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Ive got a strong background in Linux and OSX, and just left a job where I was architecting systems based on those platforms.

Now I've got a Windows Server running IIS that has a number of different websites that it hosts. Most of them are just a bunch of HTML, JS and Images, with some ASP for some customer tools. (Each website has a different set of customer tools, or they are the same tools, but with minor code changes between them.) I'm also adding a develop web server with the same code, but the 'bleeding edge' stuff.

I need an effective way of managing changes and updates to the overall codebase (henceforth referring to both the images and the html and the asp, for all the sites). When a dev (or webmaster) checks in changes, I want it to show up automatically on the developer server, but should be manually pushed out to the live server. I'd be tempted to just make the websites SVN repositories, but I'd be concerned about the overhead of having the webdeveloper having to log into the server and trigger an SVN update via commandline/tortise (and heaven forbid, manage tags).

Ideally I'd also manage IIS profile settings between the systems, but the major need is to be able to manage the process, and expose it to our ASP developer, and our webmaster, both of which are used to just FTPing up the files to the live site.

So, any recommendations on tools (beyond some SVN hacking with BAT files + teaching the webmaster how to log into the server and do updates) or workflows that would help this out? I even considered an RPM type package (or some Windows equivalent, of course) to manage the live server, but that seems like a bit too much overhead.


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I have the same problem in my environment, and not addressing it early on has led to quite a mess. So I won't attempt to give advice ;-) -- but this is an awesome question and I'm going to keep an eye on it. Hope someone has a good answer! – Ben Dunlap Jun 5 '09 at 6:38
I was confused by this line, though: "I'd be concerned about the overhead of having the webdeveloper having to log into the server". Can you explain more what you mean by "overhead"? Are you just saying that source-control is a programmer's tool, not a webmaster's, and you'd prefer to leave the live site to the webmaster and the dev site to the developer? – Ben Dunlap Jun 5 '09 at 6:40
I mean that he's less likely to buy into a system that requires him to remote into the production server and do a targeted SVN update to a particular branch. – Rizwan Kassim Jun 5 '09 at 17:57

could you just create a svn post commit hook to copy the changed files to the dev server?

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This could work, but it doesn't address rolling out to the live server. – Rizwan Kassim Jun 5 '09 at 17:57

It sounds like you are describing a Continuous Integration scenario. Maybe something like Cruise Control would be appropriate for you.

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Since there's no real 'build step' - it's mostly deployment management, I'm not sure how CC would help. – Rizwan Kassim Jun 5 '09 at 18:03
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I ended up finding SpringLoops, which was exactly what I was looking for.

Thanks for the help.

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Is your developers using Visual studio? You can use Visual SVN plug-in

It sound like a Source Control system is much better than doing what you describe. You can setup a SVN on windows with Visual SVN Server

or SourceGearVault

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The OP is clearly very familiar with source control -- so I'm wondering how this answer addresses his difficulty. – Ben Dunlap Jun 5 '09 at 6:35

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