.Net AWS CI Code Deployment CodeDeploy Continuous Delivery

Creating AWS CodeDeploy Deployment Groups Using .NET SDK

In a previous post, I shared how to create codedeploy applications using the AWS .NET SDK. Adding an application is the foundation to get codedeploy working correctly. In this post, I want to continue this series and show you how to add deployment groups.

To see what parameters we need to add deployment groups, I’m going to read the official documentation here. Find the Amazon.CodeDeploy documentation on the left of the page, and then click on AmazonCodeDeployClient. All codedeploy operations will be handled by the AmazonCodeDeployClient. The method we need is CreateDeploymentGroupAsync. Since we are using .NET Core 2, we need to use the Async methods. CreateDeploymentGroupAsync takes 2 parameters: CreateDeploymentGroupRequest and CancellationToken.

These are CreateDeploymentGroupRequest’s properties:

– AlarmConfiguration: Gets and sets the property AlarmConfiguration. Information to add about Amazon CloudWatch alarms when the deployment group is created.

– ApplicationName: Gets and sets the property ApplicationName. The name of an AWS CodeDeploy application associated with the applicable IAM user or AWS account.

– AutoRollbackConfiguration: Gets and sets the property AutoRollbackConfiguration. Configuration information for an automatic rollback that is added when a deployment group is created.

– AutoScalingGroups: Gets and sets the property AutoScalingGroups. A list of associated Auto Scaling groups.

– BlueGreenDeploymentConfiguration: Gets and sets the property BlueGreenDeploymentConfiguration. Information about blue/green deployment options for a deployment group.

– DeploymentConfigName: Gets and sets the property DeploymentConfigName. If specified, the deployment configuration name can be either one of the predefined configurations provided with AWS CodeDeploy or a custom deployment configuration that you create by calling the create deployment configuration operation. CodeDeployDefault.OneAtATime is the default deployment configuration. It is used if a configuration isn’t specified for the deployment or the deployment group. For more information about the predefined deployment configurations in AWS CodeDeploy, see Working with Deployment Groups in AWS CodeDeploy in the AWS CodeDeploy User Guide.

– DeploymentGroupName: Gets and sets the property DeploymentGroupName. The name of a new deployment group for the specified application.

– DeploymentStyle: Gets and sets the property DeploymentStyle. Information about the type of deployment, in-place or blue/green, that you want to run and whether to route deployment traffic behind a load balancer.

– Ec2TagFilters: Gets and sets the property Ec2TagFilters. The Amazon EC2 tags on which to filter. The deployment group will include EC2 instances with any of the specified tags. Cannot be used in the same call as ec2TagSet.

– Ec2TagSet: Gets and sets the property Ec2TagSet. Information about groups of tags applied to EC2 instances. The deployment group will include only EC2 instances identified by all the tag groups. Cannot be used in the same call as ec2TagFilters.

– LoadBalancerInfo: Gets and sets the property LoadBalancerInfo. Information about the load balancer used in a deployment.

– OnPremisesInstanceTagFilters: Gets and sets the property OnPremisesInstanceTagFilters. The on-premises instance tags on which to filter. The deployment group will include on-premises instances with any of the specified tags. Cannot be used in the same call as OnPremisesTagSet.

– OnPremisesTagSet: Gets and sets the property OnPremisesTagSet. Information about groups of tags applied to on-premises instances. The deployment group will include only on-premises instances identified by all the tag groups. Cannot be used in the same call as onPremisesInstanceTagFilters.

– ServiceRoleArn: Gets and sets the property ServiceRoleArn. A service role ARN that allows AWS CodeDeploy to act on the user’s behalf when interacting with AWS services.

– TriggerConfigurations: Gets and sets the property TriggerConfigurations. Information about triggers to create when the deployment group is created. For examples, see Create a Trigger for an AWS CodeDeploy Event in the AWS CodeDeploy User Guide.

To keep my code example concise, I’m going to only use required properties to add a deployment group. Let’s start by adding the controller actions. Take a look at the gist below:

The first action returns a view so we can fill out application name, deployment group name, and service role arn. Take a look at the view:

I’m only displaying the required fields to create a new deployment group. This is how I like to develop my applications: add small features that work and then add more features and keep improving those features. It is very difficult to add perfect code at first. It is constant improvements that will yield better applications.

When the user clicks on add button, the post action will take care of sending the request to the codedeploy client. If the call to CreateDeploymentGroupAsync is successful, we will see a new deployment group in the aws console. To be able to understand deployment groups, we have to understand development environments. We usually have dev, test, and production environments. These environments are usually separated from each other. Dev environment is usually open for all developers. Test might be use to test actual deployments. And production only a couple of engineers should have access to that environment. In CodeDeploy, deployment groups allow you to mirror your development environment when it comes to deployment. For 1 application, you can setup 3 deployment groups (dev, test, and production). Each group will be linked to an EC2 instance(s) or on-premises servers. In a future post, I will provide examples with all these properties. Stay tuned!

Next: Creating AWS CodeDeploy Deployments Using .NET SDK

.Net ASP.NET MVC AWS Code Deployment CodeDeploy Continuous Delivery

Creating AWS CodeDeploy Application Using .NET SDK

I’m a big fan of AWS and its cloud services. S3 has changed the way we store objects. EC2 has enabled us to spin up instances quickly and in a cost effective way. CodeDeploy helps developers deploy applications to EC2 instances and also on-premises servers. In this post, I want to share how to create a CodeDeploy application using the AWS .NET SDK.

First, create a new mvc project using Visual Studio or Visual Studio Code. Make sure to target .NET Core 2.0. Now that we have a new project, let’s add codedeploy nuget package. If you are using VS Code, use the built-in terminal and type “dotnet add package AWSSDK.CodeDeploy”. This will add the latest version of CodeDeploy. We also need to add an AWS nuget package to inject codedeploy service in our Startup.cs file. Run in the terminal “dotnet add package AWSSDK.Extensions.NETCore.Setup” to add this package.

Let’s modify our Startup.cs file to look like below:

In order to have access to AWS CodeDeploy api calls, we need to setup our credentials. For this example, I’m using a profile to store AWS access key id and secret access key. I’m storing the credentials outside my source code in a profile file so I can keep them secure. Also those credentials will be different between developers. To help you with this setup, follow this document to setup your AWS credentials and make sure to pay special attention to the profile section.

With the AWS profile in place, we need to add a reference to it. Take a look at my appsettings.json file. I named mine dotnetdeployments-profile since you can have multiple profiles.

We are ready to start looking that controller. Take a look at the controller below:

In connection with the controller, we also need to look at the view:

The add action in our controller displays the add view only. The view has a reference to a model called CreateApplicationRequest and this class has a property named ApplicationName. When the user clicks on the add button, a post will be triggered back to our controller. And finally, it will call the api method CreateApplicationAsync. If everything is setup correctly, we will receive a successful response and our application will be visible on the AWS console.

If you want to see a fully functional example, go to the github project dotnetdeployments and clone it locally to see a working example. Creating a CodeDeploy application is the first step in using this api. We also need to create deployment groups, deployment configs and other settings. Stay tuned for the next post in this series.

Next: Create deployment groups

Code Deployment

CTO Saves a Deployment

CTO saves deployment day
You have everything ready for deployment day. You have a list of projects that went thru development, quality assurance testing, broken builds, good builds, and demos. After business owners signed off on these projects, it is time to deploy to production.

What could go wrong?

In this post, I want to share how a CTO saved a deployment day. In this company, deployments took place at 5 am CST. Most of the time, we deployed bug fixes, new features and enhancements every 2 weeks. Our team was ready for deployment day. We had 5 major products but only 2 projects needed a release.

Before the deployment day, we had a short meeting to discuss any deployment risks. Everyone is comfortable and we set a deployment day for Wednesday at 5 am.

During the deployment, we triggered 2 production builds using Octopus Deploy and everything worked as expected. The team was happy and we went downstairs to celebrate with coffee and breakfast burritos. Yummy.

At 9 am, our IT operations team started getting emails that none of our applications worked. Everyone was shocked. We deployed with no issues this morning. What is going on? One of our application servers was unresponsive since CPU utilization approached 100%. We also noticed that SQL server was not performing at optimal speeds.

At 9:30 am, our CTO got notified about our current deployment situation. He started asking questions like “What is currently running on our application server?” IT director says, “just .NET sites”. We checked every single web site for any issues but nothing. They looked correct. CTO started looking at windows services and saw a dotnetnuke executable. No one knew that we had a very old dotnetnuke installation. IT director stopped dotnetnuke.exe and we started seeing CPU back to normal levels. We checked SQL server and it is also back to normal. At this point, our team was notified of the issue and how the CTO was able to identified the issue.

Remember this story when you run into deployment issues. Ask questions until you find answers to these problems.

AWS Code Deployment CodeDeploy

Introduction to AWS CodeDeploy

aws code deploy

It is 2015 and still I see organizations doing software deployments in ways that are error prone. I have seen deployment instructions that span multiple pages. Those documents look like a TV manual. Do you know what we do with those manuals? We don’t read them. That’s right.

No one reads those long boring manuals.

I have also seen manual deployments. In manual deployments, a developer will take the artifacts and copy and paste those files to a production environment. Human errors are likely to occur with these manual deployments.

Don’t worry. I have good news for you.

I want to introduce a tool by Amazon Web Services that solves this issue. The tool is called AWS CodeDeploy. Code deploy allows you to practice continuous deployment. No more manual deployments and no more long documents with instructions on how to deploy your code.

The nice thing about CodeDeploy is that allows you to deploy your applications to AWS instances and also on-premises servers. If your code runs on windows servers or linux servers, aws codeDeploy can handle that for you.

I’m a .net developer so I have experience deploying .net applications to windows servers. In a nutshell, you have to follow these steps to start deploying your apps:

1. Setup IAM user, instance profile and service roles
2. Install the code deploy service agent on your aws instances3. Add an appspec.yml file to your application
4. Setup a new codedeploy application along with a deployment group
5. Finally, add a deployment for your application

I hope this brief introduction will help your software development team consider AWS CodeDeploy to automate your deployments. In future posts, I will go into more details about the setup. Enjoy!