TeamCity and Octopus Deploy Tips and Tricks

Setting Version

It is nice to have TeamCity set build number. I tend to use for AssemblyVersion and for AssemblyInformationalVersion (product version). So in AssemblyInfo.cs we have for example:

[assembly: AssemblyVersion("2.2.*")] // AssemblyFileVersionAttribute is not supplied, so the AssemblyVersionAttribute is used for the Win32 file version that is displayed on the Version tab of the Windows file properties dialog.
[assembly: AssemblyInformationalVersion("2.2.1")] // A.k.a. product version

In order to have the build number inserted, create two file content replacer build features with the following configurations:

Path pattern: “**/AssemblyInfoGlobal*.cs”
File encoding: <Auto-detect>
Search for: (^\s*\[\s*assembly\s*:\s*((System\s*\.)?\s*Reflection\s*\.)?\s*AssemblyVersion(Attribute)?\s*\(\s*@?\”)(([0-9\*]+\.)+)[0-9\*]+(\”\s*\)\s*\])
Match case: true
Replace with: $1$5\%build.number%.*$7

Path pattern: “**/AssemblyInfoGlobal*.cs”
File encoding: <Auto-detect>
Search for: (^\s*\[\s*assembly\s*:\s*((System\s*\.)?\s*Reflection\s*\.)?\s*AssemblyInformationalVersion(Attribute)?\s*\(\s*@?\”)(([0-9\*]+\.?)+)(\”\s*\)\s*\])
Match case: true
Replace with: $1$5.\%build.number%$7

Deploy a Specific Version

The default behavior of the OctopusDeploy: Create release step is to create a release of the latest version. If you want to build and deploy another version, probably from a release branch, you can do like this:

  1. Create a new VCS Root with default branch set to e.g. refs/heads/release/2.2 and use this in your build configuration.
  2. In General Settings, set Build Number Format to e.g. 2.2.1.%build.counter%.
  3. In your Deploy/create release step, set Release number to %build.number%, and Additional command line arguments to –packageversion=%build.number%. This will make octo.exe use this version as default for every package. You can override that with the package parameter, e.g. –packageversion=%build.number% –package=EntityFramework:1.6.2.

Note: It would be better to read the version from AssemblyInfo.cs rather than hard-configuring it, but I haven’t tried that out yet. It would require some scripting.

NuGet Publish

In a TeamCity NuGet Publish step, instead of specifying packages one by one, you can use:


Integration Tests

I prefer to run integration tests as part of deployment rather than build, for two reasons:

  • It takes quite some time to run them, and I don’t like really long builds.
  • To a large extent, integration tests test configuration, so it make sense to run them on the target environment rather than on the build server.

Here are the steps I have used to facilitate integration testing as part of deployment. In the integration test project:

  • Add the OctoPack NuGet package.
  • Add app.config transforms. They must be called <project>.IntegrationTests.dll.<environment>.config, build action should be None and copy to output directory should be Copy if newer.
  • Add a PostDeploy.ps1 script. This could look like the example below. Make sure it has the same properties as the ones in previous step.

In TeamCity:

  • Add the integration project to NuGet publish step, or use wildcard as described above.

In Octopus Deploy:

  • Add a new Deploy a NuGet package step and choose the integration test package.

Example PostDeploy.ps1

# Clean-up
Remove-Item Project.IntegrationTests.dll.*.config

# Run integration tests
choco upgrade visualstudio2015testagents -y

$exePath = "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE\MSTest.exe"
$testBinariesFolder = "."
$testBinariesFilter = "*.IntegrationTests.dll"
$scheme = $OctopusParameters['scheme']
$hostname = $OctopusParameters['hostname']
$webAppPath = $scheme + "://" + $hostname 
$webAppPhysicalPath = $OctopusParameters['Octopus.Action[Deploy Web].Output.Package.InstallationDirectoryPath']

# Search for integration test DLLs
$testDlls = ""
(Get-ChildItem -Path $testBinariesFolder -Filter $testBinariesFilter).FullName | ForEach-Object { $testDlls += "/testcontainer:""$_"" " }

# Exclude some categories.
$environment = $OctopusParameters['Octopus.Environment.Name']
if ($environment -match "xxx") { $categories = '/category:"CategoryX"' }
if ($environment -match "yyy") { $categories = '/category:"CategoryY"' }
if ($environment -match "zzz") { $categories = '/category:"CategoryZ"' }
if ($categories -eq $null -or $categories -eq "") {
    Write-Error "Unknown environment ""$environment"". Integration tests will not be run." -ErrorAction Continue

# Start the test
Write-Output "& ""$exePath"" $testDlls $categories"
Invoke-Expression "& ""$exePath"" $testDlls $categories"

# Check results
if ($LASTEXITCODE -eq 0) {
    Write-Output "All integration tests passed."
} else {
    Write-Error "One or more integration tests failed." -ErrorAction Continue

# Upload result file
$testResultFiles = Get-ChildItem -Path .\TestResults -Filter *.trx -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
if ($testResultFiles -ne $null)
	$resultMessage = "Test results available at "
	$testResultFiles | ForEach-Object {
		Move-Item $_.FullName $webAppPhysicalPath
		$resultMessage += "$webAppPath/$($_.Name) "
	Write-Output $resultMessage

	# Allow download of the result
	if ((Get-WebConfiguration -Filter "//staticContent/mimeMap[@fileExtension='.trx']" -PSPath IIS:\) -eq $null)
		Add-WebConfiguration -Filter "//staticContent" -PSPath IIS:\ -Value @{fileExtension=".trx";mimeType="application/x-test"}
} else {
	Write-Error "Found no test results." -ErrorAction Continue

# Always return 0 because we don't want to fail the deployment until integration tests are stable.
exit 0

There are several things to note here.

  • To do…

Unit Testing ASP.NET Web API

This is one of those things that I encounter now and then and always forgot how to do. I have to search the web and most of the results are for ASP.NET MVC, not for Web API. This time I found the solution on and decided to document it.

var config = new HttpConfiguration();
var request = new HttpRequestMessage(HttpMethod.Get, "http://host/api/my");
var route = config.Routes.MapHttpRoute("DefaultApi", "api/{controller}/{id}");
var routeData = new HttpRouteData(route, new HttpRouteValueDictionary { { "controller", "my" } });
var controller = new MyController();
controller.ControllerContext = new HttpControllerContext(config, routeData, request);
controller.Request = request;
controller.Request.Properties[HttpPropertyKeys.HttpConfigurationKey] = config;

I’m not sure you need the route stuff, but the config is needed.

Another variant of this is constructing an HttpRequestMessage that be passed to the UrlHelpeconstructor:

var config = new HttpConfiguration();
var request = new HttpRequestMessage(HttpMethod.Get, "http://host/2.2/api/se/15/controller");
var route = config.Routes.MapHttpRoute(
            name: RoutesConstants.IncludeResourceSpecificOptionsRouteName,
            routeTemplate: "api/{country}/{deviceVersion}/{controller}/{id}",
                    id = RouteParameter.Optional,
                    country = RouteParameter.Optional,
                    deviceVersion = RouteParameter.Optional
request.Properties[HttpPropertyKeys.HttpConfigurationKey] = config;
var urlHelper = new UrlHelper(request);

Another related problem is if the controller accesses HttpContext.Current.Request. That you can just assign:

HttpContext.Current = new HttpContext(new HttpRequest(null, "http://someurl", null), new HttpResponse(new StringWriter()));

Uninstalling NuGet Packages the Hard Way

We were recently in a situation where TeamCity had “cleaned” some NuGet packages that some of our projects depended on. Now they didn’t build in TeamCity. I thought this would be easy to fix: Just upgrade them to the latest version, or uninstall the old and install the new one. But bot of these methods failed, because the package manager failed to build the dependency graph, because it didn’t find the packages. So this was a catch 22!

It turned out that it was possible to manually remove references to these packages by editing the packages.config files, and then run Install-Package. I spent time to automate this, and came up with the following PowerShell script:

$pattern = 'id=”Neonstingray.Nettv4.DataTransfer” | id="Neonstingray.Nettv4.Domain" | id="Neonstingray.Nettv4.Configuration"’
Get-ChildItem -Filter packages.config -Recurse | Select-String -Pattern $pattern | Group Path | ForEach-Object { (Get-Content -Path $_.Name) | where { $_ -NotMatch $pattern } | Set-Content -Encoding UTF8 -Path $_.Name }
$source = "https://<myhost>/httpAuth/app/nuget/v1/FeedService.svc"
install-package Neonstingray.Nettv4.DataTransfer -projectname Valtech.Ready4Air.Ingest.UnitTests -source $source
install-package Neonstingray.Nettv4.DataTransfer -projectname Valtech.Ready4Air.Ingest.Ooyala -source $source
install-package Neonstingray.Nettv4.DataTransfer -projectname Valtech.Ready4Air.Ingest.Ooyala.IntegrationsTests -source $source
install-package Neonstingray.Nettv4.DataTransfer -projectname Valtech.Ready4Air.Ingest.Ooyala.UnitTests -source $source
install-package Neonstingray.Nettv4.DataTransfer -projectname Valtech.Ready4Air.Ingest.PartnerApi -source $source
install-package Neonstingray.Nettv4.DataTransfer -projectname Valtech.Ready4Air.Ingest.PartnerApi.IntegrationTests -source $source
install-package Neonstingray.Nettv4.DataTransfer -projectname Valtech.Ready4Air.Ingest.PartnerApi.UnitTests -source $source

Patching Assembly Version in TeamCity

We use TeamCity for building our .NET solutions and Octopus Deploy for deployment. We use semantic versioning using the <major>.<minor>.<patch>.<build> pattern, and I wanted to automatically set AssemblyInformationalVersion (a.k.a. product version) in all built assemblies. This was set to 2.0.2 in AssemblyInfo.cs, so I had to add the build number.

This was fairly easy using a build feature in TeamCity. Select the desired build configuration (I called it Build and Publish), and instead of going to build steps, click on build features in the left menu, and select the File Content Replacer type and begin by loading the AssemblyInformationalVersion in AssemblyInfo (C#) template. I then modified the search pattern to:


This will capture the following groups:

1: [assembly: AssemblyInformationalVersion(“
5: 2.0.2
6: 2
7: “)]

so the replacement is:


As AssemblyVersion, I wanted to stick with Microsoft’s standard <major>.<minor>.<build>.<revision>, and in the projects, this was:

[assembly: AssemblyVersion("2.0.*")]

I wanted to change that to

[assembly: AssemblyVersion("2.0.nnn.*")]

The search pattern in case is


and the replacement


Batch Resizing and Date Stamping Photos

I have a photo frame that displays pictures from a USB stick. It is fairly low resolution (1024*600), and in order to pack as many pictures as possible on a low-capacity USB stick, I resize them. I also like to have the photo date and time displayed in a corner. Since I have thousands of photos, I cannot do this manually on at a time.

I found that ImageMagick could be used to accomplish this. It works from the command line with a lot of parameters. I created a Windows batch file to iterate through some folders and in one step resize and annotate with date and time and write the result to the USB stick. Here it is. (It iterates through subfolders 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.)

SET convert=C:\Program Files\ImageMagick-6.9.3-Q16\convert.exe
SET destination=G:\Documents\Pictures
IF NOT EXIST %destination% MKDIR %destination%
FOR /D %%d IN (2012 2013 2014 2015) DO (
    PUSHD %%d
    ECHO *** Processing folder %%d ***
    FOR /R %%a in (*.jpg) DO (
		ECHO %%a | FINDSTR /I ".picasaoriginals" > NUL
		IF errorlevel 1 (
			ECHO Processing file: %%a to %destination%\%%~nxa
			"%convert%" "%%a" -adaptive-resize 1024x600 - | "%convert%" - -pointsize 16 -fill white -undercolor "#00000080" -gravity Southeast -annotate +0+0 " %%[exif:DateTimeOriginal] " "%destination%\%%~nxa"
		) ELSE (
			ECHO Skipped %%a

Monitoring My Home IP Phone Connection

A couple of years ago, I got fibre to my house and switched to IP telephony for my home number. The primary reason is cost – it is must cheaper that traditional copper. But unfortunately, it also less reliable. With irregular intervals, it simply stops working and we cannot call out and, which is more problematic, others cannot call us. So I thought about how to set up some kind of automatic monitoring, and finally found a solution.

I have a computer at home which is always on, and in my technology archive, I found a classic analogue modem. Problem one was how to connect them, since the modem of course has a serial RS232 port but the computer only has USB ports. That part I solved by buying an adapter/converter (I found this one (EAN 4040849954351) at my local dealer ( It had a 9-pin connector and my modem a 25 pin, but luckily my archive also contained an adapter for that.

When connected to the computer, it showed up as COM3. The next part of the solution was to write a script to send a command to the modem to dial my mobile phone and collect the result. If the IP telephony is down, the modem will not get a dial-tone and answer “NO DIALTONE”. The script, which I wrote in PowerShell, detects this and sends an e-mail in this case. Here it is:

param([string] $logfile)

$phonenumber = "a telephone number"
$comport = "COM3"
$smtphost = ""
$smtpport = 587
$smtpuser = "user@domain"
$smtppassword = "password"
$emailsubject = "Telefonövervakaren"

function InitLog($logfile)
    if ($logfile -eq $null -or $logfile -eq "") 
        $logfile = ($MyInvocation.ScriptName) + ".log"
    Write-Host "Logfile: $logfile"
    if ([System.IO.File]::Exists($logfile)) { Remove-Item $logfile }
    return $logfile

function SendCommand ($port, $cmd, $logfile)
    $cmd = "AT" + $cmd
    Write-Host "> $cmd"
    "> $cmd" >> $logfile
    $response = ""
    for ($i = 0; ($response -eq $null -or $response -eq "" -or $response -eq $cmd) -and ($i -lt 100); $i++)
        Write-Host "." -NoNewline
        Start-Sleep -Seconds 1
        $response = $port.ReadExisting().Trim("`r", "`n");
    Write-Host $response
    $response >> $logfile
    return $response

    $logfile = (InitLog $logfile)
    $port = new-Object System.IO.Ports.SerialPort $comport,9600,None,8,one
    $port.NewLine = "`r"
    $response = (SendCommand $port "DT$phonenumber" $logfile)
    Write-Host $_ -ForegroundColor Red
    $_ >> $logfile
$success = $response -eq "BUSY" -or $response -eq "NO ANSWER" -or $response -eq "NO CARRIER" -or $response -eq "VOICE"
Write-Host "Success: $success"
if (-not $success)
    try {
        Write-Host "Sending e-mail"
        $body = (Get-Content $logfile | Out-String)
        $smtpclient = New-Object Net.Mail.SmtpClient($smtphost, $smtpport) 
        $smtpclient.EnableSsl = $true 
        $smtpclient.Credentials = New-Object System.Net.NetworkCredential($smtpuser, $smtppassword); 
        $smtpclient.Send($smtpuser, $smtpuser, $emailsubject, $body)
        Write-Host $_ -ForegroundColor Red
        Write-Host $_.Exception -ForegroundColor Red
        $_ >> $logfile
        $_.Exception >> $logfile

I saved this script as PhoneMonitor.ps1 and scheduled it using Windows task scheduler. On the action tab, I entered:

  • Program/script: PowerShell.exe
  • Arguments: C:\Users\HTPC\Documents\PhoneMonitor.ps1