Friday, August 25, 2017

Deploying extra files when using WebDeploy

On one of the teams I’m coaching they are using Angular (4) in combination with ASP.NET Web API. This combination took a little more time to setup than for ASP.NET Core but worked quiet nice in the end.

In the current setup the Angular code is stored inside the ASP.NET Web API project:

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To deploy the application to our servers, we configured a build process that contains the following steps:

  • Step 1 - Restoring the NuGet packages from our private package repository.
  • Step 2 – Compiling the .NET solution using MSBuild
  • Step 3 – Restore the NPM packages required for the Angular code
  • Step 4 – Execute the ng build command specify the environment and other parameters
  • Step 5 – Running the tests
  • Step 6 – Deploying the application using WebDeploy

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After configuring all steps above, we noticed that everything was compiled nicely but after WebDeploy was completed only the C# assemblies were published on the web server. The files generated by Angular CLI were missing…

This makes sense as by default WebDeploy is only aware of the files that are tracked by the Visual Studio project inside the csproj file. To let WebDeploy know that some extra files need to be copied, we have to open up the .pubxml files and add some extra xml voodoo:

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First add an extra target:

In this sample, we specify that we want to include all files in the dist folder and its subfolders(dist\**\*). The root of the folder is the same as the web project folder.

Second step is that we invoke this target before the web deploy file copy is executed or before the web deploy package is created:

That’s it!

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