How a rollout project works

A rollout project is a set of steps to automate deployment. For each step, you can perform actions, set criteria for when the content should move to the next step, and send notification emails. When the patches or software packages have completed the actions in a step and pass the exit criteria, they are moved to the next step in the project. A project can be completely automatic, or you can require administrator intervention to make sure content doesn't progress until you approve it. And since you can set up email notices when a step succeeds or fails, you may not need to monitor the project as closely.

The rollout project processor applies the actions on the content in the project, evaluates if the content meets exit criteria, and moves content from step to step. Schedule the project processor to run as frequently as you think content needs to move from step to step.

If you have actions in the project that are scheduled tasks, such as a software deployment, the project processor uses a template to create the task. It creates a new task each time the action is applied to content. The template it uses to create the scheduled task is specified when you create the step. For more information about the options available when you're creating steps, see Adding steps to a rollout project.

The action for a step is only applied to content once. After the action has been applied, the content either moves to the next step or stays in the step until the exit criteria are met. If content stays in a step, the project processor does not reapply the actions the next time it runs; it only re-evaluates if the exit criteria have been met and if an email needs to be sent.

IMPORTANT: Content does not move to the next step as soon as it meets the exit criteria. It moves to the next step after it has met the exit criteria AND the project processor runs as a scheduled task.

The steps in a rollout project must be linear. You cannot create branches or force content to skip steps. If a step is paused, content may move into the paused step, but the actions for that step are not applied to the content. Content does not skip a paused step.

If there are no exit criteria set for a step, the action for the step is applied and the content is immediately moved to the next step. Content can progress through multiple steps each time the project processor runs.

ClosedCreating a scheduled task for the project processor

Schedule the rollout project processor to run as a scheduled task. Each time it runs, it processes every rollout project that is active. For information about how the project processor handles content that is paused, see Creating and editing a rollout project.

To create a scheduled task for the project processor

1.From the management console, click Tools > Security and Compliance > Rollout projects or Tools > Distribution > Rollout projects. Both paths open the same Rollout projects tool.

2.In the Rollout projects toolbar, click Create a task > Scheduled project processing.

3.Create a name for the task, and if you choose to, select the owner for the task. The scope used is based on the owner for the task.

4.Click the Schedule task page on the left, and configure the options for when the task runs and how frequently it runs.

5.Click Save.

ClosedRun the project processor on demand

For troubleshooting or testing a rollout project, you may want to run the processor immediately, process just one project or one step, or apply an action to content more than once.

To run the project processor on demand

1.From the Rollout projects tool, right-click a project or step and select Process now.

IMPORTANT: If you try to process an item and the Process now option isn't available, make sure that the step and the project are both set to Play and are not paused.

2.A prompt asks if you want to Re-apply actions even if they are already applied. When you re-apply actions, the project processor runs just for that step and applies the actions to all content currently in the step, even if they have already met the success criteria for the step. Whether or not you choose re-apply actions, click OK to run the project processor.

The project processor runs for the selected step or project.

If actions are re-applied, the Applied actions timestamp is changed, the minimum duration and post duration timers are reset, and if there are scheduled tasks in the project or step, they are created again.

If actions are not re-applied, content is evaluated to see if exit criteria have been met or if emails need to be sent. Only content that is new to a step has actions applied.

NOTE: Emails associated with a project step are not considered an action and may be sent regardless of whether or not actions are re-applied.

ClosedPause and play a project, step, or content

Rollout projects, steps, and content in a project all have a state assigned: either play or pause. The state affects whether or not it is processed when the project processor runs. The icons in the Rollout projects tool have a play or pause overlay to indicate the current state of the item.

To change the state of a project, step, or content, right-click it and select either Play or Pause.

NOTE: You must pause a rollout project or a step before you can edit it.

When a project is paused: The project processor excludes the project. No actions for the project are applied, no notifications are sent, no content moves from step to step.

When a step is paused: The project processor does not process the content in the step. Content can be moved into the step (either manually or by advancing from the previous step) but actions are not applied. Content in a paused step does not advance to the following step even if it meets all of the exit criteria. If the step is paused after an action is applied, timers continue to run even while the step is paused. For content that does not have actions applied, any minimum duration or other timers do not start until the actions are applied.

When content is paused: No actions are applied to the content, no notifications are sent regarding the content, and the project processor does not move it from the step it is currently in. If an action has been applied and a timer is associated with the current step, the timer continues to run.