VSTS – Build

This Blog Entry is about Visual Studio Team Services Build System.

VSTS Build System offers a simple GUI to configure your build definitions. This Blog Entry will explain how to use this GUI. 

 

VSTS BUILD

Abbildung 1: The newest VSTS BUILD Definition Editor

On the top row on the left side is the name of your Build Definition. On the right side are buttons to safe & queue your new build definition, discard any changes made, to get a summary about the builds based on this build definition and a Queue button to just queue a new build based on the current saved state of the build definition. There is also a button with three dots on them when you click on them VSTS will show two buttons. One leads to the help for VSTS and the other one to the permissions for this build definition.

The next row contains tabs for different aspects of the build definition. In tasks you assemble, arrange and configure the different steps that will run. The next Tab is called Variables in here you can see the variables configured for this build definition. You can add variables here for instance for your username and password for a third-party site. Variable values that should be secret can be stored in an Azure Key Vault associated with this Build Definition. In the Triggers tab you can select If you want your build to be triggered on a change in a repository or to do a scheduled build but of course you can do both. The next Tab is called Options. In this tab you can for example select the agent queue, set the way your builds are versioned or if you have certain demands for software available to the build agent. Retention is the Tab in which you set the amount of time builds are retained. The last tab is History. It shows you who changed the build definition and when he changed it.

In the Task Tab clicking on Add new Build Step here you choose one of the many different Steps and configure them. In this blog article, I am going to give you an detailed description of the most useful or most used Build Steps you will use in VSTS Build.

There are build two steps that are essential first is ‚Get Sources’ and the second one is ‚Copy and Publish Build Artifacts‘. Get Sources allows you to get sources from your project, Github or any other git/subversion repository. You can also select multiple advanced options related to git. Like Source Tagging, whether to checkout submodules or files from LFS, to not sync the sources, do only a shallow fetch or to clean the repo.

Copy and Publish Build Artifacts copies the build artifacts either into a Folder on VSTS or a Fileshare. The options that this step provides are all about defining what are your build artifacts and the destination they should be copied to.

This is just a first look into one of the most essential aspects of VSTSs build system.

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