One of my favourite tools in Sitecore development is the Hedgehog's Sitecore Package Deployer. Having Azure DevOps drop TDS's packages into your instances automates a complete update for you! I've covered how to implement this in my past post, Complete Guide to Deployment Automation, and it's a really reliable method unless something interrupts the process like we had happen last week. So, what happened and how do we fix it?

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Our typical scaled Sitecore environments will consist of anywhere between 4-6 instances, depending on pre or post version 9, so being able to automate updates to them certainly saves a lot of time. The time required to perform a conventional package installation and to extract the updated files and drop them into delivery instances becomes costly over many months for larger engagements, so using the tools we have available to us is a necessity. Today I'm going to provide a complete guide for setting this up using HedgeHog TDS and Azure Devops.

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Sitecore 9 has brought us a lot of new features, but the one I am most excited to use is role-based configurations. Non-developers beware; this will be a pretty boring subject matter for you, but you Managers might want to know this feature reduces solution and deployment complexity, which in turn reduces risk and increases efficiency.

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With Sitecore 9 we have a great new feature, which is Configuration Layers. These layers allow for the control and separation of config files, such as keeping your custom configs away from the Out-of-the-box ones. This is, and has always been recommended practice, and layers make it easier to control. 

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