Update a legacy pipeline in Azure Pipelines


This documentation does not apply to the new build pipeline, even if you run it on the build virtual machine.

Even though Visual Studio 2017 is available on virtual machines deployed with version 10.0.13 or later, the build scripts needed to support unit testing using VSTest require version 10.0.15.

An Azure Pipelines pipeline explicitly specifies the versions of Visual Studio tools such as MSBuild and VS Test. To continue supporting newer versions of these products, new virtual machines will be deployed with newer versions of Visual Studio pre-installed. Any existing pipelines need to be manually updated to use the newer version.

Determine if your pipeline needs to be updated

Build and development virtual machines deployed with version 10.0.13 include Visual Studio 2017. Support for Visual Studio 2015 will be deprecated in the April 2021 release. If your build virtual machine does not include Visual Studio 2017 you must plan to deploy a new build virtual machine with version 10.0.13 or later, or consider using the new hosted build pipeline.

If your build virtual machine has Visual Studio 2017 installed, you can use the newer versions of MSBuild and VS Test. If your pipeline was created by a virtual machine deployment prior to version 10.0.13, you will have to manually update the pipeline.

Finally, you can check your build pipeline on the Build the solution step. The MSBuild Version property indicates the version of Visual Studio in use.

MSBuild version Visual Studio version
MSBuild 14.0 Visual Studio 2015
MSBuild 15.0 Visual Studio 2017

Updating the Azure Pipelines pipeline


To update an Azure Pipelines pipeline to use Visual Studio 2017, ensure your build virtual machine has been updated to version 10.0.15 or newer.

The following four properties, in three tasks in the pipeline, need to be updated.

Task name Task property Old value New value
Build the solution MSBuild Version MSBuild 14.0 MSBuild 15.0
Database Sync MSBuild Version MSBuild 14.0 MSBuild 15.0
Execute Tests Test platform version Visual Studio 2015 Visual Studio 2017
Execute Tests Other console options /Platform:X64 /InIsolation /UseVsixExtensions:true /Platform:X64 /InIsolation /TestAdapterPath:"$(VsixExtensionFolder)"