Azure Pipelines

Azure DevOps Pipelines: PowerShell Task

This is going to be a quick post that shows the use of the PowerShell task in a Pipeline. Nothing in the post is really specific to the Azure DevOps Project we have been using over the last few weeks, but just in case you’re totally new to Azure DevOps and/or this series you can use the following posts to get started.

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

PowerShell Task

The PowerShell task will allow you to do pretty much anything. If there isn’t an existing DevOps task that fits your needs more than likely you can find a way to use the PowerShell task to accomplish what you need within the context of the computer the task is running on and even external computers that depending on your networking and security setup. The following is a sample task I added to a Pipeline that will output all the environment variables to the logs. This is an inline script, but you can also run scripts from files. Also, note that this works on both Windows and Linux agents.

- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    targetType: 'inline'
    script: 'Get-ChildItem -Path Env:\'

While this script isn’t super useful for a production Pipeline I often use it when setting up a Pipeline to get a good feel for what is available variable wise. Also, keep in mind that depending on the trigger of the run these variables can be different. For example, if a run was triggered by a pull request you will have a number of pull request related variables. The following is the output of this command on my test project that was triggered via a pull request and therefore contains a bunch of SYSTEM_PULLREQUEST_x variables with information about the pull request. The agent was running Linux.

Name                           Value
----                           -----
AGENT_ACCEPTTEEEULA            True
AGENT_BUILDDIRECTORY           /home/vsts/work/1
AGENT_DISABLELOGPLUGIN_TESTFI… true
AGENT_DISABLELOGPLUGIN_TESTRE… true
AGENT_HOMEDIRECTORY            /home/vsts/agents/2.165.2
AGENT_ID                       9
AGENT_JOBNAME                  Build WebApp1
AGENT_JOBSTATUS                Succeeded
AGENT_MACHINENAME              fv-az563
AGENT_NAME                     Hosted Agent
AGENT_OS                       Linux
AGENT_OSARCHITECTURE           X64
AGENT_READONLYVARIABLES        true
AGENT_RETAINDEFAULTENCODING    false
AGENT_ROOTDIRECTORY            /home/vsts/work
AGENT_TEMPDIRECTORY            /home/vsts/work/_temp
AGENT_TOOLSDIRECTORY           /opt/hostedtoolcache
AGENT_VERSION                  2.165.2
AGENT_WORKFOLDER               /home/vsts/work
agent.jobstatus                Succeeded
ANDROID_HOME                   /usr/local/lib/android/sdk
ANDROID_SDK_ROOT               /usr/local/lib/android/sdk
ANT_HOME                       /usr/share/ant
AZURE_EXTENSION_DIR            /opt/az/azcliextensions
AZURE_HTTP_USER_AGENT          VSTS_08ccc6b2-4e5e-4621-8f5b-3fe0de2efa22_build…
BOOST_ROOT_1_69_0              /usr/local/share/boost/1.69.0
BOOST_ROOT_1_72_0              /usr/local/share/boost/1.72.0
BUILD_ARTIFACTSTAGINGDIRECTORY /home/vsts/work/1/a
BUILD_BINARIESDIRECTORY        /home/vsts/work/1/b
BUILD_BUILDID                  73
BUILD_BUILDNUMBER              merge_20200422.1
BUILD_BUILDURI                 vstfs:///Build/Build/73
BUILD_CONTAINERID              3453972
BUILD_DEFINITIONNAME           Playground
BUILD_DEFINITIONVERSION        4
BUILD_QUEUEDBY                 Microsoft.VisualStudio.Services.TFS
BUILD_QUEUEDBYID               00000002-0000-8888-8000-000000000000
BUILD_REASON                   PullRequest
BUILD_REPOSITORY_CLEAN         False
BUILD_REPOSITORY_GIT_SUBMODUL… False
BUILD_REPOSITORY_ID            ff7a6325-1129-42e3-b095-6a39ef6a6bd3
BUILD_REPOSITORY_LOCALPATH     /home/vsts/work/1/s
BUILD_REPOSITORY_NAME          Playground
BUILD_REPOSITORY_PROVIDER      TfsGit
BUILD_REPOSITORY_URI           https://[email protected]/ericlanders…
BUILD_REQUESTEDFOR             Eric Anderson
BUILD_REQUESTEDFOREMAIL        [email protected]
BUILD_REQUESTEDFORID           45247cb1-8f49-4c03-a4c5-b03ac3286c99
BUILD_SOURCEBRANCH             refs/pull/10/merge
BUILD_SOURCEBRANCHNAME         merge
BUILD_SOURCESDIRECTORY         /home/vsts/work/1/s
BUILD_SOURCEVERSION            3e2b77c27f31a4c729a5f195b49d2e108500399d
BUILD_SOURCEVERSIONAUTHOR      Eric Anderson
BUILD_SOURCEVERSIONMESSAGE     Merge pull request 10 from docChanges into mast…
BUILD_STAGINGDIRECTORY         /home/vsts/work/1/a
BUILDCONFIGURATION             Release
BUILDWEBAPP2                   false
CHROME_BIN                     /usr/bin/google-chrome
CHROMEWEBDRIVER                /usr/local/share/chrome_driver
COMMON_TESTRESULTSDIRECTORY    /home/vsts/work/1/TestResults
CONDA                          /usr/share/miniconda
DEBIAN_FRONTEND                noninteractive
DOTNET_SKIP_FIRST_TIME_EXPERI… 1
ENDPOINT_URL_SYSTEMVSSCONNECT… https://dev.azure.com/ericlanderson/
GECKOWEBDRIVER                 /usr/local/share/gecko_driver
GIT_TERMINAL_PROMPT            0
GOROOT                         /usr/local/go1.14
GOROOT_1_11_X64                /usr/local/go1.11
GOROOT_1_12_X64                /usr/local/go1.12
GOROOT_1_13_X64                /usr/local/go1.13
GOROOT_1_14_X64                /usr/local/go1.14
GRADLE_HOME                    /usr/share/gradle
HOME                           /home/vsts
ImageOS                        ubuntu18
ImageVersion                   20200406.2
INPUT_ARGUMENTS                
INVOCATION_ID                  3e6abb812a484ab39fadc9e8721258ee
JAVA_HOME                      /usr/lib/jvm/zulu-8-azure-amd64
JAVA_HOME_11_X64               /usr/lib/jvm/zulu-11-azure-amd64
JAVA_HOME_12_X64               /usr/lib/jvm/zulu-12-azure-amd64
JAVA_HOME_7_X64                /usr/lib/jvm/zulu-7-azure-amd64
JAVA_HOME_8_X64                /usr/lib/jvm/zulu-8-azure-amd64
JOURNAL_STREAM                 9:30085
LANG                           C.UTF-8
LEIN_HOME                      /usr/local/lib/lein
LEIN_JAR                       /usr/local/lib/lein/self-installs/leiningen-2.9…
M2_HOME                        /usr/share/apache-maven-3.6.3
MSDEPLOY_HTTP_USER_AGENT       VSTS_08ccc6b2-4e5e-4621-8f5b-3fe0de2efa22_build…
PATH                           /opt/microsoft/powershell/7:/usr/share/rust/.ca…
PIPELINE_WORKSPACE             /home/vsts/work/1
POWERSHELL_DISTRIBUTION_CHANN… Azure-DevOps-ubuntu18
PSModulePath                   /home/vsts/.local/share/powershell/Modules:/usr…
RUNNER_TOOLSDIRECTORY          /opt/hostedtoolcache
SELENIUM_JAR_PATH              /usr/share/java/selenium-server-standalone.jar
SWIFT_PATH                     /usr/share/swift/usr/bin
SYSTEM                         build
SYSTEM_ARTIFACTSDIRECTORY      /home/vsts/work/1/a
SYSTEM_COLLECTIONID            08ccc6b2-4e5e-4621-8f5b-3fe0de2efa22
SYSTEM_COLLECTIONURI           https://dev.azure.com/ericlanderson/
SYSTEM_CULTURE                 en-US
SYSTEM_DEFAULTWORKINGDIRECTORY /home/vsts/work/1/s
SYSTEM_DEFINITIONID            5
SYSTEM_DEFINITIONNAME          Playground
SYSTEM_ENABLEACCESSTOKEN       SecretVariable
SYSTEM_HOSTTYPE                build
SYSTEM_ISSCHEDULED             False
SYSTEM_JOBATTEMPT              1
SYSTEM_JOBDISPLAYNAME          Build WebApp1
SYSTEM_JOBID                   98395c9e-7365-5c3f-03de-ec42b09a8a98
SYSTEM_JOBIDENTIFIER           WebApp1.__default
SYSTEM_JOBNAME                 __default
SYSTEM_JOBPARALLELISMTAG       Private
SYSTEM_JOBPOSITIONINPHASE      1
SYSTEM_PHASEATTEMPT            1
SYSTEM_PHASEDISPLAYNAME        Build WebApp1
SYSTEM_PHASEID                 a142d6c6-ff80-5cff-8292-5044e2c5b0ef
SYSTEM_PHASENAME               WebApp1
SYSTEM_PIPELINESTARTTIME       2020-04-22 06:11:44-05:00
SYSTEM_PLANID                  726fda14-a3a2-45b1-b745-bef8cf17bdaa
SYSTEM_PULLREQUEST_ISFORK      False
SYSTEM_PULLREQUEST_PULLREQUES… 10
SYSTEM_PULLREQUEST_PULLREQUES… 1
SYSTEM_PULLREQUEST_SOURCEBRAN… refs/heads/docChanges
SYSTEM_PULLREQUEST_SOURCECOMM… ba11cb768bc75ae65ff6b7ac6afb8a2950063f07
SYSTEM_PULLREQUEST_SOURCEREPO… https://[email protected]/ericlanders…
SYSTEM_PULLREQUEST_TARGETBRAN… refs/heads/master
SYSTEM_SERVERTYPE              Hosted
SYSTEM_STAGEATTEMPT            1
SYSTEM_STAGEDISPLAYNAME        __default
SYSTEM_STAGEID                 96ac2280-8cb4-5df5-99de-dd2da759617d
SYSTEM_STAGENAME               __default
SYSTEM_TASKDEFINITIONSURI      https://dev.azure.com/ericlanderson/
SYSTEM_TASKDISPLAYNAME         PowerShell
SYSTEM_TASKINSTANCEID          6417fa85-e8cf-55f9-817e-d698bd79d6f7
SYSTEM_TASKINSTANCENAME        PowerShell
SYSTEM_TEAMFOUNDATIONCOLLECTI… https://dev.azure.com/ericlanderson/
SYSTEM_TEAMFOUNDATIONSERVERURI https://dev.azure.com/ericlanderson/
SYSTEM_TEAMPROJECT             Playground
SYSTEM_TEAMPROJECTID           7550ca2f-9ffe-45b7-abd5-c4e92a4a5f4e
SYSTEM_TIMELINEID              726fda14-a3a2-45b1-b745-bef8cf17bdaa
SYSTEM_TOTALJOBSINPHASE        1
SYSTEM_WORKFOLDER              /home/vsts/work
TASK_DISPLAYNAME               PowerShell
TF_BUILD                       True
USER                           vsts
VCPKG_INSTALLATION_ROOT        /usr/local/share/vcpkg
VSTS_AGENT_PERFLOG             /home/vsts/perflog
VSTS_PROCESS_LOOKUP_ID         vsts_54420f58-c41f-4a43-8ce8-bbbac5023620

I don’t know about you but being able to see what paths the built-in path variables actually map to helps me a lot especially when files need to be moved around.

Wrapping Up

As stated above you can do just about anything with the PowerShell task. I have used it for everything from reading a JSON file to building a VM for QA. If you hadn’t used this task before I hope this post helped you get started and opened your eyes to the huge range of things you can do with the PowerShell task.

Azure DevOps Pipelines: Depends On with Conditionals in YAML

A few weeks ago we covered Conditionals in YAML to show how to conditionally run tasks and jobs as well as how to make a job dependent on another job. This post is going to cover combing conditional and job dependencies. If you are new to this series you can use the following posts to catch up.

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

Existing Job

As a reminder, our sample pipeline has 4 jobs. The WebApp1 job always runs, the WebApp2 job is run or skipped based on a pipeline variable, the DependentJob depends on WebApp1 and WebApp2, and finally, the TagSources job is dependent on all the previous jobs. We are going to be tweaking the TagSources job in this post. The following is the YAML for the setup of the TagSources job without its tasks.

- job: TagSources
  displayName: 'Tag Sources'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  dependsOn:
  - WebApp1
  - WebApp2
  - DependentJob

With this setup WebApp1, WebApp2, and DependentJob all have to report successful or the TagSources job will be skipped. The following screenshot shows a pipeline run with the variable to build WebApp2 set to false.

As you can see the TagSources job was skipped because one of its dependent jobs was skipped.

Dependencies with Conditions

Let us say for our pipeline we want the TagSources job to run as long as all jobs were successful or if WebApp1 was successful and the WebApp2 and DependentJob jobs were skipped. To do this we are going to add a condition element and manually check the results of the dependencies as you can see in the following.

- job: TagSources
  displayName: 'Tag Sources'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  dependsOn:
  - WebApp1
  - WebApp2
  - DependentJob
  condition: |
    and
    (
      eq(dependencies.WebApp1.result, 'Succeeded'),
      in(dependencies.WebApp2.result, 'Succeeded', 'Skipped'),
      in(dependencies.DependentJob.result, 'Succeeded', 'Skipped')
    )

And you can see in the results the TagSources job ran even with the two skipped jobs.

Wrapping Up

If there is a simpler way to accomplish what we did above I would love to hear about it. If I remember correctly I found the above in a GitHub issue, but I don’t have the link. I’m not sure how many of you will have Pipelines that will need this, but hopefully, this will save someone some research time.

Azure DevOps Pipelines: Manual Tagging

In this week’s post, we are going to cover manually tagging instead of using the tagging feature built into Azure DevOps. This post will be using a sample Azure DevOps project built over the last few weeks of posts. If you want to see how this project has gotten to this point see the following posts.

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

 

 

Why?

Tags give you information about the state of your repo when an event happens, a build for our case. This can be super useful especially when you need a place to branch for a hotfix, for example. The automatic tagging covered in my Azure DevOps Pipelines: Naming and Tagging post is the way to go if it works and it has for about 95% of my projects. I have a couple of projects where the automatic tagging would not work for some reason. Since I couldn’t work out why Azure DevOps wouldn’t tag I ended up having to add a job to the Pipeline to perform the tagging.

Permissions

To perform this manual tagging the account used in our Pipeline will need to be giving contribute permission to our repo so that it will be able to push the tag. Use the gear in the lower left to open the Project Setting page.

Select the Repositories option and then click on the specific repo you would like to change the settings for, Playground is the repo we are using in the example. Note that this setting can also be changed using the top-level Git repositories option if you want to change the permission for all of your repos.

On the Security tab under Users looks for the user than has Build Service in the name and select it. When the user is selected it will show their permissions to the right of the users. Find the Contribute option and change its value to Allow.

YAML Changes

As a quick reminder, the YAML for this project currently has 3 jobs. Two web application builds (WebApp1, WebApp2) and the third job is there to show how to use job dependencies (DependentJob). I’m going to skip showing the YAML for these existing jobs, but that if you need the full existing YAML it can be found in posts linked at the top.

Since we already have multiple jobs in our Pipeline we are going to add the tagging code as a new job. This will easily allow us to only tag when all the other jobs have run successfully. The following is the full YAML for the new job.

- job: TagSources
  displayName: 'Tag Sources'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  dependsOn:
  - WebApp1
  - WebApp2
  - DependentJob
 
  steps:
  - checkout: self
    persistCredentials: true
    clean: true
    fetchDepth: 1

  - task: [email protected]
    inputs:
      targetType: 'inline'
      script: |
        $env:GIT_REDIRECT_STDERR` = '2>&1'
        $tag = "manual_$(Build.BuildNumber)".replace(' ', '_')
        git tag $tag
        Write-Host "Successfully created tag $tag" 

        git push --tags
         Write-Host "Successfully pushed tag $tag"     

      failOnStderr: false

First off you see that this job depends on our existing three jobs to complete successfully before this new job will run.

dependsOn: 
- WebApp1 
- WebApp2 
- DependentJob

Starting in the Steps section you will see a checkout step that is normally handled automatically by the job, but in this case, we need to use the persistCredential option so the job will still be authed and allow us to push to our git repo. The self option is used to signify the current repo/branch. See the official Checkout docs for more information.

- checkout: self
  persistCredentials: true
  clean: true
  fetchDepth: 1

The final bit of the job is the PowerShell task that performs the actual tagging and push. I found most of this on stackoverflow and/or in a GitHub issue, but it has been a while so I don’t have the links handy. The StdErr stuff was to work around some git output that didn’t affect the tagging but was causing the job to be marked as failed. Other than that it is using the standard git commands to tag and push.

- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    targetType: 'inline'
    script: |
      $env:GIT_REDIRECT_STDERR` = '2>&1'
      $tag = "manual_$(Build.BuildNumber)".replace(' ', '_')
      git tag $tag
      Write-Host "Successfully created tag $tag" 

      git push --tags
       Write-Host "Successfully pushed tag $tag"     

    failOnStderr: false

Wrapping Up

I honestly hope none of you have to use this. It was a huge pain to work out. It is also to work around some sort of issue with Azure DevOps built-in tagging support. To be fair I can see where in more complex Pipelines you might need a level of flexibility that the built-in tagging couldn’t provide and this would be your only option.

Azure DevOps Pipelines: Naming and Tagging

In this week’s post, we are going to cover changing the naming of Pipeline runs to provide more information as well as tagging our source when a pipeline is run. This post will be using a sample Azure DevOps project built over the last few weeks of posts. If you want to see how this project has progressed check out the following posts.

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

Naming

By default, Pipeline runs are naming using the current date with a number for how many times the Pipeline has run for the day. For example, the fourth build on March, 17th, 2020 would start with the name 20200317.4 plus the description of the last commit. If you have the need you can change this naming scheme by using a name element in your YAML. As with the rest of the YAML related things you have all the same information available as the rest of the Pipeline to use in building whatever name might be helpful for your situation. For our example, we are going to add the branch name to the front of the run date and count by adding the following name element to the top of our YAML file.

name: $(SourceBranchName)_$(date:yyyyMMdd)$(rev:.r)

resources:      
  repositories: 
  - repository: Shared
    name: Playground/Shared
    type: git 
    ref: master #branch name

trigger: none

The above would result in master_20200317.4 using the same example as above. The following screenshot shows the actual results from this change in the sample Pipeline.

Tagging

Tagging source code when running a Pipeline is a helpful way to know exactly what was included when a Pipeline is run. Here we are going to walk through using Azure DevOps to automatically tag on successful builds. From the Pipeline, you want to tag click the Edit button as you would if you were going to edit the Pipeline’s YAML. Then click the three dots and select Triggers.

Now click on the YAML tab, then Get sources, under Tag sources we are going to select On success so tags will only happen if the build completes successfully. Also, notice the Tag format which allows you to change how the tag is named. When done make sure and Save your changes.

After running a build with the above changes head over to the Repos area of the project. From Files click on History and from there you can see the tag on the last commit that was included in the build, which is displayed here as master_20200325.1.

Wrapping Up

Using clear naming for your builds can give you a lot of information at a glance, but it does take some thought to make sure information your including is helpful. Tagging is also super helpful when viewing history to know what went out with what release, and of course, they can also be used for branching. Come back next week for a look at how to manually tag when Azure DevOps automatic tagging doesn’t work for whatever reason.

Azure DevOps Pipelines: Conditionals in YAML

In this week’s post, we are going to cover some ways to make tasks and jobs run conditionally. This will include options such as Pipeline variables to jobs that are dependent on other jobs. This post will be using a sample Azure DevOps project built over the last few weeks of posts. If you want to see the build-up check out the following posts.

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

Sample YAML

The following YAML is based on the YAML from the previous posts, see links above, expanded with examples of using some ways of conditionally running some task or job. This is the full file for reference and the rest of the post will call out specific parts of the file as needed.

resources:      
  repositories: 
  - repository: Shared
    name: Playground/Shared
    type: git 
    ref: master #branch name

trigger: none

variables:
  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

jobs:
- job: WebApp1
  displayName: 'Build WebApp1'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  steps:
  - template: [email protected]
    parameters:
      buildConFiguration: $(buildConfiguration)
      project: WebApp1.csproj
      artifactName: WebApp1

- job: WebApp2
  displayName: 'Build WebApp2'
  condition: and(succeeded(), eq(variables['BuildWebApp2'], 'true'))
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  steps:
  - template: build.yml
    parameters:
      buildConFiguration: $(buildConfiguration)
      project: WebApp2.csproj
      artifactName: WebApp2
      
- job: DependentJob
  displayName: 'Build Dependent Job'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  dependsOn:
  - WebApp1
  - WebApp2

  steps:
  - template: [email protected]
    parameters:
      buildConFiguration: $(buildConfiguration)
      project: WebApp1.csproj
      artifactName: WebApp1Again

Job Dependencies

The more complex pipelines get the more likely the pipeline will end up with a job that can’t run until other jobs have completed. The YAML above defines three different jobs, WebApp1, WebApp2, and DependentJob. I’m sure you have guessed by now that the third job is the one that has a dependency. To make a job dependent on other jobs we use the dependsOn element and list the jobs that must complete before the job in question can run. The following is the YAML for the sample DependentJob with the dependsOn section highlighted.

- job: DependentJob
  displayName: 'Build Dependent Job'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  dependsOn:
  - WebApp1
  - WebApp2

  steps:
  - template: [email protected]
    parameters:
      buildConFiguration: $(buildConfiguration)
      project: WebApp1.csproj
      artifactName: WebApp1Again

With the above setup, DependentJob will only run if both the WebApp1 and WebApp2 jobs complete successfully.

Conditions

Conditions are a way to control if a Job or Task is run. The following example is at the job level, but the same concept works at the task level. Notice the highlighted condition.

- job: WebApp2
  displayName: 'Build WebApp2'
  condition: and(succeeded(), eq(variables['BuildWebApp2'], 'true'))
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  steps:
  - template: build.yml
    parameters:
      buildConFiguration: $(buildConfiguration)
      project: WebApp2.csproj
      artifactName: WebApp2

The above condition will cause the WebApp2 job to be skipped if the BuildWebApp2 variable isn’t true. For more details on how to use conditions see the Conditions docs.

Creating a Pipeline Variable

The rest of the post is going to walk through creating a Pipeline variable and then running some sample builds to show how depends on and the conditions defined in the YAML above affect the Pipeline results.

We are starting from an existing pipeline that is already being edited. To add (or edit) variables click the Variables button in the top right of the screen.

The Variables pop out will show. If we had existing variables they show here. Click the New variable button to add a new variable.

We are adding a variable that will control the build of WebApp2 called BuildWebApp2 that defaults to the value of true. Also, make sure and check the Let user override this value when running this pipeline checkbox to allow us to edit this variable when doing a run of the pipeline. Then click the OK button.

Back on the Variables dialog click the Save button.

Edit Variables When Starting a Pipeline

Now that our Pipeline has a variable when running the Pipeline under Advanced options you will see the Variables section showing that our Pipeline has 1 variable defined. Click Variables to view/edit the variables that will be used for this run of the Pipeline.

From the Variables section, you will see a list of the defined variables as well as an option to add new variables that will exist only for this run of the Pipeline. Click on the BuildWebApp2 variable to edit the value that will be used for this run of the Pipeline.

From the Update variable dialog, you can change the value of the variable. When done click the Update button.

Pipeline Results from Sample YAML

The following is what our sample Pipeline looks like when queued with the BuildWebApp2 variable set to false. As you can see the job will be skipped.

Next is the completed results of the Pipeline run. You can see that the Build Dependent Job was skipped as well since both Build WebApp1 and Build WebApp2 must complete successfully before it will run.

Changing the BuildWebApp2 variable back to true and running the Pipeline again results in all the jobs running successfully.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, this has helped introduce you to some of the ways you can control your Pipelines. As with everything else Azure DevOps related things are changing a lot and new options are popping up all the time. For example, while writing this post the team just announced Runtime Parameters which look like a much better option than variables for values that frequently vary between Pipeline runs.

Azure DevOps Pipelines: Use YAML Across Repos

In last week’s post, we refactored some YAML that was reusable into a new file. This post is going to cover moving that same reusable YAML to a new repo and then using it in our existing sample repo. This post is going to build on the Azure DevOps project created in previous posts if you are just joining this series check out the previous posts to find out how the project has progressed.

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

Create a New Repository

First, we need to create a new repository that will be used to share the YAML in question. Using the Repos section of Azure DevOps as a starting point you click the dropdown with the currently selected repo name, Playground in this example, and then click New repository.

You will be presented with a dialog where you will need to enter the Repository name and any other of the options you want to configure. In this example, we are naming the repo Shared and adding a Git ignore file for Visual Studio. When done click the Create button.

The following steps should be taken on the new Shared repo. At this point, you could clone the repo and do the rest of the steps locally and then push the changes to the repo or you can use the web interface to make all the change which is the route this post is going to show. Either way, you go it shouldn’t be too hard to adapt the steps. For the web interface to add a new file in the root of the repo click the three-dot menu to the right of the repo name and then select New and then File.

The next prompt will ask for a file name, I’m using buildCoreWebProject.yml. Click Create to continue.

You will land in the file editor. Copy and paste the code out of build.yml that we were using from the previous post into the new file. The following is the full YAML from build.yml for reference.

parameters:
- name: buildConfiguration
  type: string
  default: 'Release'
- name: project
  type: string
  default: ''
- name: artifactName
  type: string
  default: ''

steps:
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Use .NET 3.1.x'
    inputs:
      packageType: 'sdk'
      version: '3.1.x'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Build'
    inputs:
      command: 'build'
      projects: '**/${{ parameters.project }}'
      arguments: '--configuration ${{ parameters.buildConfiguration }}' 
  
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Application'
    inputs:
      command: 'publish'
      publishWebProjects: false
      projects: '**/${{ parameters.project }}'
      arguments: '--configuration ${{ parameters.buildConfiguration }} --output $(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Artifacts'
    inputs:
      targetPath: '$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'
      artifact: ${{ parameters.artifactName }}
      publishLocation: 'pipeline'

Once the code is copied in click the Commit button to save the changes to the master branch.

Switching back to our original repo, Playground in this example, we need to add the Shared repo as a resource for in our azure-pipelines.yml file. The following is the resource deliration for using another Azure DevOps repo. The official docs for check out multiple repositories also show examples with GitHub and Bitbucket. I also found this stackoverflow question helpful.

resources: 
  repositories: 
  - repository: Shared 
    name: Playground/Shared 
    type: git 
    ref: master #branch name

Shared on the repository line is the name we will be using when referencing a file out of the Shared repo. Name is the Azure DevOps project and repo name. Type is the repo type which is Git in our case. Finally, ref is the branch name from the Shared repo that we want to use. Now that we have access to the files from the Shared repo we can use its buildCoreWebProject.yml instead of the local build.yml as a template.

Before:
  - template: build.yml
    parameters:
      buildConFiguration: $(buildConfiguration)
      project: WebApp1.csproj
      artifactName: WebApp1

After:
  - template: [email protected]
    parameters:
      buildConFiguration: $(buildConfiguration)
      project: WebApp1.csproj
      artifactName: WebApp1

Notice that the only change is on the template line which changed from build.yml to [email protected]. The @Shared on the end of the filename is what tells the pipeline the file’s source is the Shared repo. The following is the full azure-pipeline.yml for reference. The frist job is using the template form the Shared repo and the second one is using a local template.

resources:      
  repositories: 
  - repository: Shared
    name: Playground/Shared
    type: git 
    ref: master #branch name

trigger: none

variables:
  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

jobs:
- job: WebApp1
  displayName: 'Build WebApp1'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  steps:
  - template: [email protected]
    parameters:
      buildConFiguration: $(buildConfiguration)
      project: WebApp1.csproj
      artifactName: WebApp1

- job: WebApp2
  displayName: 'Build WebApp2'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  steps:
  - template: build.yml
    parameters:
      buildConFiguration: $(buildConfiguration)
      project: WebApp2.csproj
      artifactName: WebApp2

Wrapping Up

Being able to utilize YAML from different repos can help cut down on duplicated YAML and help keep your pipelines across repos cleaner. As with anything else, this is a useful tool when applied appropriately.

Azure DevOps Pipelines: Reusable YAML

In this post, we are going to refactor our sample Azure DevOps Pipeline to move some of the redundant YAML to a new file and replace the redundant parts of our main YAML file. This post is going to build on the Azure DevOps project created in previous posts. If you are just joining this series check out the previous posts to find out how the project has progressed.

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

Starting YAML

The following is the YAML for our current pipeline that builds two different web applications using two different jobs. Looking at the two jobs you will notice that they both have the same steps. The only difference in the steps is which project to build (WebApp1.csproj or WebApp2.csproj) and what to call the published artifact (WebApp1 or WebApp2). When developing applications we would never stand for this level of duplication and the same should apply to our pipelines.

trigger: none

variables:
  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

jobs:
- job: WebApp1
  displayName: 'Build WebApp1'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  steps:
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Use .NET 3.1.x'
    inputs:
      packageType: 'sdk'
      version: '3.1.x'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Build'
    inputs:
      command: 'build'
      projects: '**/WebApp1.csproj'
      arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration)' 
  
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Application'
    inputs:
      command: 'publish'
      publishWebProjects: false
      projects: '**/WebApp1.csproj'
      arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration) --output $(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Artifacts'
    inputs:
      targetPath: '$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'
      artifact: 'WebApp1'
      publishLocation: 'pipeline'

- job: WebApp2
  displayName: 'Build WebApp2'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  steps:
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Use .NET 3.1.x'
    inputs:
      packageType: 'sdk'
      version: '3.1.x'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Build'
    inputs:
      command: 'build'
      projects: '**/WebApp2.csproj'
      arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration)' 
  
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Application'
    inputs:
      command: 'publish'
      publishWebProjects: false
      projects: '**/WebApp2.csproj'
      arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration) --output $(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Artifacts'
    inputs:
      targetPath: '$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'
      artifact: 'WebApp2'
      publishLocation: 'pipeline'

Add a New File

To attack the duplication above we need to take the shared steps from above and move them somewhere they can be reused. We will be walking through the steps using the Azure DevOps web site and committing directly to the master branch, but these same steps could be performed locally or on the web on any branch. First, from the Repos section of the site we need to add a new file by clicking the three dots at the level we want the file added. In this case, we are adding to the root of the repo but the same option is available on any folder.

A dialog will show where you can enter the New file name, we are going to use build.yml in this case. Next, click Create to continue.

Shared YAML

Now that we have a new file we can start building the new YAML that will handle the repeated steps from the original jobs. The first thing we are going to do is define a set of parameters that this set of steps can be called with. We are going to use this to pass what project to build, which build configuration to use, and what name the published artifact. The following is the definition of our parameters.

parameters:
- name: buildConfiguration
  type: string
  default: 'Release'
- name: project
  type: string
  default: ''
- name: artifactName
  type: string
  default: ''

We can then use these parameters in the rest of the file using the ${{ parameterName }} syntax. Note that any pipeline variables are also available using the $(variableName) syntax. The following bit of YAML shows both types in the arguments line.

- task: [email protected]
  displayName: 'Publish Application'
  inputs:
    command: 'publish'
    publishWebProjects: false
    projects: '**/${{ parameters.project }}'
    arguments: '--configuration ${{ parameters.buildConfiguration }} --output $(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'

While you can use pipeline variables I recommend passing all the values you need via parameters for the same reason that we try to avoid global variables when doing general programming. I’m using both here to show the usage of each. The following is the full YAML in our new file.

parameters:
- name: buildConfiguration
  type: string
  default: 'Release'
- name: project
  type: string
  default: ''
- name: artifactName
  type: string
  default: ''

steps:
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Use .NET 3.1.x'
    inputs:
      packageType: 'sdk'
      version: '3.1.x'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Build'
    inputs:
      command: 'build'
      projects: '**/${{ parameters.project }}'
      arguments: '--configuration ${{ parameters.buildConfiguration }}' 
  
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Application'
    inputs:
      command: 'publish'
      publishWebProjects: false
      projects: '**/${{ parameters.project }}'
      arguments: '--configuration ${{ parameters.buildConfiguration }} --output $(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Artifacts'
    inputs:
      targetPath: '$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'
      artifact: ${{ parameters.artifactName }}
      publishLocation: 'pipeline'

Finally, commit the changes to the new file.

Using Shared YAML

Not that we have the YAML that is the same between our two build jobs we can switch back over to our main YAML file, azure-pipelines.yml in the sample, and remove the steps we are wanting to replace. While the jobs will both have a steps section the only thing we will have left in them is a template call to our other YAML file, build.yml for the sample, that passes the parameters to run the other file with. The following is the resulting YAML file with the call to the shared file in both jobs highlighted.

trigger: none

variables:
  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

jobs:
- job: WebApp1
  displayName: 'Build WebApp1'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  steps:
  - template: build.yml
    parameters:
      buildConFiguration: $(buildConfiguration)
      project: WebApp1.csproj
      artifactName: WebApp1

- job: WebApp2
  displayName: 'Build WebApp2'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  steps:
  - template: build.yml
    parameters:
      buildConFiguration: $(buildConfiguration)
      project: WebApp2.csproj
      artifactName: WebApp2

Wrapping Up

Being able to remove duplication from your YAML files should help improve the maintainability of your pipelines. I know the samples don’t show it, but the template is just a step and you could have other steps before or after it just like you would with normal tasks.

Azure DevOps Pipelines: Multiple Jobs in YAML

This post is going to show how to run multiple jobs out of a single YAML file from an Azure DevOps Pipeline. This post is going to build on the Azure DevOps project created in previous posts. If you are just joining this series check out the previous posts to find out how the project has progressed.

Getting Started with Azure DevOps
Pipeline Creation in Azure DevOps
Azure DevOps Publish Artifacts for ASP.NET Core

Starting Point and the Plan

As the sample stands now we have a single Pipeline that builds two different ASP.NET Core web applications in a single job using the following YAML.

trigger:
- master

pool:
  vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

variables:
  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

steps:
- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    packageType: 'sdk'
    version: '3.1.x'

- script: dotnet build --configuration $(buildConfiguration)
  displayName: 'dotnet build $(buildConfiguration)'
  
- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    command: 'publish'
    publishWebProjects: true
    arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration) --output $(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'

- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    targetPath: '$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'
    publishLocation: 'pipeline'

This post is going to take this pipeline and split the build and publish of the two web applications and make each application its own job. In Pipelines a job is something that a single agent takes and runs. By splitting into multiple jobs the pipeline can run multiple jobs at the same time if you have enough build agents available. One reason to do this would be to speed up the total Pipeline run if you have parts of your build that are independent. Another example of why you would need jobs is if the different jobs need different agents such as one needing a Windows agent and another a Linux agent.

Creating the Jobs

Having different jobs means we are going to have to move things like what agent pool to use and the steps for the job under a jobs element and then declare a specific job and the details that job needs to run. As you can see in the following example the end goal is the same as the YAML from above (except it is dealing with a specific project), but the details are nested under jobs and defined under a job.

trigger:
- master

variables:
  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

jobs:
- job: WebApp1
  displayName: 'Build WebApp1'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  steps:
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Use .NET 3.1.x'
    inputs:
      packageType: 'sdk'
      version: '3.1.x'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Build'
    inputs:
      command: 'build'
      projects: '**/WebApp1.csproj'
      arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration)' 
  
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Application'
    inputs:
      command: 'publish'
      publishWebProjects: false
      projects: '**/WebApp1.csproj'
      arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration) --output $(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Artifacts'
    inputs:
      targetPath: '$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'
      artifact: 'WebApp1'
      publishLocation: 'pipeline'

Also notice that you can still define variables that can be used across jobs as is done above with the buildConfiguration variable. The following is the full YAML file that builds and publishes the artifacts for both web applications.

trigger:
- master

variables:
  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

jobs:
- job: WebApp1
  displayName: 'Build WebApp1'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  steps:
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Use .NET 3.1.x'
    inputs:
      packageType: 'sdk'
      version: '3.1.x'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Build'
    inputs:
      command: 'build'
      projects: '**/WebApp1.csproj'
      arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration)' 
  
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Application'
    inputs:
      command: 'publish'
      publishWebProjects: false
      projects: '**/WebApp1.csproj'
      arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration) --output $(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Artifacts'
    inputs:
      targetPath: '$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'
      artifact: 'WebApp1'
      publishLocation: 'pipeline'

- job: WebApp2
  displayName: 'Build WebApp2'
  pool:
    vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

  steps:
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Use .NET 3.1.x'
    inputs:
      packageType: 'sdk'
      version: '3.1.x'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Build'
    inputs:
      command: 'build'
      projects: '**/WebApp2.csproj'
      arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration)' 
  
  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Application'
    inputs:
      command: 'publish'
      publishWebProjects: false
      projects: '**/WebApp2.csproj'
      arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration) --output $(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'

  - task: [email protected]
    displayName: 'Publish Artifacts'
    inputs:
      targetPath: '$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'
      artifact: 'WebApp2'
      publishLocation: 'pipeline'

After all your edits are done commit the changes to your YAML file and then run the pipeline. As you can see from the following screenshot of my sample pipeline run the pipeline has two jobs instead of one that the original YAML resulted in. Also, note that the pipeline results in two published artifacts (one per job in our case) instead of the one with the original.

Wrapping Up

As mentioned above there are a lot of reasons you might want to split up your pipeline into multiple jobs and hopefully, you now have a good idea of how that is done. Make sure and check back in the future for a post on how to take repeated tasks and make them reusable.

Azure DevOps Publish Artifacts for ASP.NET Core

This post is going to build on the Azure DevOps project we created in the last few posts and get the build pipeline to the point you have the application’s binaries. If you are just joining this series check out the previous posts to catch up.

Getting Started with Azure DevOps
Pipeline Creation in Azure DevOps

Edit the Pipeline

First, we need to get back to the pipeline we were working on. From the Project menu select Pipelines.

This will land you on a page that lists your recently run pipelines. If you don’t see your pipeline list you might have to click the All option near the top of the page. Since we only have one pipeline in this project we can use the ellipsis to open a context menu and click Edit.

Publish the Application

At this point, the YAML for our pipeline looks like the following.

trigger:
- master

pool:
  vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

variables:
  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

steps:
- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    packageType: 'sdk'
    version: '3.1.x'

- script: dotnet build --configuration $(buildConfiguration)
  displayName: 'dotnet build $(buildConfiguration)'

The pipeline will currently tell us if the included project builds, but doesn’t provide us with the results of that build. Using the Task panel on the right search for the .NET Core task and then click the resulting task. This is the task you would want to use to invoke any of the .NET CLI commands.

Use the drop-down for Command and select publish. For this sample, the defaults for the rest of the settings will be fine. Finally, click Add to add the task to the YAML file.

The following is the resulting YAML.

trigger:
- master

pool:
  vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

variables:
  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

steps:
- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    packageType: 'sdk'
    version: '3.1.x'

- script: dotnet build --configuration $(buildConfiguration)
  displayName: 'dotnet build $(buildConfiguration)'
  
- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    command: 'publish'
    publishWebProjects: true

Before we move on I want to point out the Settings link above the tasks in the YAML editor. Clicking Settings will load that task into the task panel on the right of the screen where you can make changes and then if you hit the add button it will replace your existing task with a new one with your new options selected. Be careful to not change the selection in the YAML editor as the add button is just replacing the selected text not remembering what task you click settings on. When finished click the Save button and go through the commit process. When that is finished click the Run button to execute the pipeline.

Publish Build Artifacts

The pipeline run should succeed, but we still don’t have any files we can use. Learning what variables are available in the pipeline and how to use them is one of the hardest parts of getting started with Azure Pipelines. For our example, we are trying to get the two zip files created by the publish step above which means our pipeline will need to publish artifacts to make the files available. We are going to tweak the publish command from above with an output directory using the builtin Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory variable. The following is the full task with the changes.

- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    command: 'publish'
    publishWebProjects: true
    arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration) --output $(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'

With the file we need in the artifact staging directory we need to publish those files using the Publish Pipeline Artifact task. The following is the full task that publishes the artifact staging directory to the pipeline.

- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    targetPath: '$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'
    publishLocation: 'pipeline'

For reference, the following is the full YAML for the pipeline with all the above changes.

trigger:
- master

pool:
  vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

variables:
  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

steps:
- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    packageType: 'sdk'
    version: '3.1.x'

- script: dotnet build --configuration $(buildConfiguration)
  displayName: 'dotnet build $(buildConfiguration)'
  
- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    command: 'publish'
    publishWebProjects: true
    arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration) --output $(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'

- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    targetPath: '$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'
    publishLocation: 'pipeline'

Save and run the pipeline. When the pipeline is complete on the result page you will see 1 published for artifacts.

Click on 1 published and it will take you to a page that lists the artifacts. If you mouse over any of the rows you will see the option to download the associated file(s).

Quick Tip

As I stated above getting a handle on what directories are where can be a pain. If you ever need to see what files are where you can use the following publish task to output the full set of files the pipeline is using by publishing the pipeline’s entire workspace. This has helped me in the past to orient myself.

- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    targetPath: '$(Pipeline.Workspace)'
    publishLocation: 'pipeline'

Wrapping Up

Our pipeline is now at the point we have files we could deploy. Hopefully, this gives you a good jump start on your own build pipelines. Azure Pipelines is a huge topic and this is a very basic build so keep an eye out for more posts on this topic in the future.

Pipeline Creation in Azure DevOps

This post is going to walk through creating a new build pipeline in Azure DevOps. This post is going to stick with a very simple example which we will build on in future posts. If you are new to this series of post check out the related posts.

Getting Started with Azure DevOps

This post will all happen from the Azure DevOps website so get logged in to your account select the project you will be working with before continuing. The project this sample is using is named Playground.

Pipeline Creation

From the project menu on the right of the site click the Pipelines option.

Since our sample project doesn’t have any pipelines setup we will see a landing page telling us to create a new pipeline. Once you have some pipelines this page is a lot more useful. Click the Create Pipeline button to continue.

The next step is to pick where our code is stored. For this sample, the code is in an Azure Repo Git repository, but as you can see Azure DevOps is pretty open about where your code is stored. As you will see from the screenshot there are a bunch of YAML based options and a very small option to use the classic editor. The classic editor is much easier to get started with, but the YAML options are getting the most attention from Microsoft and have the advantage of being stored in Git with your source so I recommend going with a YAML option even though there is more of a learning curve.

Next, select the repo this pipeline is for.

In the next step, Configure, you are given a list of templates to pick from which really helps when your new to yaml. Our sample applications are ASP.NET Core so click the Show More button and click ASP.NET Core. As you can see from the screenshot Azure DevOps can build just about anything and isn’t restricted to Microsoft based tech.

The result is the following YAML file. At this point, we aren’t doing to dive into the particulars of what the YAML is doing and go with the default. To continue to click the Save and run button.

Since the YAML is stored in the repo the save process is actually making a commit to a branch. Click the Save and run button on the commit dialog and it will save the YAML file to your branch and run the pipeline.

Pipeline Results

The following are the results from the pipeline run and it turns out to have failed. If you click the highlighted error it will take you to the detailed logs of the pipeline which will normally give you a good indication of why the pipeline failed.

The following screenshot is the result of clicking on the error. As you can see it provides a the output of the build command.

In this case line, 43 provides us with the reason the build failed. The following is the full line since the screenshot cuts it off. In this case, the issue is the agent running the build doesn’t have .NET Core 3.1 installed.

usr/share/dotnet/sdk/3.0.102/Sdks/Microsoft.NET.Sdk/targets/Microsoft.NET.TargetFrameworkInference.targets(127,5): error NETSDK1045: The current .NET SDK does not support targeting .NET Core 3.1. Either target .NET Core 3.0 or lower, or use a version of the .NET SDK that supports .NET Core 3.1. [/home/vsts/work/1/s/src/WebApp1/WebApp1.csproj]

Fixing the Pipeline

Click the back button in your browser to return to the pipeline results page. Click the three dots in the top right of the results page and select Edit pipeline. This will open an edit with the YAML for the build open.

Using the Tasks helper on the right side of the screen we are going to select the Use .NET Core task which will allow us to install the version of .NET Core we need to build our applications.

Enter the version of .NET Core your application needs, 3.1 in this case and hit add.

The following is the resulting YAML. Note that the above helper isn’t required and you can hand-edit the YAML if you want.

trigger:
- master

pool:
  vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

variables:
  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

steps:
- task: [email protected]
  inputs:
    packageType: 'sdk'
    version: '3.1.x'

- script: dotnet build --configuration $(buildConfiguration)
  displayName: 'dotnet build $(buildConfiguration)'

Hit the Save button in the top right of the page, enter a commit message and click the Save button in the bottom right of the page. This will return you back to the edit screen for your YAML. Click the Run button on the top right of the page to start the pipeline.

This round (for the sample application) the pipeline will succeed.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, this will give you a good jumping-off point to build your first Azure DevOps Pipeline. There is a lot a depth in Pipeline some of which I will explore in some future posts.