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YAML schema reference

Azure Pipelines

Here’s a detailed reference guide to Azure Pipelines YAML pipelines, including a catalog of all supported YAML capabilities, and the available options.

The best way to get started with YAML pipelines is through the quickstart guide. After that, to learn how to configure your YAML pipeline the way you need it to work, see conceptual topics such as Build variables and Jobs.

Pipeline structure

Pipelines are made of one or more jobs and may include resources and variables. Jobs are made of one or more steps plus some job-specific data. Steps can be tasks, scripts, or references to external templates. This is reflected in the structure of the YAML file.

  • Pipeline
    • Job 1
      • Step 1.1
      • Step 1.2
    • Job 2
      • Step 2.1
      • Step 2.2

For simpler pipelines, not all of these levels are required. For example, in a single-job build, you can omit the container for “jobs” since there are only steps. Also, many options shown here are optional and have good defaults, so your YAML definitions are unlikely to include all of them.


Conventions used in this topic:

  • To the left of : are literal keywords used in pipeline definitions.
  • To the right of : are data types. These can be primitives like string or references to rich structures defined elsewhere in this topic.
  • [ datatype ] indicates an array of the mentioned data type. For instance, [ string ] is an array of strings.
  • { datatype : datatype } indicates a mapping of one data type to another. For instance, { string: string } is a mapping of strings to strings.
  • | indicates there are multiple data types available for the keyword. For instance, job | templateReference means either a job definition or a template reference are allowed.

YAML basics

This document covers the schema of an Azure Pipelines YAML file. To learn the basics of YAML, see Learn YAML in Y Minutes. Note: Azure Pipelines doesn’t support all features of YAML, such as complex keys and sets.

Link of this Article: YAML schema reference

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