Are the Team Foundation Build Custom Task's broken or just beta stuff?


We are trying to update our TFS Online environments to use the new “Octopus Deploy Build and Release Tasks” package.

The basic steps are

  1. Create Connected Service
  2. Package Application (optional, this packager is shit at the moment by the way)
  3. Push Packages to Octopus
  4. Create Octopus Release (optional)

So any normal scenario would be

  1. Nuget restore
  2. Build
  3. Test
  4. Package
  5. Copy and Publish
  6. Push and possibly release unless you manage this from octopus

Now, since the packager is shit and if you manage to get it working it will not actually do the same as we expect from octopack since it includes everything in the nuget file what we are left with is the option where we use the msbuild argument to construct our octopacks.

  1. Nuget restore
  2. Build with /p:RunOctoPack=true
  3. Test
  4. Push and possibly release unless you manage this from octopus

The above scenario is fair enough and would work great if the Octopus push module only would understand the arguments from octopack. The thing is that OctoPack are leaving great information in the log like OctoPackPackageVersion, OctoPackBuiltPackages and so on but the “Push Packages to Octopus” module cant use them.

The documentation commonly suggests that we manually should name our releases and so on, this isn’t an option either if you are using CI.

So the questions

  • What variables would we be able to use or how do we make them available to the “Push Packages to Octopus”-step
  • Will you fix the Package application-step to something that works?


Hi Eric,

Thank-you for the feedback.

The VSTS Pack task wasn’t designed to replicate the functionality of OctoPack. You can certainly still use OctoPack from VSTS to package and push to Octopus.

You can specify which files to include when using the Pack task (the Include field under the Advanced section), but you’re right, it doesn’t understand projects in the way OctoPack does.

Regarding capturing and using the OctoPack output as TFS variables, I’ll have a chat to our resident TFS guru when he’s back next week. I understand what you’re asking.

I’m sorry you haven’t found the Pack task easy to use. We’re always open to suggestions for improvement. How would you like to see it behave?