Saturday 16 July 2016 is Now Public in VS Marketplace!

The first extension made by me, “” is now public in VSTS Marketplace.image

Getting started details can be found in this post “VSTS Release Task – Download Artifacts – Filter for Given Artifact Name(s)

Why this extension is required is explained in post “Multiple Build Artifacts–TFS 2015/VSTS Builds”.

Source code for this extension is available in Github.

VSTS Release Task – Download Artifacts – Filter for Given Artifact Name(s)

This extension “” for VSTS and TFS 2015.2.1 upwards, can be used to filter for build artifacts by name, and download only required artifact(s), to the release agent machine. The requirement for this extension is explained in post “Multiple Build Artifacts–TFS 2015/VSTS Builds”. Source code for this extension is available in Github.

Extension “” can be downloaded/installed from VSTS Marketplace. To install to VS Team Services click on install, or download for on-premise TFS 2015 (TFS 2015.2.1 upwards supported).image

Once installed, in release definition tasks a new task will be available under Utilities.image

Always add this task as first task of the release environment and make sure the environment is set to skip artifact download.image


The tasks comes with default filled values to behave as normal Download artifacts.image

Build artifact names should be specified in ; separated syntax. Or it can be a single artifact name. Or * for all Artifacts.DownloadArtifacts-02

Artifact destination is set default to behave as similar to, out of the box, build artifact download.DownloadArtifacts-01

This task will filter the build artifacts with given names and download only the specified ones.image

Multiple Build Artifacts–TFS 2015/VSTS Builds

It is possible to create multiple drops in a new TFS 2015 build or in VS Team Services build. This is useful when you want to do a single build but want to have separate drops(artifacts), for different deployment purposes.

One such example is

  1. Artifact Drop for deployment of a website
  2. Artifact Drop to contain test automation dlls, and required scripts to run test automations, after successful deployment.

In this situation the deployment happens in a web hosting server and the release agent used there is not going to run the test automations. The agent running test automations will be a separate agent, configured in test client(s), administering machine.

Example 2

  1. Drop to deploy web server
  2. Artifact Drop to deploy to a CRM server or to a Database Server

Same as above it could be two different release agents configured in two different machines, which does not need others build artifact.

But with the above requirement in mind, it is always advisable to build all components, in a single build to make sure the version is properly built and in sync.

Is it possible to have multiple build artifacts in a single build?

Yes. Let’s look at how we can do that. It can be done by, adding more publish or copy publish tasks to your build definition.image


One drop can be in File Share while other can be in Server (Can have both in File Share or both in Server as well).image

When a build is done with the above settings, two build artifacts get created for the build.image

Next Challenge: Download the only required artifact to the relevant release agent.

With the out of the box functionality in TFS 2015.3 or with VS Team Services currently this is not possible. It does not allow to filter for a given artifact when downloading. Only option is skip download (no artifacts download) or download all artifacts.image

When the above skip download is unchecked all artifacts get downloaded to agent. No filtering possible.image


How to download only required artifact?

A new extension with capability to filter for named build artifacts and download only them is created. The code is available in here. The extension “” is available in VSTS Marketplace. Usage of extension is explained in this post “VSTS Release Task – Download Artifacts – Filter for Given Artifact Name(s)

Friday 8 July 2016

Deploy .dacpc to Azure DB via VS Team Services Release–Using Hosted Agents

To deploy a .dacpac to Azure DB with VS Team Services you can use “Azure SQL Database Deployment” task. image

Setup either Azure Classic service endpoint or Azure RM Service endpoint in the, Team Services team project. image

In a build or release definition add an “Azure SQL Database Deployment”  task.  Both classic and RM based setting up shown below.image


  1. Path to the .dacpac file. (build artifact drop path when used in a release definition)
  2. Azure DB server name
  3. Azure DB name
  4. Azure DB Server user name
  5. Azure DB Server user password
  6. Specify firewall rule to use AutoDetect and delete the rule once done.



or you have the option of setting firewall rule like below to get it working. Since you are deleting rule once done this is ok. But it is not that secure to allow all IPs like below.image

This can successfully deploy the .dacpac file to Azure DB using VS Team Services Release.image



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