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Posted 7 Dec 2009

RemoteInstall Test Framework Open-Sourced

, 7 Dec 2009
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I am pleased to announce the open sourcing of the RemoteInstall Test Framework.
<stripped />I am pleased to announce the open sourcing of the RemoteInstall Test Framework.

RemoteInstall is a pragmatic approach to testing and has been extremely successful at my day job. We went through several test framework iterations and just couldn't get any automation going. We tried expensive systems and open-source stuff. We spent cash. We made automation a priority. It continued being a dead end.

In the meantime we were authoring MSI installers like crazy. We had to deal with a large distributed system that was having a high deployment failure rate, a system made of many components. We had hundreds of upgrade paths and it was clear that we needed to automate it. Seeing company automation efforts deadlocked, I decided that instead of trying yet another expensive test system I'll have an intern write a simple tool that can leverage VMWare Infrastructure. I wanted it to do this:

for each virtual machine {

 for each snapshot {

  restore the snapshot

  install the software

  report success or failure



Simple enough? That's all RemoteInstall was at its inception. You can get this behavior out of the box with a simple config file. Here's what the output looks like in CruiseControl. This tests an application for clean install and upgrade from various known snapshots.


The results were superb. We have virtually zero deployment failure in production for thousands of custommers.

Then, eventually we got pretty good at this adding lots of useful features. If you have more than one VM you can do this in parallel. RI integrates with build automation. It can pickup your latest installers from network shares. Etc.

Next, we thought: why not run some tests after each successful installation? So we added tasks and some simple integration. So you can execute JUnit or NUnit tests on the remote machine post-installation.


This made it into a full blown test framework. We now author tests in C# and Java and remote them via RI to run against multiple configurations.

Download RI Here

I want to thank Application Security Inc. for helping me in making this happen and all the anonymous developers who have contributed code to RI here on Madison Ave.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Team Leader Application Security Inc.,
United States United States
Daniel Doubrovkine has been in software engineering for twelve years and is currently development manager at Application Security Inc. in New York City. He has been involved in many software ventures, including Xo3 and Vestris Inc, was a development lead at Microsoft Corp. in Redmond, and director of Engineering at Visible Path Corp. in New York City. Daniel also builds and runs a foodie website,

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