Azure DevOps Releases: Auto Create New Release After Pipeline Build

I hit a snag with my planned post for this weeks and decided to hope back over to Azure DevOps and show how to create a Release and have that Release be triggered anytime a build Pipeline complete successfully. This post is going to be using the same Azure DevOps Project as all the previous posts in this series which are linked below.

Getting Started with Azure DevOps
Pipeline Creation in Azure DevOps
Azure DevOps Publish Artifacts for ASP.NET Core
Azure DevOps Pipelines: Multiple Jobs in YAML
Azure DevOps Pipelines: Reusable YAML
Azure DevOps Pipelines: Use YAML Across Repos
Azure DevOps Pipelines: Conditionals in YAML
Azure DevOps Pipelines: Naming and Tagging
Azure DevOps Pipelines: Manual Tagging
Azure DevOps Pipelines: Depends On with Conditionals in YAML
Azure DevOps Pipelines: PowerShell Task

Creating a Release

In Azure DevOps to create a release go to Pipelines and then Releases. Since this is our project’s first Release we have a New pipeline button to click to start the creation process.

The New pipeline button will start the creation process by showing a Select a template dialog. Since our release isn’t really going to do anything yet we are going to click the Empty job option.

Next, we want to add the artifacts from our build Pipeline to this Release. Click Add an artifact to start the process.

The Add an artifact dialog will show which allows us a lot of options on the source of the artifact. For this setup, we are going to use a Source type of Build since our artifacts are the result of an Azure DevOps Build. The next option we need to select is Source which is where we select which Azure DevOps Build Pipeline we want to use artifacts from. In this sample case, we only have a single option. Once the Source is selected a couple more options will show up, but we are taking the default values for those and just clicking the Add button.

Now that we have the basic release setup click the Save button. There will be a prompt for a folder. Either enter a folder name or leave blank to keep the release in the root and then click OK to complete the save.

Auto Create After Pipeline Build

Now that we have our basic Release Pipeline we are going to set up a continuous deployment trigger on the artifact so that any time a new build is completed. In the Artifacts area click the Lighting Bolt on the artifact the trigger should be on, we only have one option in our sample.

A dialog will show different trigger options. We are going to Enable the Continuous deployment trigger. Notice that when the trigger is enabled there is an option to only trigger for specific branches. I have used this option pretty often to only trigger a release when a build is done on master. When done click the X to close the dialog and then Save the release. I also renamed the release to Web App 1 & 2 to make it clearer what the release is doing.

Now pop over to the Pipelines and run a build. After the build is complete go back to the Release and you will see that a new release was triggered, and deployed in this case based on how the rest of the Release was set up.

Wrapping Up

In this post, we created our first Release, which doesn’t actually do anything, and configured it to deploy automatically on the build of our application. I use a similar setup to automatically deploy to a QA environment. This setup can open up a ton of scenarios.


Also published on Medium.

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