In DevOps we trust

In DevOps we trust – to not become fools in love!

Recently I was challenged as a solution architect to deliver a fairly large project with a fixed hard date for go live. The deliver was far from out of the box and required thousands of development hours. With that said I knew there were very little margin for errors in the various stage release processes. So, I decided to yet again revisit the possibility to deliver a full fledge CI/CD configuration via Azure DevOps for Dynamics 365 Sales and Azure services. The spoiler is that I might have a crush but I am yet not in love!

Now to why I still think we have some more land to cover before I am smiling through the whole sentence proclaiming the ALM possibilities with Dynamics 365 Sales.

First of my ambition was to avoid manual steps in the deployment process. This is in my view not obligatory in CI/CD but best practice. Adding manual steps into any process is similar to the famous “broken window” policy. The broken windows policy simply explains that crime could start with the overseeing the simplest degradation in society. First it is a broken window…which ultimately could lead to a chain of events allowing the culprit to nestle its way into a controlled environment and do harm. Same goes for many processes and ALM is no different. Which leads me to my first problem with the current ALM possibilities and Dynamics 365 Sales.

It is not possible to automate all parts of Dynamics 365 Sales programatically!

But all is not lost of course. There is a feature within Azure DevOps Pipeline called manual interventions. This is by far not a new feature and not something unique for Azure DevOps.

Please reference to Microsoft Docs here

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/devops/pipelines/tasks/utility/manual-intervention?view=azure-devops

Basically, what it does is pausing your current pipeline flow and let you continue automation after you have manually deployed or made changes outside the automation within the Pipeline. This is in my view ingenious and simple at the same time. They usually go hand in hand.

This merge of manual and automation is something oftentimes missing in process-oriented solution systems.

I would love to see this type of behavioral input possibilities in other systems without requiring development and customization.

So to summarize – Dynamics 365 Sales + Azure Devops + Manual Interventions = almost complete ALM 😊

Magnus Oxenwaldt

Digital Transformations and Enterprise Architect enthusiast

ABOUT

Magnus has a diversified background working in various business areas and in many different roles. Holds degrees both in technology, economics and marketing.

Currently works as a Executive Business Consultant with Columbus Global.

Originally from Sweden but have worked globally and current office location Oslo, Norway.





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I faced about again, and rushed towards the approaching Martian, rushed right down the gravelly beach and headlong into the water. Others did the same. A boatload of people putting back came leaping out as I rushed past. The stones under my feet were muddy and slippery, and the river was so low that I ran perhaps twenty feet scarcely waist-deep. Then, as the Martian towered overhead scarcely a couple of hundred yards away, I flung myself forward under the surface. The splashes of the people in the boats leaping into the river sounded like thunderclaps in my ears. People were landing hastily on both sides of the river. But the Martian machine took no more notice for the moment of the people running this way and that than a man would of the confusion of ants in a nest against which his foot has kicked. When, half suffocated, I raised my head above water, the Martian’s hood pointed at the batteries that were still firing across the river, and as it advanced it swung loose what must have been the generator of the Heat-Ray.

No, but I am their friend, although I live in the land of the North. When they saw the Witch of the East was dead the Munchkins sent a swift messenger to me, and I came at once. I am the Witch of the North.

To be sure, the broad river now cut them off from this beautiful land. But the raft was nearly done, and after the Tin Woodman had cut a few more logs and fastened them together with wooden pins, they were ready to start. Dorothy sat down in the middle of the raft and held Toto in her arms. When the Cowardly Lion stepped upon the raft it tipped badly, for he was big and heavy; but the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman stood upon the other end to steady it, and they had long poles in their hands to push the raft through the water.

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As I watched, the planet seemed to grow larger and smaller and to advance and recede, but that was simply that my eye was tired. Forty millions of miles it was from us–more than forty millions of miles of void. Few people realise the immensity of vacancy in which the dust of the material universe swims.

Near it in the field, I remember, were three faint points of light, three telescopic stars infinitely remote, and all around it was the unfathomable darkness of empty space. You know how that blackness looks on a frosty starlight night. In a telescope it seems far profounder. And invisible to me because it was so remote and small, flying swiftly and steadily towards me across that incredible distance, drawing nearer every minute by so many thousands of miles, came the Thing they were sending us, the Thing that was to bring so much struggle and calamity and death to the earth. I never dreamed of it then as I watched; no one on earth dreamed of that unerring missile.

That night, too, there was another jetting out of gas from the distant planet. I saw it. A reddish flash at the edge, the slightest projection of the outline just as the chronometer struck midnight; and at that I told Ogilvy and he took my place. The night was warm and I was thirsty, and I went stretching my legs clumsily and feeling my way in the darkness, to the little table where the siphon stood, while Ogilvy exclaimed at the streamer of gas that came out towards us.

That night another invisible missile started on its way to the earth from Mars, just a second or so under twenty-four hours after the first one. I remember how I sat on the table there in the blackness, with patches of green and crimson swimming before my eyes. I wished I had a light to smoke by, little suspecting the meaning of the minute gleam I had seen and all that it would presently bring me. Ogilvy watched till one, and then gave it up; and we lit the lantern and walked over to his house. Down below in the darkness were Ottershaw and Chertsey and all their hundreds of people, sleeping in peace.