Skip to main content

Using the AZ CLI for managing CI/CD in Azure DevOps

Once upon a time there was VSTS and with VSTS was the VSTS CLI. Microsoft has since then evolved and with evolution comes a new CLI! The AZ CLI now has a DevOps extension and although it isn't as feature-rich as the UI, it's still great to use. Let's have a look.

The first thing you'll need to do is confirm you have AZ CLI with at least version v2.0.49, the DevOps extension, and Visual Studio Code.

To install the AZ CLI: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cli/azure/install-azure-cli?view=azure-cli-latest

To install the AZ CLI DevOps Extension: https://github.com/Azure/azure-devops-cli-extension

Once you have those two components installed we're now ready to move on.

First things first - What can we do with the DevOps extension? Let's have a look at the help.


As you can see we can do a few things managerial/configuration tasks. The key thing I want us to take a look at is the "Related Groups". The key thing here is the pipelines portion of the extension: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cli/azure/ext/azure-devops/pipelines?view=azure-cli-latest

You can find a ton of information at the above Microsoft link on every option there is. Let's take a look at the command line.


We have a ton of good information here. Let's first take a look at the help for "build".


Let's get some build information by using the "list" command. I'm going to run az pipelines build list --org https://dev.azure.com/adminturneddevops/ --project TheLifeOfAnEngineerBlog but of course you will need to specify your org and specific project. Once I run this, I'm able to see a ton of output (this will vary based on how many builds you have).

This output is a bit verbose. What if I want specific info? Maybe specify a branch? Let's try it by running az pipelines build list --org https://dev.azure.com/adminturneddevops/ --project TheLifeOfAnEngineerBlog --branch master and seeing the output.


How about we want to get even MORE granular and search for builds that have failed? We can use the --result flag by running az pipelines build list --org https://dev.azure.com/adminturneddevops/ --project TheLifeOfAnEngineerBlog --branch master --result failed and this will print out a JSON formatted list of all builds that failed for master.

So now we can list builds and we can get pretty granular, but what about if we want to CREATE builds? The first thing we'll need to do is figure out the right line of code for the job. The following will as always need to be edited to match your environment.

 az pipelines create --name 'TheLifeOfAnEngineerBlogANSIBLE' --description 'Pipeline for Ansible' --repository TheLifeOfAnEngineerBlog --branch master --repository-type tfsgit --org https://dev.azure.com/adminturneddevops/ --project TheLifeOfAnEngineerBlog

Once you run the above you will get an output of possible environments you can build with. This is very similar to what you would see in the UI.


I'm going to choose option 1 then at the next screen choose option 2 to view/edit my YAML. As soon as you do that, VSCode will open to a default YAML pipeline. Notice that in your command prompt where you kicked off your AZ command that the engine is still running.

For my pipeline I chose to use the CopyFiles@2 task to copy files from my repo in Azure Repos and publish the artifact based on the code. The below is what I put in VSCode;

trigger:
- master

pool:
name: Hosted VS2017

steps:
- task: CopyFiles@2
displayName: 'Copy Files'
inputs:
SourceFolder: Ansible
TargetFolder: '$(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'

- task: PublishBuildArtifacts@1
displayName: 'Publish Artifact: drop'

After that go ahead and save then return back to your command prompt and hit the enter key. After that you'll have two options 1) Commit to master 2) Create a new branch. I'm going to go ahead and create a new branch.


Then I'm going to enter a new branch name.


You'll see some JSON output on your command prompt. Let's head over to Azure DevOps and check on your new build.


As you can see from the above my build has succeeded and used my new branch.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Run PowerShell code with Ansible on a Windows Host

Ansible is one of the Configuration Manager kings in the game. With it's easy-to-understand syntax and even easier to use modules, Ansible is certainly a go-to when you're picking what Configuration Management you want to use for your organization. Your question may be "but Ansible is typically on Linux and what happens when I'm in a Windows environment?". Luckily I'm here to tell you that Ansible will still work! I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to use Ansible on Windows with a little WinRM magic. Let's get started.

Pre-requisites for this post:
1) WinRM set up to connect to your Windows host from Ansible
2) Ansible set up for Windows Remote Management
3) SSH access to the Ansible host
4) Proper firewall rules to allow WinRM (port 5985) access from your Ansible host to your Windows host
5) Hosts file set up in Ansible that has your IP or hostname of your Windows Server.
6) At least one Linux host running Ansible and one Windows Server host …

Running PowerShell commands in a Dockerfile

As Docker continues to grow we are starting to see the containerization engine more and more on Windows. With the need for containers on Windows, we also need the same automation we get in Linux with Dockerfiles. Today we're going to create a Dockerfile that runs PowerShell cmdlets.
Prerequisites; 1. Docker for Windows
2. A code editor (VSCode preferred)

Let's go ahead and get our Dockerfile set up. Below is the Dockerfile I used for this post.

from mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore:1903 MAINTAINER Michael Levan RUN powershell -Command Install-WindowsFeature -Name Web-Server RUN powershell -Command New-Item -Type File -Path C:\ -Name config
As you can see from the above, this is a tiny Dockerfile. What this will do is install the IIS Windows 

Feature and create a new file in C:\ called "config".
You should see something very similar to the below screenshot;

Next let's create a running container out of our image. First we'll need to run docker container ls to

 get o…

DevOps tooling in the Microsoft realm

When I really started to dive into automation and practicing DevOps with specific tooling, there were a few key players. At the time Microsoft was not one of them. They were just starting to embrace the open source world, including the art and practice of DevOps. Since then Microsoft has went all in and the tech giant has made some incredible tooling. Recently I switched to a Microsoft-heavy environment and I love it. I went from AWS/Python/Ansible/Jenkins to Azure/PowerShell/ARM/Azure DevOps. My first programming language was PowerShell so being back in the saddle allowed me to do a full circle between all of the different types of tooling in both worlds. Today I want to share some of that tooling with you.

The first thing I want to talk about is ARM. What is ARM? ARM is a configuration management tool that allows you to perform software-defined-infrastructure. Much like Ansible and Terraform, ARM allows you to define what you want your environment to look like at scale. With ARM, yo…