Before you can deploy an application using Octopus, you will need to bundle all of the executables, DLL's, configuration files, installation scripts, and anything else the application needs to run into a package. Octopus standardizes on the NuGet package format, a popular ZIP-based file format from Microsoft used in Visual Studio. There are a few reasons for this:
- NuGet packages have rich metadata, such as versioning, release notes, and author information
- Many tools exist to make creating and publishing NuGet packages easy
- NuGet packages can be consumed via a feed, so other applications can easily query the available packages
- Developer familiarity
You can create packages in a number of ways:
NuGet packages are kept in package repositories. A repository can be as simple as a file share, or it could be a dedicated server. For more information, see the section on choosing a package repository.
What's in a package?
Octopus expects your NuGet package to contain all of the files needed to run the application when it is deployed (along with any scripts needed for deployment, and any configuration transformation files).
An ASP.NET MVC application, for example, would look like this:
While a Windows Service application might look like this:
Note that in both examples:
- Only binaries and files needed at runtime are included - C# source code files, for example, are not in the package
- The binaries aren't just for the current application - they also include any other assemblies needed for the application to run