Azure DevOps is a set of development tools and services provided by Microsoft Azure that enables teams to plan, develop, test, and deliver software more efficiently. One of the key features of Azure DevOps is Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines. In this guide, we will explore the fundamentals of Azure DevOps CI/CD pipelines, their benefits, and provide sample code to help you get started with automating the software delivery process.

Key Concepts

Before diving into Azure DevOps CI/CD pipelines, it's important to understand some key concepts:

  • Continuous Integration (CI): CI is the practice of frequently integrating code changes into a shared repository. Azure DevOps CI pipelines automatically build and test code changes when pushed to the repository.
  • Continuous Deployment (CD): CD is the practice of automatically deploying code changes to various environments (e.g., staging, production) after successful CI. Azure DevOps CD pipelines automate the deployment process.
  • Build Agents: Build agents are the machines that run build and release tasks. Azure DevOps provides hosted build agents or allows you to set up your own.
  • Artifacts: Artifacts are the build outputs that can be deployed to various environments.

Using Azure DevOps CI/CD Pipelines

To get started with Azure DevOps CI/CD pipelines, follow these steps:

  1. Create an Azure DevOps organization and project.
  2. Define a CI pipeline that builds and tests your application when code changes are pushed.
  3. Create a CD pipeline that automates the deployment process to your target environments.
  4. Configure triggers, stages, and agents to customize your pipeline.

Sample Code: Azure DevOps YAML Pipeline

Here's an example of a YAML-based CI/CD pipeline in Azure DevOps for building and deploying a web application:

- main
vmImage: 'windows-latest'
- task: NodeTool@0
versionSpec: '14.x'
displayName: 'Install Node.js'
- script: |
npm install
npm run build
displayName: 'Build the web application'
- task: ArchiveFiles@2
rootFolderOrFile: '$(Build.SourcesDirectory)/dist'
includeRootFolder: false
archiveType: 'zip'
archiveFile: '$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)/'
displayName: 'Archive build artifacts'
- task: PublishBuildArtifacts@1
pathtoPublish: '$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'
artifactName: 'drop'
publishLocation: 'Container'
displayName: 'Publish artifact'

Benefits of Azure DevOps CI/CD Pipelines

Azure DevOps CI/CD pipelines offer several benefits, including:

  • Automated and consistent software builds and deployments.
  • Reduced manual errors and faster delivery of new features.
  • Integration with various development stacks and deployment targets.
  • Visibility into the software delivery process with detailed logs and reports.


Azure DevOps CI/CD pipelines are a crucial part of modern software development, allowing teams to automate the build, test, and deployment process. By understanding the key concepts, using sample code, and configuring your pipelines, you can streamline your software delivery and improve the quality of your applications.