Azure DevOps Pipeline - Classic vs YAML

May 30, 2023

If you are starting with Azure DevOps pipelines or Planning to migrate to Azure DevOps pipelines,
a choice has to be made between classic vs YAML pipelines

In this article, I will try to provide insights that can help to choose between classic and YAML pipelines

Classic Pipelines:

Click on the "Create Pipeline" button

create new pipeline

Click on "Use the classic editor"

use the classic editor

Select the source (wherever the code exists)

We will select "Azure DevOps Git" and a sample repository "input-sample.git"

This can be changed later to point to a real code base

select a source

Select a template or start with an Empty Job, we will select "Azure Web App for Java" template

select a template

A Job with a list of possible tasks required to build a Java application and deploy the war file to Azure app service will be created

We can make all the required configuration and customization in this single page

configure the task in classic editor

remember this is just a template, we can add or remove/disable tasks based on our liking

YAML Pipelines:

we will now create a YAML pipeline to see how it compares to a classic one we just created

Click on the "Create Pipeline" button

create new pipeline

Select the required source control management, we will select "Azure DevOps Git"

select pipeline source

Select the required repository

select pipeline repository

Now we can either select an "existing Azure pipelines YAML file" or "Standard yaml templates" for Android, Gradle e.t.c or "Starter pipeline" which is a minimalistic starter

We will use "Starter pipeline"

A text file with .yml extension will appear similar to the one shown below

select a blank template

We don't have to remember or code the tasks in yaml,

We have got an assistant, click on "Show assistant"

show pipeline assistant

Select from the list of built-in tasks, we will select Maven

Alt text

Configure the task using the GUI based on the requirement

Alt text

Click on "Add",then the yaml code will be generated automatically

Alt text

From now on we can either edit the task directly in yaml or click on the "Settings" of a particular task to open the assistant where we can edit the values in the GUI


In this article we have gone through the look and feel of both classic as well as yaml pipeline creation. next week, we will deep dive into the technicalities of both the pipelines and gather more pointers to choose classic or yaml pipelines

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Written by Thillai Madhavan who lives and works in India. Stay updated by following him on LinkedIn.

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