Azure DevOps Pipelines: Variables, $Variables, __Variables__, $env:Variables, $(Variables), %VARIABLES%

If you’re working with Azure DevOps Pipelines, you should be aware of all your options when it comes to using variables. They make it possible to “Build Once, Deploy Anywhere”, prevent code-reuse, and build scale-able CI/CD pipelines.

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Start-IISCommitDelay / Stop-IISCommitDelay

Today I discovered the Start-IISCommitDelay and Stop-IISCommitDelay cmdlets available in the IISAdministration module. In the past I’ve randomly encountered errors when issuing back to back commands that modify the applicationHost.config file:

Filename: \\?\C:\Windows\system32\inetsrv\config\applicationHost.config
Error: Cannot write configuration file

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Trigger an Azure Function (PowerShell) from an Azure DevOps Pipeline

Azure DevOps Pipelines Azure Functions PowerShell

When I recently heard the announcement for Public Preview of PowerShell in Azure Functions 2.x, I was excited to give it a test drive. One of the first use cases I thought of was using this for custom scripts that run on a build server. For example, a PowerShell script that generates some sort of report and emails users with the results. Rather than running this on a build server, we can use Azure Functions to reap some of the benefits of serverless. In this post I’ll walk through setting up an Azure Function that’s triggered by an Azure Pipelines release definition via HTTP.

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Bulk update Azure Release Pipelines tasks

If you’re attempting to update a sprawling amount of release definitions, clicking through each definition using the visual designer can be a real chore. That’s why Task Groups really come in handy…But if you’re already stuck with a bunch of definitions that don’t utilize task groups, you’ll probably want to turn to the REST API using PowerShell.

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Azure Release Pipelines: What releases haven’t been deployed to Production yet?

Azure-Release-Pipelines

The filtering options on the release pipeline dashboard leave a lot to be desired. As the number of definitions and releases grow, it gets harder and harder to have overall visibility across releases. Currently there isn’t a great reporting solution that can be used to gather such info.

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Deploying IIS hosted ASP.NET Core apps using app_offline.htm

In the past, I’ve used the method of placing a app_offline.htm file at the root of an IIS website to throw up a maintenance page. This has been available since ASP.NET 2.0 / 3.5. Lately I’ve got used to deploying sites with no downtime approaches, such as rolling and blue/green. I had forgot about app_offline.htm when I recently set up deployment pipelines for some ASP.NET Core sites.

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