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Website deployment

This article shows you how to deploy non website content related files to your web server, such as DLL's to be deployed to your bin folder. A website is automatically labelled as ready for deployment when it is created or the database is upgraded.

The icon to the left of the publishing server indicates the current deployment status. The icon will show a yellow exclamation mark if the publishing server has been marked as requiring an upgrade. Click on the icon and confirm the prompt that appears to schedule the publishing server to be upgraded. The publisher will then attempt the deployment of the web site. Once the site has deployed the icon will return to a green tick to show a successful deployment (or a red cross if there were errors - see below).

If a publishing server is awaiting an upgrade or in the process of deploying the publisher will not publish new or updated content, only once the server has deployed will it continue to publish content.

The deployment process

The deployment is carried out by the publisher which deletes then recreates the aspnet_client and bin folders. It also recreates files such as:

  • web.config
  • Contensis settings (aspnet_client\Contensis\ContensisSettings.config)
  • Database connection settings (aspnet_client\Contensis\databaseConnections.con)
  • Navigation and relationship XML files (in aspnet_client\Contensis\navigation)

Once the web server has been deployed it will be updated in the Server Settings screen. If the publisher could not update a file then it will have continued to upgrade other files, but the web server will be marked to show the upgrade failed. The publisher will have written a detailed log of the upgrade process to the Contensis Application Data folder.

A common reason for failure is that one or more files in the bin and aspnet_client folders of the web site have the read only flag set. The FTP server may be unable to clear the read-only flag and so will not allow the file to be overwritten.

Prevent custom files from being deleted by the deployment

The bin\custom_dlls folder is automatically excluded from the deployment. This folder is intended to contain any custom DLLs that are required by the site. The folder has been added to the web site's configuration (web.config) such that the web site will look in the folder when searching for DLLs.

Other files and folders can be excluded from the deployment process by specifying them as General Settings (the Project Setup > General Settings screen). Use the WebDeploy_ExcludedFiles and WebDeploy_ExcludedDirectories settings as appropriate. Multiple files and folders can be specified by separating each entry with a semi-colon.

Customise web.config

The web.config file is deleted and recreated during a deployment. The publisher uses a standard Contensis web.config file but before it is published the publisher will merge custom changes into it. The changes can be entered by clicking on the Edit Custom Web.config entries link on the Publishing Servers screen.

Only the new or revised entries need to be specified. These will be merged into the standard web.config file. The entries need to be properly encased within the correct parent element structure as shown in the screenshot.

Contensis settings

The Contensis settings for a publishing server can be edited by clicking on the Edit Server Configuration link to the right of the publishing server entry. The settings are displayed as an XML file. Only the content of the value attributes can be edited. Other changes will be lost.