ReadyRoll Octopus support added!

Today I am excited to announce Octopus support in ReadyRoll SQL Projects! If you’re not familiar with it, Octopus is the automated release management tool for .NET that everyone’s talking about.

ReadyRoll is a SQL Server database change management tool for Visual Studio 2010/2012.

In a sense Octopus and ReadyRoll are spiritual cousins in that they both support the build once, deploy many times tenet of Continuous Delivery: the practice of ensuring that the same build artifacts (binaries, scripts, etc) used in Dev testing are carried all the way through to Production.

ReadyRoll supports this practice by following the imperative database change pattern: migration scripts are fleshed-out in Dev and incrementally deployed through Test and Production.

With the release of version 1.3.3, ReadyRoll now builds a type of NuGet Package-based file that can be consumed and deployed to all your environments by Octopus.

Just follow a few simple rules for authoring and maintaining your change scripts and you will be a step closer to achieving database deployment nirvana: a repeatable, reliable release process for all of your SQL Server projects (oh yes, and those ASP.NET applications/Windows Services as well!).

This is how it works. First enable artifact packaging within your ReadyRoll SQL project settings:

Then click Add/Edit NuSpec File to add a package metadata file to the project:

Add version details within the Assembly Information, accessible from the SQLCLR tab:

Now switch to the Release configuration and Build the solution to test the new settings. ReadyRoll will use OctoPack to create an Octopus-compatible NuGet package:

Opening up the contents of the output package will reveal a handful of deployment assets:

Now set up your project for Continuous Integration and collect the produced artifacts from the \bin\Release folder. Here we’re using TeamCity:

After performing a build, the package will be ready to serve via a NuGet feed. Note I am skipping over quite a few steps here for sake of brevity, but Paul Stovell has written a great guide to setting up OctoPack with TeamCity if you need any help getting started.

Now let’s setup a Octopus Project to consume the package from the TeamCity feed:

And add a $DatabaseServer variable for each SQL Server in the target environments:

To test out the deployment, click Create release and then Deploy to [Environment]. As this is the initial deploy to the Staging environment, the database will be created from scratch and all project migrations applied:

In subsequent deployments, the package will only deploy any new migrations that have been added to the project (if any).

When you’re ready to deploy onto other environments, including Production, click Promote to… [Environment]. The exact same set of migrations will execute against your upstream environment, rolling-back in the event of any issues, giving you a predictable deployment outcome every time!


This is the first release to include support for Octopus, however there’s still a few more features to come that will strengthen the integration between the tools, including support for SQLCMD variables and also new functionality to help with managing migrations throughout lifecycle environments.

Get started by downloading ReadyRoll now!