I wanted to through together a quick post here to help out others who may be having issues with running multiple jobs in a build pipeline and there being no consistency in what order they run in.

The Problem

When I first started with VSTS and ultimately Azure DevOps, I went through many failed builds because the order of the jobs in your pipeline don’t run in the order that you’ve built them and how you would logically believe them to run. The image below shows two Build Pipeline jobs but when the build is queued, whether this be manual or via CI, the second job is running before job #1. In this example the build will fail because Job #2 is to deploy a dacpac to a SQL Server on Linux Docker Container (Using Ubuntu Agent Host) but obviously this cannot be done until the dacpac has been created in Job #1 which is running on a VS2017 Agent Host:

1 – Job running in wrong order

The reason for this is that when you specify multiple jobs in a build pipeline , by default they run in parallel. In my experience I never found that both jobs ran in parallel, always one after the other so it doesn’t seem to quite match what the Microsoft docs states but it’s not something I’ve ever spent the time investigating further.

This can obviously be very frustrating especially as (from my testing) there is no consistency in which order they run but I did find that cancelling a build or re-running a build straight after a failure seemed to through it out of sync whereas previously it was all running in the correct order.

The Fix

To stop this sporadic order of job running you can set Job dependencies in Azure DevOps. The process is so simple to setup and if you didn’t know about it and have been tearing your hair out over failed builds due to ordering then you’re going to kick yourself when you see the simplicity.

All you need to do is select the job you wish to start after another (other specific conditions can be applied) job completes and scroll to Dependencies, click the drop down and (in this example there is only one) the job you want to depend on will be in the list:

Select Job Dependency

That’s it, couple of clicks and your job ordering is sorted 😉