Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Safely add tasks to an on-premise Build Agent from the vsts-tasks repository

In my last post I uploaded a task from the vsts-tasks GitHub repository to my on-premise Build Agent. How did I know it was going to work in the same way as with VSTS?

First of all you need to check the minimum agent version in the task you are interested in. Let’s take the .NET Core task I used as an example, that task has a minimum version of 1.95:


This means that the task is going to work from version 95 of the closed-source version on Windows. How do I know that?

Before TFS 2017 there were two different agents – a Windows-only, closed-source version and a Xplat, open-source one. The closed-source version was v1.x, the open-source version was v0.x. This version number can be retrieved in the Agent.Version property of your Build Agent:


Now the agents come from a single repository and they are written in .NET Core as a single code base. This version of the agents is marked with v2.x.

So whenever you want to add a task from the tasks repository always check for the minimum agent version required for it. Generally, if you are on the latest version you won’t have problems adding new tasks unless there are breaking changes – and these are really well documented, if any.

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