensions, as well as a comprehensive hands-on lab which demonstrates the use and the easy extensibility of the reference template.
Using the out-of-the-box BRDLite reference process template
The BRDLite Hands-on Lab contains a number of sections which introduce the reference process template and then demonstrate the use and customization of the selected build activities step-by-step.
Configuring the BRDLite build parameters is a “snap” and is done as part of the build process definition:
Customizing the BRDLite reference process template
In the last section of the BRDLite Hands-on lab we are introduced to a long awaited Build Report custom build activity and how easy it is to extend the BRDLite reference process template to include this feature. This last section will be covered in a separate more focused blog post later this week. As we always say … watch the space
Where can you find it?
Find your way to http://rabcg.codeplex.com/releases/view/67406, which is the download page on Codeplex.
- The Hands-on Labs (Complete PDF, DOCX and HOL Package).zip package contains, amongst other HOLs, the BRD Lite HOL manual (HOL - Setting Up and Using the BRDLite Template.docx) and the HOL Package, which contains the bits and pieces, and instructions for setting up the pre-requisite HOL environment.
- The Sample Templates (XAML).zip package contains sample templates, which include the BRDLite XAML template.
As shown on the project Codeplex homepage we are planning a few enhancements:
- Practical guidance that allows utilization of Team Foundation Build process templates to automate build and non-build scenarios in non-Microsoft environments
- Other guidance
- Click Once used as part of builds
- Configuration Maintenance
- SharePoint deployments by build
- Deploy and Test With Visual Studio Lab Management
At this stage none of the planned enhancements are focused on BRDLite, which begs the question “Should we be considering enhancements to BRDLite as well?”.