Technical Webinar: Deployment Tools - MSM and Packager

Thank you to everyone who registered and attended this session discussing the deployment tools used in conjunction with Percussion CM system. The slides for the presentation are attached, and shortly I will be posting the questions and answers from the session.

If you have any further questions for Michael or Jay, or from your fellow Percussion users/developers, please do not hesitate to post them here and we’ll keep the conversation going.

All the best,

Q: Is there any specific scenario MSM must be used vs packaging and the other way around?

Jay Seletz has answered:

A: MSM is designed to operate between two very similar servers, such as a development server and a production server, and to keep those servers in sync by reliably deploying new implementation from one to the other. The Percussion Packager is designed to allow repeatable and reliable deployment of reusable implementation from a single source system to any number of different target systems, each of which may have fairly different existing implementations. The Packager’s configuration capabilities enable integration of that new functionality seamlessly into disparate target systems, and allowing for installation and upgrades of these packages without needing to modify existing implementation.

The two different purposes of these tools has resulted in design decisions that such that they are not necessarily interchangeable. There are certain types of implementation that can be deployed using MSM that were not appropriate for inclusion in the capabilities of the Packager, and the automated dependency management of the Packager would not necessarily be appropriate for use in the type of deployment scenarios for which MSM was designed.

Q: Is there a plan to eventually phase out MSM and use the Builder / Installer as the primary method to push items over?

Jay Seletz has answered:

A: Given the different purposes for which the tools were designed, it would not be appropriate to try to replace MSM with the Packager. However we do intend to take some of the innovations and lessons learned while creating the Packager to improve the usability and capabilities of MSM in future releases.

Q: Can we use MSM to migrate Content Items from one server to another?

Jay Seletz has answered:

A: MSM has limited capabilities with respect to content items. MSM is intended to enable the deployment of the types of content that are actually used as part of an implementation, such as folders, navigation items (navtrees, navons, and even landing page stubs), and other items similarly used as part of an implementation. MSM was not designed to migrate general content between systems, and as such is not able to scale to handle the amount of content and the variety of circumstances generally required by full content migration scenarios.

Hi Everyone…we’ve got the recording of the MSM/Packager webinar on our ftp site… follow the link below. Thanks.

I know I’m a bit late here, but I just now looking at MSM & Package Builder/Installer, so I watched the webinar. I was wondering if approaching MSM deployments with a formal CM approach was feasible (CM from a process management perspective, like CMMI, ITIL, etc). More specifically, as I move archives to deployment targets, I’d want to logically group these archives and check them into a CM repository of some sort and tag them. Is that a feasible approach? Also, is it possible to crack open the archives and have a look at the CMS objects they contain? For instance, it was interested in seeing how a given template or slot looked at some point of a time, I’d want to able to do that.

Lastly, it was mentioned MSM did not provide a rollback feature. If one was interested in creating a rollback procedure, is taking a database backup and a filesystem backup of the Percussion install directory sufficient (provided you didn’t have external stuff going on, of course)? Most government agencies require you to have rollback procedures for any production deployment, so I want to be ready when the question is asked.


@dtaylor - did you ever get a response to your questions? We are in a similar situation and wanted to know if someone has a solution for a formal CM approach with MSM.