Increasing Code Reusability Using Task Groups in Azure DevOps

Let’s assume a scenario in which you are repeating a few tasks from your pipeline into multiple stages and/or pipelines or projects. In that case, it gets really tiring to repeat and configure each task individually over and over again. Azure DevOps provides the feature of Task Group in which we can encapsulate a sequence of tasks from our build or release pipelines and reuse those tasks in other pipelines.

What is Azure DevOps?

Now, let’s talk about Azure DevOps, it is a mixture of the simplest technologies and best practices. Therefore we can go as far as saying that it is the Next Big Thing in the IT Industry. Azure DevOps is a Software as a service (SaaS) platform from Microsoft providing an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for developing and deploying software. Microsoft launched this as they understood the fact that DevOps has become vital to a team’s success.

Task Group

task group facilitates the encapsulation of a sequence of tasks, defined already in a build or a release pipeline, into a single reusable task that can be added to a build or release pipeline (like any other task). We can, as per our choice, extract parameters from the encapsulated tasks as configuration variables, and abstract the rest of the task information.

The new task group is automatically added to the task catalog, ready to be added to other releases and build pipelines. At the project level, the task groups are stored and are not accessible outside the project scope.

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How To Setup An Agent On Azure Devops

Azure DevOps is an integrated service provided by Azure. In recent times, it is observed that Azure DevOps is increasing its penetration into the DevOps community. Being a SaaS service, it doesn’t come with a pre-configured host or better say, an agent to execute its commands. That’s why whenever we want to use our Azure DevOps Pipeline we need to have an agent configured in our Agent Pool. In this blog, we will learn how to configure an agent and later on how to create a service for our host.

Let’s Get Started

Configuring a self-hosted Agent might seem complicated but by following the below steps we can easily configure an agent in our Agent Pool. So let’s get started.

What is Azure DevOps?

Now, let’s talk about Azure DevOps, it is a mixture of the simplest of technology and therefore the application of best practices. We can say, it is the Next Big Thing in the IT Industry. Azure DevOps is a Software as a service (SaaS) platform from Microsoft that provides an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for developing and deploying software. Microsoft recently launched this as they understand that DevOps has become vital to a team’s success.

Azure Self-hosted Agent

An agent that you set up and manage on your own to run jobs is a self-hosted agent. Though we can use a Microsoft Hosted Agent, we prefer a self-hosted Agent. This is to have more control to install dependent software needed for our builds and deployments, machine-level caches and configuration persist from run to run, boosting speed and maintaining the backup of our logs. You can use self-hosted agents in Azure Pipelines or Azure DevOps Server, formerly named Team Foundation Server (TFS). To successfully configure a self-hosted Agent we need an Agent Pool, download & unzip the package, Personal Access Token (PAT) and execute a few shell commands. Let’s move step by step.

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Terraform CI-CD With Azure DevOps

Let’s consider a scenario in which you are deploying your infrastructure using a Terraform code (infrastructure-as-code) which is stored in a remote git repository. Now working in an organization you need to make sure that all your deployments are always tracked without an exception, an add-on to that whether your Terraform code is following your security and compliance policies or not. Or maybe what is the monthly cost that you can expect with that infra and whether it lies under your budget or not. You may also want to take note that all your resources are being created in the same region… etc… etc.

Sounds magical right !!! We all know that these concerns are very important when you’re looking for a highly consistent, fully tracked, and automated approach. That’s why in this article we are going to look for a simple step-by-step way to automate and streamline our Terraform code using Azure DevOps (ADO).

Soo… Let’s Get Started !!!

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What is a Bare Git Repository?

While using git you must have come across some questions like:

  • If git is a Distributed Version Control System then where is the remote repo of git stored in our system?
  • Why can’t we directly push into or clone from our local repository?
  • Can I host my own private remote repository just like GitLab or GitHub for my own small project?
  • What if there was no GitLab or GitHub or Bitbucket or… I mean… you got the point, right?

Well… and answer to all these questions is the same and that is a Bare Git Repository.

LET’S GET STARTED

First things first, what is a Bare Git Repository and how is it different from a normal Git Repository.

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