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Fredrick Ochieng
Fredrick Ochieng

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Beyond WinSCP: Updating Servers with C# and DevExpress in DevOps🚀

In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, the principles of DevOps have become integral for ensuring seamless collaboration between development and operations teams. DevOps, short for Development and Operations, represents a set of practices aimed at enhancing efficiency, communication, and automation throughout the software development lifecycle.

The Significance of DevOps in Modern Software Development

DevOps isn't merely a methodology; it's a cultural shift that bridges the gap between developers and IT operations. This collaboration is designed to deliver high-quality software faster and more reliably. The key tenets of DevOps include continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment, all working in unison to achieve a more streamlined and automated development process.

A Focus on C# and the DevExpress Framework

Amidst the myriad of programming languages and frameworks available, C# has emerged as a powerful and versatile language, particularly well-suited for developing robust and scalable applications on the Microsoft .NET platform. Paired with the DevExpress Framework, C# empowers developers to create feature-rich, visually appealing, and highly functional applications.

The Power of DevExpress in C# Development

DevExpress provides a comprehensive set of UI controls, libraries, and tools that significantly accelerate the development process. Whether you are building desktop, web, or mobile applications, DevExpress simplifies complex tasks, enhances user experiences, and ensures a consistent and polished look across various platforms.
Unveiling a DevOps Approach with C# and DevExpress

In this article, we will explore a DevOps approach that goes beyond conventional file transfer tools like WinSCP. Check here for how to set up WinSCP. Our focus will be on leveraging the capabilities of C# and the DevExpress Framework to not only update servers efficiently but also to orchestrate a seamless and automated deployment process.

The Challenge:

In the dynamic landscape of software development, change is the only constant. As applications evolve to meet user demands and incorporate new features, the need to update servers with fresh DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries) and EXE (Executable) files becomes a routine aspect of development. While this evolution is necessary for progress, it often presents challenges that demand innovative solutions.

The Dilemma of Manual Updates

Traditionally, updating servers involved manual interventions, where developers or system administrators manually transferred files to servers, triggered updates, and managed dependencies. This manual approach, however, poses several challenges:

  • Downtime Concerns

During manual updates, applications may need to be taken offline, resulting in downtime. For businesses and services that operate around the clock, any interruption can have significant consequences.

  • Human Error

Manual interventions are susceptible to human error. Misconfigurations, oversight, or incorrect file transfers can lead to unforeseen issues and operational setbacks.

  • Lack of Streamlining

Relying solely on manual processes lacks the efficiency and speed required in today's fast-paced development cycles. A more streamlined approach is essential to keep up with the demands of modern software deployment.

Introducing DevOps: A Paradigm Shift

This is where DevOps enters the scene, offering a paradigm shift in the way we approach software development and deployment. DevOps emphasizes collaboration, automation, and continuous delivery to address the challenges posed by manual processes.

DevOps in Action: The Need for a Streamlined Process

To overcome the challenges of updating servers with DLLs and EXE files, there is a growing need for a streamlined and automated process. This process must not only eliminate downtime but also ensure accuracy, reduce manual interventions, and enhance the overall efficiency of software deployment.

In the upcoming sections, we will explore how C# and the DevExpress Framework, coupled with tools like WinSCP and PowerShell, provide a robust foundation for creating a DevOps workflow that transforms the way we update servers, paving the way for a more agile and responsive development environment.

The Decision-Making Process

Why WinSCP?

Ease of Use and Automation:

WinSCP stands out for its user-friendly interface, making it accessible for both developers and system administrators. The ability to automate file transfers through scripting aligns perfectly with our goal of streamlining the deployment process.

Secure File Transfers:

Security is paramount, especially when dealing with sensitive DLLs and EXE files. WinSCP's support for secure protocols ensures encrypted communication, safeguarding our data during transfers.

Compatibility with Windows Environments:

Given our focus on C# and the DevExpress Framework in Windows environments, WinSCP seamlessly integrates into our development ecosystem, providing a reliable and platform-specific solution.

Why PowerShell?

Scripting Power:

PowerShell emerges as a versatile scripting language with the ability to automate a myriad of tasks. From stopping and starting websites to executing SQL scripts, PowerShell serves as the glue that binds our DevOps workflow together.

Native Integration with Windows:

Being a native component of Windows, PowerShell integrates seamlessly into our environment. Its deep integration with Windows Server allows us to harness the full power of the operating system for server-side updates.

Flexibility and Extensibility:

PowerShell's flexibility enables us to adapt and extend our scripts as our deployment needs evolve. Its extensibility allows us to integrate with various systems and services, creating a cohesive and adaptable DevOps ecosystem.

The Harmony of WinSCP and PowerShell

By strategically combining WinSCP and PowerShell, we've created a harmonious DevOps solution. WinSCP handles the secure and efficient transfer of DLLs and EXE files, while PowerShell scripts orchestrate the server-side updates with precision and automation. This synergy ensures that our DevOps workflow is not only effective but also scalable and adaptable to the evolving needs of our development projects.

There are multiple ways to set up the process of manually sending DLL and EXE files to WinSCP on your local development machine. For todays article I am leaning towards creating a PowerShell script that performs the file transfer. This script will use the pscp (PuTTY Secure Copy) command-line tool, which is a part of the PuTTY suite and can be used for secure file transfer.

Manual File Transfer PowerShell Script

# Specify the paths of your DLL and EXE files
$dllPath = "D:\path\to\your\<Module>.Blazor.Server.dll"
$exePath = "D:\path\to\your\<Module>.Blazor.Server.exe"
$moduleDllPath = "D:\path\to\your\<Module>.Module.dll"

# Specify the destination folder on the WinSCP server
$winScpServerPath = "/path/on/winscp/server/"

# Specify the WinSCP server details
$winScpServer = "username@winscp-server-ip"
$winScpPassword = "your-password"

# Create a temporary script file for pscp commands
$scriptFile = "C:\path\to\your\temp\pscp_commands.txt"

try {
    # Generate the pscp commands in the temporary script file
put "$dllPath" "$winScpServerPath"
put "$exePath" "$winScpServerPath"
put "$moduleDllPath" "$winScpServerPath"

    # Save the script file
    Out-File -FilePath $scriptFile -InputObject $scriptContent -Force

    # Execute pscp to transfer files to WinSCP server
    Start-Process -FilePath "C:\path\to\pscp.exe" -ArgumentList ("-batch -pw $winScpPassword -b $scriptFile $winScpServer") -Wait

    Write-Host "DLL and EXE files transferred to WinSCP server successfully."
catch {
    Write-Host "Error transferring files to WinSCP server: $_"
finally {
    # Remove the temporary script file
    Remove-Item -Path $scriptFile -Force
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In this script:

  • Replace $dllPath, $moduleDllPath and $exePath with the actual paths of your DLLs and EXE files.
  • Adjust $winScpServerPath to the destination folder on the WinSCP server where you want to store the files.
  • Modify $winScpServer and $winScpPassword with the appropriate details for your WinSCP server.

Note: Ensure that you have PuTTY and WinSCP installed on your local machine, and the paths to pscp.exe and other executables are correctly specified in the script.

After running this script, your DLL and EXE files will be sent to the specified folder on the WinSCP server, ready for further deployment using the automated processes on the server side.

On the server side, you'll need a PowerShell script that handles the deployment tasks after the DLL and EXE files have been transferred by WinSCP. This script will stop the website, copy the files to the appropriate directory, execute any necessary database update scripts, and restart the website.

Server-Side PowerShell Script (After WinSCP Transfer)

# Specify the path where WinSCP has transferred the DLL and EXE files
$winscpTransferPath = "C:\path\to\winscp\transfer\folder\"

# Specify the destination folder on the server where the website is hosted
$serverDestinationPath = "C:\wwwroot\your-application\"

# Specify the website name in IIS
$websiteName = "YourWebsite"

# Stop the website on IIS
try {
    Stop-WebSite -Name $websiteName -ErrorAction Stop
    Write-Host "Website stopped successfully."
catch {
    Write-Host "Error stopping website: $_"
    exit 1

# Copy DLL files from the WinSCP transfer folder to the website folder
try {
    Copy-Item -Path "$winscpTransferPath\*.dll" -Destination $serverDestinationPath -Force
    Write-Host "DLL files copied to $serverDestinationPath."
catch {
    Write-Host "Error copying DLL files: $_"
    # Restart the website before exiting
    Start-WebSite -Name $websiteName
    exit 1

# Copy EXE files from the WinSCP transfer folder to the website folder
try {
    Copy-Item -Path "$winscpTransferPath\*.exe" -Destination $serverDestinationPath -Force
    Write-Host "EXE files copied to $serverDestinationPath."
catch {
    Write-Host "Error copying EXE files: $_"
    # Restart the website before exiting
    Start-WebSite -Name $websiteName
    exit 1

# Run any necessary database update scripts or commands
# Example: Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "YourSqlServer" -Database "YourDatabase" -InputFile "C:\path\to\your\update-script.sql"
Write-Host "Database update script executed successfully."

# Start the website on IIS
try {
    Start-WebSite -Name $websiteName -ErrorAction Stop
    Write-Host "Website started successfully."
catch {
    Write-Host "Error starting website: $_"
    exit 1

# Script executed successfully
exit 0
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In this script:

  • Modify $winscpTransferPath to the actual path where WinSCP has transferred the DLL and EXE files.
  • Adjust $serverDestinationPath to the destination folder on the server where the website is hosted.
  • Change $websiteName to the name of your website in IIS.

This script should be executed after the files have been transferred by WinSCP. It stops the website, copies the files, runs any necessary database update scripts, and restarts the website, ensuring a smooth and automated deployment process.

Server Script triggering

The script on the server side can be triggered in a variety of ways, depending on your specific requirements and infrastructure. Here are a few common methods to initiate the execution of the server-side script:

  • Scheduled Task:
    Set up a scheduled task on the server that runs the PowerShell script at specified intervals. This can be configured using the Task Scheduler in Windows. Schedule the task to run regularly, for example, during non-business hours to minimize impact. This is my go-to triggering method.

  • Webhook from CI/CD Pipeline:
    If you have a continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline in place, you can configure a webhook to trigger the server-side script after a successful deployment. Many CI/CD systems support webhook notifications that can invoke an endpoint on the server.

  • Manual Trigger:
    Allow for manual triggering of the script when needed. This can be done by providing a user interface or command-line interface that allows an authorized user to initiate the deployment manually. This approach offers flexibility and control over when updates are applied.

  • File System Events:
    Monitor the file system for changes using tools like PowerShell's FileSystemWatcher or other file monitoring solutions. When the WinSCP transfer completes and new files are detected in the designated folder, the script can be triggered automatically.

  • Remote Execution via Remote Management Tools:
    Utilize remote management tools like PowerShell Remoting or third-party solutions to execute the script remotely from a central management server. This allows for centralized control and execution of scripts across multiple servers.

  • Integration with Deployment Automation Tools:
    If you have a deployment automation tool in place, such as Octopus Deploy or Azure DevOps, integrate the server-side script execution as a deployment step. This allows for coordination with other deployment activities and ensures consistency.


In the dynamic realm of software development, where agility and efficiency are paramount, embracing DevOps practices becomes not just a choice but a necessity. The seamless collaboration between development and operations teams, fueled by continuous integration, delivery, and deployment, reshapes how we approach software lifecycles.

As we've explored, the integration of C# and the DevExpress Framework offers a robust foundation for crafting applications with finesse. Beyond the conventional methods, our DevOps journey goes further, leveraging the powerful synergy of WinSCP and PowerShell. This amalgamation delivers not only efficiency in updating servers but orchestrates a dance of precision and automation.

The challenges posed by manual updates are met with a solution that not only eliminates downtime but also curtails human errors and enhances deployment efficiency. The decision to choose WinSCP and PowerShell, deeply rooted in their ease of use, security, and flexibility, reflects a commitment to creating a DevOps ecosystem that evolves with the ever-changing landscape of development.

Whether you're initiating updates with a scheduled task, a CI/CD webhook, or a manual trigger, the harmony between WinSCP and PowerShell ensures a controlled and reliable deployment process. This harmony extends from the development side, where files are transferred securely, to the server side, where updates seamlessly unfold.

In closing, our journey goes beyond WinSCP, marking a transformative approach to DevOps. The integration of C#, DevExpress, WinSCP, and PowerShell not only elevates development practices but also sets the stage for a future where innovation and efficiency are the guiding stars. As you embark on your own DevOps adventures, may this synthesis of technologies propel your projects towards success, reduced downtime, and a more responsive development environment.

Happy coding and deploying! 🚀🔧

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