Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dang! SSAS deployment configurations are held in the .user file

I really wish Microsoft would make up their mind where deployment target locations should live (ie setting the destinations for Publish / Deploy)

For SSRS this data is stored in the project file (.rptproj) , per configuration, so anyone can get latest on a project, change their solution configuration to (say) 'Test', hit deploy and away they go, happily deploying to your Test environment. This is how it should be.

For SSAS (2005 / 2008) this data is stored in the .dwproj.user file, so for any new developer / PC / workspace that comes along all those deployment configuration settings have to be re-setup (or copied from another workspace), or all their deployments are to localhost. This is just really irritating. As I discovered today.

For an XBAP (or just a WinForms ClickOnce project) a single deployment target is stored in the project file. Other, previously-used deployment locations, are stored per-user. None are correlated with a project configuration in any way. This 'deploy to prod' design mentality drives me nuts.

For an ASP.Net website the (single) deployment location isn't even stored against in the project at all, but squirreled away in %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\WebsiteCache\Websites.xml. Of course! Web application projects put it soley in the .user file, which is at least less obscure, if no more useful.

Now I'd be the first to say that deployment to test environments etc... is best done from a seperate scripted process, but I accept that not everyone has my affinity for long PowerShell deployment scripts. Plus sometimes I just can't be arsed. So am I completely insane to wish that the in-IDE Publish / Deploy mechanisms would work in a manner that could be actually used would be usable within a team, and not scatter the deployment target information quite so liberally?

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