Offline Manual Steps

Hi there,

I was doing some research but have failed to find anything recent on this. I found a post a couple of years ago stating that offline manual steps wouldn’t be supported due to the fact scripts are required to run in non-interactive mode within PowerShell.

I just wondered if there is any change to this?

At least we would like to be able to have a couple of steps at the beginning of the process that could be user prompts confirming certain pre-reqs are done. I was wondering if this might be possible as you do have the prompt for the decryption password right at the start for sensitive information.

Many thanks,


Hi Richard,

Thanks for getting in touch! There is no plans to change this. Many of the complaints or feature extensions for Offline Drop deployments are things that are currently handled by the Octopus Server. Due to this we are considering deprecating it and giving you the ability to deploy to remote environments with a new feature in the works we are calling Remote Release Promotions, which we have an RFC out for now:

We would be very interested in your feedback around this as it would give you much more power and ability to promote your releases to other environments and give you the full power of orchestration that Octopus Server gives during a deployment.


Hi Vanessa,

Thanks for your email! I’m very sorry to hear that you are considering deprecating Offline Drop deployments. We work in the broadcast industry providing archive solutions and an internal web front end for customers. We have over 700 customers and a vast majority of them have tight security requirements due to the nature of their content.

We current have very few online deployments (most being internal promotions through various dev and test stages) and rely on offline deployments for the majority of our customers. When promoting to production we generate a package for each customer that is uploaded to our FTP site and send out an email to our support teams and some customers who are happy downloading the package and running the offline deployment themselves.

The package would then be downloaded and copied across using secure means to the locked down servers for installation.

Our worry is that not all of our customers will want to install octopus software [Octopus Data Center Manager (ODCM)] within their infrastructure. Therefore we need a solution to fall back on which for us is offline deployment. We can get round the manual step prompts at the start of the process ourselves with a simple console application that then calls your batch processing.

I think if offline deployments were depreciated then we could no longer perform Octopus upgrades and would no longer be able to continue with our support agreement. It may even lead to us having to look for other alternatives to meet our needs.


Richard Stone | QA & DevOps Architect



Hi Richard,

This is absolutely the kind of feedback we are looking for around the feature. There isn’t a direct replacement and we would like to know why the new feature could not replace Offline Drops for you.
The feature as it is does not pose difficult maintenance, but majority of complaints or requests are similar to yours asking for extensions that would create a high amount of complexity.
As it mostly is a PowerShell script that runs some Calamari commands to extend it and have it work on any supported OS as it is now is not something we think could be easily achieved.
If the feature were to remain maintained and free from bugs, without growing in depth does it still suit your needs?

I am taking your feedback to the wider team, at this stage some of us are strongly on the side of the feedback to keep the feature.

Hi Vanessa,

With regards to your question “If the feature were to remain maintained and free from bugs, without growing in depth does it still suit your needs?”, I can most definitely say yes it does! We do want to try and strive away from offline drops for any customers that will allow us to do so, but we absolutely must have it as a fall back really – currently it is our default method as we educate customers and bring them along to using online deployments.

Many thanks for your replies!

Richard Stone | QA & DevOps Architect

Very good response indeed.
Exactly right.

Hi Richard,

I’m keen to understand more about how you use offline drops, and whether there are changes we could make to the design of release promotions that would allow us to deprecate it. We want to support your scenarios but we also don’t want to have to maintain/document/explain two separate features that do roughly similar things.

It would be great to do this via a video call so we can really understand the issue, would that be possible?

You can pick a time that works best for you here:

If you’d prefer not to do the call I’d be happy to put details into an email, but I think a call would be better.

Paul Stovell
Founder & CEO, Octopus Deploy

I am out of the office on a days leave, returning back in the office on Monday 5th June.

Hi Paul,

It would be great to discuss this. I’ve put in a booking for Wednesday, June 7, 2017 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM.


Richard Stone | QA & DevOps Architect