How to deploy a Delphi OSX project from the command line

Delphi has a well developed command line build process (via MSBuild) for Windows projects. After the introduction of FireMonkey, MSBuild was altered to allow users to build non-Win projects. After you build a project, if you want to deploy it to platforms other than Win32 (or Win64), the compiler requires a deployment project file and the use of Deployment Manager.

According to the documentation, the only way to generate a deployment file and deploy the project is via the IDE. This means that you have to, manually, generate the file in the IDE first and then, manually again, deploy the project. This limitation may present a problem for those who have an automated processes after the development of the code (unit tests, builds, deployment, etc.).

Vladimir Georgiev has written a very nice tool (EmbDeploy) to allow the deployment of a Delphi project via the PAClient. If you want to check the details of the solution, see this post and get the source code from here.

You use EmbDeploy with the following command-line arguments:

embdeploy [-delphiver "ver"] -deploy|(-cmd "command")|(-bundle "zip") [-platform|-profile|-config|-proot "name"] [-ignore] ProjectName

The arguments are here:

 ProjectName      Name (relative or absolute) of the project file (.dproj)
-delphiver "ver"  Delphi version to use the paclient from. It is the number from the HKCU/Software/Emb...'
-deploy           Deploy the project to the remote profile
-platform "name"  Platform to deploy (Win32, OSX32, iOSDevice, etc). If not specified the default one from the project is used
-profile "name"   Name of the remote profile to use. If not specified the default one for the platform is used
-config "name"    Release or Debug configuration. If not specified the default one from the project file is used
-proot "name"     Remote project root folder. If not specified a default one is generated from the project name
-cmd "command"    Execute an arbitrary command line on the remote server. The command is anything that can be executed from a terminal or command line prompt.
                  It is executed from above the remote project folder. The command can contain the $PROOT parameter, which is replaced with the project 
                  root folder, e.g. $PROOT/Contents/... becomes
-ignore           Ignore errors reported by paclient.exe and continue deploying
-bundle "zipname" Produce a ZIP archive of the files to be deployed. Useful for making a ZIP of an OSX project APP bundle

So, if you want to build for OSX32 and use the Release configuration in Delphi, you call the following command from the project folder:

embdeploy.exe -platform OSX32 -config Release -deploy myproject.dproj

This will generate the .app bundle in the scratch-dir on your Mac machine.

EmbDeploy requires an open channel to the Mac machine; i.e., if I want to build my OSX project from the command line, I have to keep PAClient open and give constant access of my Delphi machine to the Mac machine. This is because EmbDeploy uses a pipe channel to the Mac machine in order to generate the .app bundle with all its resources and the rest of the files. Although this is not the end of the world, I wanted to keep my build server as a separate machine isolated from my Mac.

I modified Vladimir’s work and added a few more command line switches to meet my needs.

-registerPAClient Uses the PAClient to deploy the project
-registerFolder "folder"'
                  OSX only: Creates the APP folder structure on Windows. Useful for building OSX without the need to use the paclient on OSX
-verbose          Produces detailed debugging messages
-logExceptions    Logs any exceptions and quits instead of raising them
-binaryFolder "folder"
                  The folder for the binary files. If not provided, the default location is assumed

I have introduced the idea of “build channels” and, for now, you can have a channel that uses the PAClient (registerPAClient), as before, and/or a channel which creates the .app bundle as a folder on windows (registerFolder). The improvement here is that you don’t need the PAClient to be open and linked to your Delphi machine, as EmbDeploy creates the bundle (executable on Mac) independently. Of course, you need the PAClient if you use the registerPAClient switch. Then, if you wish, you can copy the .app folder to a Mac machine and execute it without any modifications.

I have,also, introduced a couple of other switches to help debugging the deployment process (verbose, logExceptions) and a parameter (binaryFolder) which defines the directory with the build binaries.

The usage of the new parameters is as follows:

embdeploy.exe -registerFolder "....\Desktop" -binaryFolder "\OSX32" -platform OSX32 -config Release -deploy myproject.dproj

The above command will create the folder on Desktop. The paths indicate that the command is executed in the same folder as myproject.dproj. As a test, if you have Windows on a virtual machine, you can reveal the folder in Mac and execute it directly.

You can get the modified version of EmbDeploy from here, until Vladimir responds to the pull request on github.

Update (24/09/2016): Vladimir has, now, merged the pull request so you can download the updated version of EmbDeploy, directly, from his repository. Thanks Vladimir!

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