Pipelines are a way of automating how different components are deployed to the downstream environments. Both Azure DevOps and GitHub (where they are called Actions) provide the functionality of pipelines to achieve higher automation within a given project.
There are 2 different types of Pipelines within Azure DevOps:
Build Pipelines (aka Pipelines)
Build pipelines are used to build your source code and create/package releasable artefacts. Another use case for Build pipelines would be to test your code before a Pull Request is allowed to be merged (as a Quality Gate). See Community Resources for more information.
Release Pipelines (aka Release)
A Release Pipeline takes artefacts, created by a build(s) pipeline, and deploys them to the downstream environments.
Pipelines could be started with various triggers or on various occasions. Some examples are:
- When a preceding pipeline is ready
- When different events happen in Azure DevOps or other applications
- Pull Request gets merged
- Commit to repo
Within a pipeline one could basically deploy any component they desire (as long as Azure DevOps can reach the destination). In most Power Platform projects those are
- Dynamics 365/Power Platform Solution
- Azure Components
- Azure functions
- Logic Apps
- Web Jobs
- and more
Also see the ALM page for a list of community resources on this topic.
- Set Connection References and Environment Variables in Pipelines by Benedikt Bergmann 2021-12-02
- Quality Gate for check-ins by Benedikt Bergmann 2020-06-14