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Azure Pipelines - Batching your CI builds

I’m a big fan of Continuous Integration and Trunk-based development. As a result during a normal day a lot of code is pushed to the trunk(master, main,… whatever you call it)  branch. Pushing changes to this branch will trigger a CI build.

Of course as a lot of changes are pushed during the day a lot of builds are triggered. If your build time is small this is ok, but when your build time starts to increase it can become  interesting to look at ways to improve this process.

A possible solution is to start batching your CI builds in Azure DevOps. By enabling batching no new CI build is triggered when a previous build is still in progress.

To explain this in a little more detail; this means when multiple changes are pushed with short intervals, only 2 CI builds will be triggered. One when the first change is pushed and one after the first CI build has completed(of course this all depends on the build time of your CI build and the exact interval between your pushes but you get the idea).

Enabling batching

To enable batching using the classic pipelines, you need to execute the following steps:

  • Edit your pipeline
  • Go to Triggers
  • Check the Batch changes while a build is in progress checkbox

This feature is also supported using the YAML pipelines, add the batch option to trigger and set it to true:

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