Resources in YAML

Azure Pipelines

A resource is anything used by a pipeline that lives outside the pipeline. Pipeline resources include:

  • CI/CD pipelines that produce artifacts (Azure Pipelines, Jenkins, etc.)
  • code repositories (Azure Repos Git repos, GitHub, GitHub Enterprise, Bitbucket Cloud)
  • container image registries (Azure Container Registry, Docker Hub, etc.)
  • package feeds (GitHub packages)

Why resources?

Resources are defined at one place and can be consumed anywhere in your pipeline. Resources provide you the full traceability of the services consumed in your pipeline including the version, artifacts, associated commits, and work-items. You can fully automate your DevOps workflow by subscribing to trigger events on your resources.

Resources in YAML represent sources of types pipelines, builds, repositories, containers, and packages.


  pipelines: [ pipeline ]  
  builds: [ build ]
  repositories: [ repository ]
  containers: [ container ]
  packages: [ package ]


When a resource triggers a pipeline, the following variables are set:


Resources: pipelines

If you have an Azure Pipeline that produces artifacts, you can consume the artifacts by defining a pipelines resource. pipelines is a dedicated resource only for Azure Pipelines. You can also set triggers on pipeline resource for your CD workflows.

In your resource definition, pipeline is a unique value that you can use to reference the pipeline resource later on. source is the name of the pipeline that produces an artifact.

For an alternative way to download pipelines, see tasks in Pipeline Artifacts.

resources:        # types: pipelines | builds | repositories | containers | packages
  - pipeline: string  # identifier for the resource used in pipeline resource variables
    project: string # project for the source; optional for current project
    source: string  # name of the pipeline that produces an artifact
    version: string  # the pipeline run number to pick the artifact, defaults to latest pipeline successful across all stages; Used only for manual or scheduled triggers
    branch: string  # branch to pick the artifact, optional; defaults to all branches; Used only for manual or scheduled triggers
    tags: [ string ] # list of tags required on the pipeline to pickup default artifacts, optional; tags are AND'ed; Used only for manual or scheduled triggers
    trigger:     # triggers are not enabled by default unless you add trigger section to the resource
      branches:  # branch conditions to filter the events, optional; Defaults to all branches.
        include: [ string ]  # branches to consider the trigger events, optional; Defaults to all branches.
        exclude: [ string ]  # branches to discard the trigger events, optional; Defaults to none.
      tags: [ string ]  # list of tags to evaluate for trigger event, optional; tags are AND'ed
      stages: [ string ] # list of stages to evaluate for trigger event, optional; stages are AND'ed


When you define a resource trigger, if its pipeline resource is from the same repo as the current pipeline, triggering follows the same branch and commit on which the event is raised. But if the pipeline resource is from a different repo, the current pipeline is triggered on the default branch.

Default branch for triggers

Triggers for resources are created based on the default branch configuration of your YAML, which is master. However, if you want to configure resource triggers from a different branch, you need to change the default branch for the pipeline.

  1. Go to the edit view of the pipeline and click on the overflow menu on the top-right corner and choose Triggers. Triggers view in a pipeline
  2. Now select 'YAML' tab and go to 'Get sources'.
  3. Now you can set the default branch for your pipeline. Triggers default branch for a pipeline

Evaluation of artifact version

The pipeline version (CI build run) that gets picked in your pipeline run is controlled by how your pipeline run is triggered.

In case your pipeline run is created by manual trigger or by scheduled trigger, the default version, branch, and tags are used to evaluate the version of CI pipeline version.

  • If you provide a build version (number), that version runs.
  • If you provide a branch, the latest version from the given branch runs.
  • If you provide a list of tags, the latest run that has all the matching tags runs.
  • If you provide a branch and list of tags, the latest run from the branch provided and that has the matching tags runs.
  • If you don’t provide anything, the latest version across all the branches runs.
  - pipeline: MyCIAlias
    project: Fabrikam
    source: Farbrikam-CI
    branch: master      ### This branch input cannot have wild cards. It is used for evaluating default version when pipeline is triggered manually or scheduled.
    tags:               ### These tags are used for resolving default version when the pipeline is triggered manually or scheduled
    - Production        ### Tags are AND'ed
    - PreProduction

In case your pipeline is triggered automatically, the CI pipeline version will be picked based on the trigger event. The default version info provided irrelevant.

  • If you provide branches, a new pipeline will be triggered whenever a CI run is successfully completed that matches to the branches that are included.
  • If you provide tags, a new pipeline will be triggered whenever a CI run is successfully completed that matches all the tags mentioned.
  • If you provide stages, new pipeline will be triggered whenever a CI run has all the stages mentioned are completed successfully.
  • If you provide branches, tags and stages together, a new pipeline run is triggered whenever a CI run matches all the conditions.
  • If you don't provide anything and just say trigger: true, a new pipeline run is triggered whenever a CI run is successfully completed.
  • If you don't provide any trigger for the resource, no pipeline run will be triggered. Triggers are disabled by default unless you specifically enable them.
  - pipeline: SmartHotel
    project: DevOpsProject
    source: SmartHotel-CI
        - releases/*
        - master
        - topic/*
      - Verified
      - Signed
      - Production
      - PreProduction

download for pipelines

All artifacts from the current pipeline and from all pipeline resources are automatically downloaded and made available at the beginning of each deployment job. You can override this behavior. For more information, see Pipeline Artifacts. Regular 'job' artifacts are not automatically downloaded. Use download explicitly when needed.

- download: [ current | pipeline resource identifier | none ] # disable automatic download if "none"
  artifact: string ## artifact name, optional; downloads all the available artifacts if not specified
  patterns: string # patterns representing files to include; optional

Artifacts from the pipeline resource are downloaded to $(PIPELINE.WORKSPACE)/<pipeline-identifier>/<artifact-identifier> folder.

Pipeline resource variables

In each run, the metadata for a pipeline resource is available to all jobs in the form of below predefined variables. The <Alias> is the identifier that you gave for your pipeline resource. Pipeline resources variables are only available at runtime.


Resources: builds

If you have any external CI build system that produces artifacts, you can consume artifacts with a builds resource. A builds resource can be any external CI systems like Jenkins, TeamCity, CircleCI etc.

resources:        # types: pipelines | builds | repositories | containers | packages
  - build: string   # identifier for the build resource
    type: string   # the type of your build service like Jenkins, circleCI etc.
    connection: string   # service connection for your build service.
    source: string   # source definition of the build
    version: string   # the build number to pick the artifact, defaults to Latest successful build
    trigger: boolean    # Triggers are not enabled by default and should be explicitly set

builds is an extensible category. You can write an extension to consume artifacts from your builds service (CircleCI, TeamCity etc.) and introduce a new type of service as part of builds. Jenkins is a type of resource in builds.


Triggers are only supported for hosted Jenkins where Azure DevOps has line of sight with Jenkins server.

downloadBuild for builds

You can consume artifacts from the build resource as part of your jobs using downloadBuild task. Based on the type of build resource defined (Jenkins, TeamCity etc.), this task automatically resolves to the corresponding download task for the service during the run time.

Artifacts from the build resource are downloaded to $(PIPELINE.WORKSPACE)/<build-identifier>/ folder.


build resource artifacts are not automatically downloaded in your jobs/deploy-jobs. You need to explicitly add downloadBuild task for consuming the artifacts.

- downloadBuild: string # identifier for the resource from which to download artifacts
  artifact: string # artifact to download; if left blank, downloads all artifacts associated with the resource provided
  patterns: string | [ string ] # a minimatch path or list of [minimatch paths](tasks/ to download; if blank, the entire artifact is downloaded

Resources: repositories

If your pipeline has templates in another repository, or if you want to use multi-repo checkout with a repository that requires a service connection, you must let the system know about that repository. The repository keyword lets you specify an external repository.

  - repository: string  # identifier (A-Z, a-z, 0-9, and underscore)
    type: enum  # see the following "Type" topic
    name: string  # repository name (format depends on `type`)
    ref: string  # ref name to use; defaults to 'refs/heads/master'
    endpoint: string  # name of the service connection to use (for types that aren't Azure Repos)
    trigger:  # CI trigger for this repository, no CI trigger if skipped (only works for Azure Repos)
        include: [ string ] # branch names which will trigger a build
        exclude: [ string ] # branch names which will not
        include: [ string ] # tag names which will trigger a build
        exclude: [ string ] # tag names which will not
        include: [ string ] # file paths which must match to trigger a build
        exclude: [ string ] # file paths which will not trigger a build


Pipelines support the following values for the repository type: git, github, githubenterprise, and bitbucket. The git type refers to Azure Repos Git repos.

  • If you specify type: git, the name value refers to another repository in the same project. An example is name: otherRepo. To refer to a repo in another project within the same organization, prefix the name with that project's name. An example is name: OtherProject/otherRepo.

  • If you specify type: github, the name value is the full name of the GitHub repo and includes the user or organization. An example is name: Microsoft/vscode. GitHub repos require a GitHub service connection for authorization.

  • If you specify type: githubenterprise, the name value is the full name of the GitHub Enterprise repo and includes the user or organization. An example is name: Microsoft/vscode. GitHub Enterprise repos require a GitHub Enterprise service connection for authorization.

  • If you specify type: bitbucket, the name value is the full name of the Bitbucket Cloud repo and includes the user or organization. An example is name: MyBitbucket/vscode. Bitbucket Cloud repos require a Bitbucket Cloud service connection for authorization.

checkout your repository

Use checkout keyword to consume your repos defined as part of repository resource.


- checkout: string  # identifier for your repository resource
  clean: boolean  # if true, execute `execute git clean -ffdx && git reset --hard HEAD` before fetching
  fetchDepth: number  # the depth of commits to ask Git to fetch; defaults to no limit
  lfs: boolean  # whether to download Git-LFS files; defaults to false
  submodules: true | recursive  # set to 'true' for a single level of submodules or 'recursive' to get submodules of submodules; defaults to not checking out submodules
  path: string  # path to check out source code, relative to the agent's build directory (e.g. \_work\1); defaults to a directory called `s`
  persistCredentials: boolean  # if 'true', leave the OAuth token in the Git config after the initial fetch; defaults to false

Repos from the repository resource are not automatically synced in your jobs. Use checkout to fetch your repos as part of your jobs.

For more information, see Check out multiple repositories in your pipeline.

Resources: containers

If you need to consume a container image as part of your CI/CD pipeline, you can achieve it using containers. A container resource can be a public or private Docker Registry, or Azure Container Registry.

If you need to consume images from Docker registry as part of your pipeline, you can define a generic container resource (not type keyword required).

  - container: string  # identifier (A-Z, a-z, 0-9, and underscore)
    image: string  # container image name
    options: string  # arguments to pass to container at startup
    endpoint: string  # reference to a service connection for the private registry
    env: { string: string }  # list of environment variables to add
    ports: [ string ] # ports to expose on the container
    volumes: [ string ] # volumes to mount on the container

A generic container resource can be used as an image consumed as part of your job or it can also be used for Container jobs.

You can use a first class container resource type for Azure Container Registry (ACR) to consume your ACR images. This resources type can be used as part of your jobs and also to enable automatic pipeline triggers.

resources:          # types: pipelines | repositories | containers | builds | packages
  - container: string # identifier for the container resource      
    type: string # type of the registry like ACR, GCR etc. 
    azureSubscription: string # Azure subscription (ARM service connection) for container registry;
    resourceGroup: string # resource group for your ACR
    registry: string # registry for container images
    repository: string # name of the container image repository in ACR
    trigger: # Triggers are not enabled by default and need to be set explicitly
        include: [ string ]  # image tags to consider the trigger events, optional; defaults to any new tag
        exclude: [ string ]  # image tags on discard the trigger events, optional; defaults to none

Container resource variables

Once you define a container as resource, container image metadata is passed to the pipeline in the form of variables. Information like image, registry, and connection details are made accessible across all the jobs to be used in your container deploy tasks.


Note: location variable is only applicable for ACR type of container resources.

Resources: packages

You can consume NuGet and npm GitHub packages as a resource in YAML pipelines.

When specifying package resources, set the package as NuGet or npm. You can also enable automated pipeline triggers when a new package version gets released.

To use GitHub packages, you will need to use PAT-based authentication and create a GitHub service connection that uses PAT.

By default, packages will not be automatically downloaded into jobs. To download, use getPackage.

    - package: myPackageAlias # alias for the package resource
      type: Npm # type of the package NuGet/npm
      connection: GitHubConnectionName # Github service connection with the PAT type
      name: nugetTest/nodeapp # <Repository>/<Name of the package>
      version: 1.0.1 # Version of the packge to consume; Optional; Defaults to latest
      trigger: true # To enable automated triggers (true/false); Optional; Defaults to no triggers

Resources: webhooks

With other resources (such as pipelines, containers, build, and packages) you can consume artifacts and enable automated triggers. However, you could not automate your deployment process based on other external events or services. webhooks resource enables you to integrate your pipeline with any external service and automate the workflow. You can subscribe to any external events through its webhooks (GitHub, GitHub Enterprise, Nexus, Artifactory, etc.) and trigger your pipelines.

Here are the steps to configure the webhook triggers:

  1. Set up a webhook on your external service. When creating your webhook, you need to provide the following info:
    • Request Url -<ADO Organization>/_apis/public/distributedtask/webhooks/<WebHook Name>?api-version=6.0-preview
    • Secret - This is optional. If you need to secure your JSON payload, provide the Secret value
  2. Create a new "Incoming Webhook" service connection. This is a newly introduced Service Connection Type that will allow you to define three important pieces of information:
    • Webhook Name: The name of the webhook should match webhook created in your external service.
    • HTTP Header - The name of the HTTP header in the request that contains the payload hash value for request verification. For example, in the case of the GitHub, the request header will be "X-Hub-Signature"
    • Secret - The secret is used to parse the payload hash used for verification of the incoming request (this is optional). If you have used a secret in creating your webhook, you will need to provide the same secret key

Incoming Webhook Service connection

  1. A new resource type called webhooks is introduced in YAML pipelines. For subscribing to a webhook event, you need to define a webhook resource in your pipeline and point it to the Incoming webhook service connection. You can also define additional filters on the webhook resource based on the JSON payload data to further customize the triggers for each pipeline, and you can consume the payload data in the form of variables in your jobs.

  2. Whenever a webhook event is received by the Incoming Webhook service connection, a new run will be triggered for all the pipelines subscribed to the webhook event. You can consume the JSON payload data in your jobs using the format ${{ parameters..}}

    - webhook: MyWebhookTriggerAlias           ### Webhook alias
      connection: IncomingWebhookConnection    ### Incoming webhook service connection
      filters:                                 ### List of JSON parameters to filter; Parameters are AND'ed
        - path: JSONParameterPath              ### JSON path in the payload
          value: JSONParameterExpectedValue    ### Expected value in the path provided

Webhooks are a great way to automate your workflow based on any external webhook event that is not supported by first class resources like pipelines, builds, containers, and packages. Also, for on-premise services where Azure DevOps doesn't have visibility into the process, you can configure webhooks on the service and to trigger your pipelines automatically.

Manual version picker for resources in the create run dialogue

When you manually trigger a CD YAML pipeline, we automatically evaluate the default version for the resources defined in the pipeline based on the inputs provided. However, you can choose to pick a different version from resource version picker in create run dialogue.

  1. In the create run pane, you can see resources section.
  2. Clicking on it shows the list of resources consumed in this pipeline.
  3. You can select each of the resource and pick a specific version from the list of versions available. Resource version picker is supported for pipeline, build, repository, container, and package resources. Pipeline Version Picker

For pipeline resources, you can see all the available runs across all branches. You can search them based on the pipeline number or branch. And you can pick a run that is successful, failed or in-progress run. This flexibility is given to ensure you can run your CD pipeline if you are sure your CI pipeline produced all the artifacts you need and you don't need to wait for the CI run is complete or rerun due to some unrelated stage in the CI run failed. However, when we evaluate default version for scheduled triggers or if you don't use manual version picker, we only consider successfully completed CI runs.

For resources where you can't fetch available versions (like GitHub packages), we will show a text box as part of version picker so that user can provide the version to be picked in the run.

Troubleshooting authorization for a YAML pipeline

Resources must be authorized before they can be used. A resource owner controls the users and pipelines that can access that resource. The pipeline must be authorized to use the resource. There are multiple ways to accomplish this.

  • Navigate to the administration experience of the resource. For example, variable groups and secure files are managed in the Library page under Pipelines. Agent pools and service connections are managed in Project settings. Here you can authorize all pipelines to be able to access that resource. This is convenient if you do not have a need to restrict access to a resource - for for example, test resources.

  • When you create a pipeline for the first time, all the resources that are referenced in the YAML file are automatically authorized for use by the pipeline, provided that you are a member of the User role for that resource. So, resources that are referenced in the YAML file at pipeline creation time are automatically authorized.

  • When you make changes to the YAML file and add additional resources (assuming that these not authorized for use in all pipelines as explained above), then the build fails with a resource authorization error that is similar to the following: Could not find a <resource> with name <resource-name>. The <resource> does not exist or has not been authorized for use.

    In this case, you will see an option to authorize the resources on the failed build. If you are a member of the User role for the resource, you can select this option. Once the resources are authorized, you can start a new build.

  • If you continue to have problems authorizing resources, verify that the agent pool security roles for your project are correct.

Set approval checks for resources

You can manually control when a resource runs with approval checks and templates. With the required template approval check, you can require that any pipeline using a resource or environment also extends from a specific YAML template. Setting a required template approval enhances security. You can make sure that your resource only gets used under specific conditions with a template. Learn more about how to enhance pipeline security with templates and resources.


We provide full traceability for any resource consumed at a pipeline or deployment-job level.

Pipeline traceability

For every pipeline run, we show the info about the

  1. The resource that has triggered the pipeline (if it is triggered by a resource). Resource trigger in a pipeline
  2. Version of the resource and the artifacts consumed. Consumed artifacts in pipeline run
  3. Commits associated with each resource. Commits in pipeline run
  4. Work-items for each resource.

Environment traceability

Whenever a pipeline deploys to an environment, you can see a list of resources that are consumed in the environments view. This view includes resources consumed as part of the deployment-jobs and their associated commits and work-items. Commits in environment

Showing associated CD pipelines info in CI pipelines

To provide end to end traceability, user should be able to track which CD pipelines are consuming a giving CI pipeline. You can see the list of CD YAML pipelines runs where a CI pipeline run is consumed through pipeline resource. In your CI pipeline run view, if it is consumed by other pipeline(s), you will see a 'Associated pipelines' tab where you can find all the pipeline runs that consume your pipeline and artifacts from it. CD pipelines info in CI pipeline

YAML resource trigger issues support and traceability

It can be confusing when pipeline triggers fail to execute. To help better understand this, we've added a new menu item in the pipeline definition page called Trigger Issues where you can learn why triggers are not executing.

Resource triggers can fail to execute for two reasons.

  • If the source of the service connection provided is invalid, or if there are any syntax errors in the trigger, the trigger will not be configured at all. These are surfaced as errors.
  • If trigger conditions are not matched, the trigger will not execute. Whenever this occurs, a warning will be surfaced so you can understand why the conditions were not matched.
    Trigger Issues Supportability


Why should I use pipelines resources instead of the download shortcut?

Using a pipelines resource is a first class way to consume artifacts from a CI pipeline and also configure automated triggers. It gives you full visibility into the process by displaying the version consumed, artifacts, commits, and work-items. When you define a pipeline resource, the associated artifacts are automatically downloaded in deployment jobs.

You can choose to download the artifacts in build jobs or to override the download behavior in deployment jobs with download. The download task internally uses the Download Pipeline Artifacts task.

Why should I use resources instead of the Download Pipeline Artifacts task?

When you use the Download Pipeline Artifacts task directly, you miss traceability and triggers. At the same time, there are times when it makes sense to use the Download Pipeline Artifacts task directly. For example, you might have a script task stored in a different template and the script task requires artifacts from a build to be downloaded. Or, you may not know if someone using a template will add a pipeline resource. To avoid dependencies, you can use the Download Pipeline Artifacts task to pass all the build info to a task.