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Area: Episerver DXC Service
Applies to versions: Not applicable

Deploying

This topic explains deployment procedures in Episerver Digital Experience Cloud Service, that is publishing of code, database and content between the different environments.

In this topic

How it works

You can deploy solutions from your development environment to the Integration environment, as daily builds or continuous releases. When you are ready to go live, you can deploy to Preproduction and Production through the DXC Service Management Portal. This involves creating a backup of the existing environment, and moving the code to Preproduction, where you can verify that everything works. 

Episerver takes care of the the following as part of the service:

  • Setup of environments.
  • Initial troubleshooting and roll-back if issues arise.
  • Deployment of production content back to Preproduction and Integration.

First-time deployment to production

The following image illustrates a first-time deployment from a local development environment to ProductionIn this scenario the production environment is "empty" at the beginning.  You first create code and content in your local development environment, and then push this to your Integration environment. You then deploy to Preproduction and validate that everything works as expected. When ready, you can deploy to Production.

First-timeDeploy.png

Continuous deployment 

The following image illustrates the scenario after a first-time deployment of code and content to production. After the first deployment, website users edit content in the Production environment. As part of the upgrade process, content can be moved by Episerver from Production back to the Preproduction and  Integration environments, where new solution updates are added by developers. See Deploying code changes.

DeployProcess1.png

Deployment methods

You can deploy either using deployment tools for a version-controlled team development environment, or through Visual Studio using the Episerver extensions and publish profiles. In both cases you need to contact Episerver before you deploy for the first time, to get the needed deployment integration settings information.

You can use any deployment tool that supports Azure Resource Manager (ARM), for example Octopus DeployVisual Studio Team Foundation Server or TeamCity. See Deploying code changes.

Important notifications

Note: Read through and follow the recommendations below, to make deployment as smooth as possible!

  • Make sure that the software you deploy supports Azure Web Apps. See Requirements for supported software and components. 
  • To avoid data loss or corruption, if you have breaking changes where the old version of the sites' code cannot work with the new version of the database, deploy using maintenance page when you deploy database schema updates or changes to content types . (You can use the Compare database versions tool to compare database versions.) The target site is then taken offline showing the (customizable) maintenance page. If a deployment contains these type of changes, inform Episerver when ordering deployment to production.

    Note: If your changes are additive and do not break the sites when the old and the new code runs in parallel during deployment, you can deploy without using maintenance page.

  • When deploying to a production environment, ensure that the correct configurations are applied.  Never use credentials, tokens, or endpoints from a Preproduction environment, in Production. You can set up environment-specific configurations that automatically apply depending on the environment; see Environment configurations.
  • If add-ons are used on the site, ensure that the modules and modulesbin folders are included in the project so that these are published. Publishing the database schema should only be performed on the first publish operation.
  • Add-on modules must be installed to the Integration environment via NuGet to work with the DXC Service deployment process. The default configuration disables users to install add-ons on a production website and must not be changed.
  • Before deploying, add a wildcard binding to the site in the Manage Websites screen. This will help prevent failures due to URL dependent code when migrating the database between environments. See the following image, which shows an example of this binding.
    1. Select Admin > Config > Manage Websites.
    2. Click Add and add a wildcard (*) Host Name.

      wildcard binding.png

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Last updated: Feb 04, 2019