Define a continuous integration build for your Node.js app


Here we'll show you how to define a continuous integration (CI) build process for your Node.js app. If you want to also continuously deploy (CD) your app to Azure, you'll be set up to make that happen after you're done creating this CI build process.

Upload your code

  1. Download our Node.js Hello World sample app.

  2. Do you have your own code?

    • No: Upload the sample app to Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) or your on-premises Team Foundation Server. Either push your code to Git or check in your code to TFVC.

    • Yes:

      1. Copy the gulpfile.js and web.config files from the sample app to the root folder of your app.

      2. Upload your code to VSTS or your on-premises Team Foundation Server: either push your code to Git or check in your code to TFVC.

What code is in the sample app?

Define your CI build

  1. Open your team project in your web browser ▼

    Browse to team project

    (If you don't see your team project listed on the home page, select Browse.)

    • On-premises TFS: http://{your_server}:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection/{your_team_project}
    • VSTS: https://{your_account}{your_team_project}

    The TFS URL doesn't work for me. How can I get the correct URL?

  2. Create a build definition (Build and Release tab > Builds) ▼

    Build tab

  3. Click Empty to start with an empty definition.

Add the build tasks

On the Tasks or Build tab, add these tasks.

Package: npm install
Package: npm install

Install your npm package dependencies.

  • Command: install
Build: Gulp
Build: Gulp

Pack your files into a .zip file.

  • Gulp File Path: gulpfile.js

  • Advanced, Arguments: --packageName=$(Build.BuildId).zip --packagePath=$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)

Make sure you've got a copy of gulpfile.js from our sample app in the root folder of your app.

Package: npm test
Package: npm test

(Optional) Test your application.

  • Command: test
  • Set the working folder to the folder where your application code is committed in the repository.
Build: Publish Build Artifacts
Build: Publish Build Artifacts

(Optional) Drop some of the build outputs, such as the .zip file as we do in the example below.

  • Copy Root: $(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)
  • Contents: $(Build.BuildId).zip
  • Artifact name: drop
  • Artifact Type: Server

Enable continuous integration (CI)

On the Triggers tab, enable Continuous integration (CI). This tells the system to queue a build whenever someone on your team commits or checks in new code.

Save, queue, and test the build

Save and queue the build. Once the build is done, click the link to the completed build (for example, Build 1634), click Artifacts, and then click Explore to see the .zip file produced by the build. This is the web deploy package that your release definition will consume to deploy your app.

Continuously deploy (CD) your app

After you've run the CI build, you're ready to create a continuous deployment (CD) release definition so that you can deploy your app to:


What code is in the sample app?

Our Node.js Hello World sample app contains:

|-- .gitignore
`-- helloworld
    |-- gulpfile.js
    |-- package.json
    |-- server.js
    |-- web.config
    `-- typings

The gulpfile.js script zips up the app so it can be deployed to Azure. The web.config file enables running the app on Azure. The .gitignore file keeps build artifacts on your dev machine from getting into your Git repo.

I use TFS on-premises and I don't see some of these features. Why not?

Some of these features are available only on VSTS and not yet available on-premises. Some features are available on-premises if you have upgraded to the latest version of TFS.