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Binary promotion of Visual Studio Team Service Extension

05 Mar, 2016
When creating a Visual Studio Team Services extension (such as a collection of build tasks), it makes sense to publish it as a private extension first. You can do this by overwriting the extensionid from the commandline, but there is no direct commandline switch to override the visibility of an extension. I used to patch the extension manifest, but today finally uncovered the correct way of doing it.

It turns out that the TFS cross platform commandline (tfx) has a –override option which you can pass a piece of json to which will override any json in the extension.

So if your standard publish command looks like this:

tfx extension publish –extension-id vsts-tfvc-tasks –publisher jessehouwing –vsix package.vsix

Then the command to publish the private test version would look like this:

tfx extension publish –extension-id vsts-tfvc-tasks-TEST –publisher jessehouwing –override “{“”gallerySpecs””: [ “”Private””, “”Preview””], “”public””: false }” –share-with jessehouwing

Instead of passing the json on the commandline, you can also specify an –overridesFile.

Or, on the safer side, make the extension-manifest you commit to your source control repository always do a private preview release, and then use the –override option to merge the real publish settings.

Note: ensure you escape every double quote in the JSON by doubling it up.

Now I can setup a Visual Studio Release Management template to publish the tasks, test against my personal account and then promote that vsix unmodified to the marketplace. But that’s for the another blog.

Jesse is a passionate trainer and coach, helping teams improve their productivity and quality all the while trying to keep work fun. He is a Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) through Scrum.org for the Professional Scrum Foundations (PSF), Professional Scrum Master (PSM) and Developer (PSD .NET) programs. With a strong background in the .NET platform and C#, Jesse is able to translate the needs of development teams when it comes to tools to manage work, build the code and keep quality up. He has contributed to a number of open source products that extend – as well as supported commercial tools like NDepend in their integration into – Team Foundation Server. Jesse regularly blogs and contributes to numerous communities on StackExchange and MSDN networks, he has received the Microsoft Community Contributor Award three years in a row and has been recently been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award. He’s spoken at conferences and user groups, including the Microsoft TechDays and the Scrum Day Europe. Trainer certifications: Professional Scrum Foundations Professional Scrum Master Professional Scrum Developer (.NET) Scaled Professional Scrum (SPS) Scaled Agile Program Consultant In past years Jesse has delivered ALM, Test Automation and Scrum training all over the world, most recently in Sydney, Milan and Bangalore. He has redelivered materials from industry leading partners as well as developed his own. In addition to the previously mentioned subjects Jesse has taught courses on Visual Studio, Object Oriented Analysis and Design, Design Patterns for C# developers, Unified Modelling languages and Regular Expressions. Jesse is married with Charlotte, recently became father of his first daughter and lives in a house that’s more than a century old in the beautiful city of Utrecht. He loves espresso and dark chocolate, travels a lot and takes photos everywhere he goes.
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