Authoring and Running Pipelines

10 minute read

This section shows how to define and run a pipeline and view the results.

Parts of a Pipelines List

Following are the key parts of a pipeline list:


Breadcrumbs—Provide context for the current page and links to previous pages.


Default filter criteria—Configure the default filter. See Searching and Filtering for filter details; see Object Tags for configuring tags.


Filter selector—Select the filter to use on this page. Create custom filters here; see Searching and Filtering for details.


Pipeline definition—a description of the pipeline, the project to which it belongs, and the number of stages in the pipeline.

  • Click i next to the pipeline name shows a description of the pipeline and tags configured for the pipeline. See Object Tags for more information about tags.

  • Click the View Selector button. From here, you can open the pipeline editor, view pipeline runs, access the DSL editor, and view the pipeline portfolio.


Pagination controls—See Pagination for details.

Parts of a Pipeline

Following are the key parts of a pipeline. This pipeline has four stages.


Stage—the first stage among four in this pipeline.


Tasks—this stage has four tasks.


Entry gate (defined, indicated by dark grey shading)


Exit gate (undefined, indicated by light grey shading)

When an application, a pipeline, or a release is cloned across different projects, you might need to fix the references after the objects are cloned. For example, if a pipeline with an application reference in the "default" project is cloned to a different project, the application reference needs to be fixed after the pipeline is cloned.

Creating a Pipeline

You can create a pipeline from scratch or based on an existing pipeline. To create a pipeline component from scratch:

  1. Open the home page of the CloudBees Flow web UI by browsing to https://<cloudbees-flow-server>/flow/.

  2. Go to the pipelines list in one of these ways:

    • Click Pipelines.

    • Click the User Menu button in the upper left corner and then select Pipelines > All Pipelines.

      The pipelines list opens.

  3. Click the New button to create a new pipeline. The New Pipeline dialog opens.

  4. Select either Create New or Copy Existing and select a pipeline. The next page of the New Pipeline dialog displays. If copying from an existing pipeline use the project selector and search box to help you find the existing pipeline.

  5. Enter the following

    • Pipeline name.

    • Project in which this pipeline is to reside.

    • Description (optional)—User-defined information about this pipeline. Not used by the system.

    • Name Template (optional)—Template used to determine the default name for pipeline runs that are launched from this pipeline. Providing a template lets you customize pipeline run names to make them more descriptive and makes specific pipeline runs easier to find.

    • Configure the following:

      • Disable Pipeline Restart —Determines whether this pipeline can restart. Pipeline restart enabled by default.

      • Disable Multiple Active Runs —Determines whether this pipeline can have multiple active runs. Multiple active runs enabled by default.

      • Stage skipping —Determines whether stage skipping is allowed and specifies which users or groups are allowed to skip. stages. Stage skipping is enabled by default.

      • Tags —Tags let you group related objects by a user-defined term. To tag this object or to modify or delete a tag, click the Open Dialog arrow at right. See Object Tags for more information.

      • Override Workspace —If this is checked, workspace specified at the invoking procedure or process is ignored.

  6. Click OK. The Pipeline Editor appears showing a pipeline with one stage.

Editing Pipeline Stage Details

When you create a new pipeline from scratch (not from an existing one), it adds one stage automatically. You can change the stage name and add a description of the stage. To do so:

  1. Click the Actions button and choose Stage Details. The Edit Stage dialog opens.

  2. Enter information about the stage.

    • Name

    • Description

    • Place : The position of this stage with respect to other stages in the pipeline.

    • Set Start and End Dates : The start and end dates and times for this stage.

    • Assign a Resource or Resource Pool : Resource where this stage executes. See Setting Up Resources for details.

    • Completion status update : The manner in which the stage is marked as complete. See Release Concepts for more details.

    • Assign Color : The color in which a stage appears in the Planned vs Actual view. See Release Dashboard for details.

    • Tags : Add one or more tags to this stage object. See Object Tags for details.

  3. Click OK.

Defining Pipeline Stage Tasks

This section describes how to define the tasks in a stage. You can add any number of tasks, reorder tasks, run tasks in parallel, delete tasks, and so on.

Parts of a Task List in a Pipeline Stage

Following are the key parts of a task list:


Breadcrumbs showing the path to the pipeline.


Name of the stage.


  • Stage Condition button: used to add a stage condition.

  • Delete button: used to delete the selected tasks.

  • Group button: used to put multiple tasks into a group.


Add + button to add a task to the stage.


Stage-level Actions button: click to see details about the stage or to take action on the stage.


Task-level Actions button: click to see details about the task or take action on the task. See Pipeline Tasks for further information.


Icon signifying the type of task such as an Application Process task or a Manual task.


Copy button: click to create a task by copying an existing task. The Copy from Existing dialog box appears, where you select an existing task to copy:

Adding Pipeline Tasks

Starting in the Pipeline Editor :

  1. Click the Add+ button in the stage in which the new task is to reside. A task is added to the stage represented by the New Task block.

  2. Enter the name of the new task in the New Task field.

  3. Click Select Task Type.

    pipeline uikanban add task procedure

    The Task Type dialog box appears.

    • Native —List of standard task types such as Command or Application Process.

    • Plugins —The top ten plugins followed by the rest of the list. The ec_preferred_integrations property sheet determines the plugins to appear in this list and their order.

      • To manually modify this list, navigate to the property sheet /ec_deploy/ec_preferred_integrations from User Menu > Administration > Server, and then edit the list.

    • Frequently used plugins— The list of up to ten frequently used pipeline plugins. The ec_frequently_used_pipeline_plugins property sheet determines the plugins to appear in this list and their order.

      • It is populated by local plugin usage statistics collected by a watch dog thread run every five days. To change the watch dog schedule modify the Default background plugin statistics thread schedule server property via Settings on the User Menu > Administration > Serve r page.

      • To manually modify this list, navigate to the property sheet /ec_deploy/ec_frequently_used_pipeline_plugins from User Menu > Administration > Server, and then edit the list.

  4. Click the task type.

    The dialog box closes, and the task now displays the selected task type. Click Done to continue.

  5. If you want to add another task, click Add + and repeat the previous steps.

The list shows the tasks in the order that they are to be executed.

Defining New Pipeline Tasks

Once a task is created, you must define it.

  1. Click Define in the task tile.

    The Edit Task dialog box opens. For more information about the task types, see Pipeline Tasks .

  2. Enter the settings to define the task, and click OK.

    Example: .. Select Application Process to define the task as an application process. .. In the Select Project field, select the Default project. .. Select the ShoppingCart application, and then select Use Snapshot

    + When you click in the Select a Snapshot field, a Search field opens where you can enter the criteria to search for a snapshot as well as the names of existing snapshots.

    1. Select SC-S1 as the snapshot to use.

    2. Select the Deploy process and the QA environment where application will be deployed.

      Go to Pipeline Tasks for more information about the different ways to define a stage task.

    3. The Parameters field is disabled because the Deploy process does not have any required parameters.

      If the process has a required parameter for the pipeline run, such as a credential parameter, a message with the number of required parameters (such as 1 Required ) appears in the Parameters field. You can enter the path to the credential, browse to it, select the Parameter Credential or Credential binding, or select a user-defined credential that is attached to the project associated with the pipeline.

  3. Click Define for the second task in the list, define the task, and click OK.

    The Edit Task dialog opens.

    Example: .. Select Command to define the task as a command or script to run.

    + This command or script is passed to the task’s shell for execution.

    1. (Optional) In the Post Processor field, enter the name of the postprocessor that you want to use.

      This field specifies a command (passed to the task’s shell for execution) that analyzes the log file for the step and collects diagnostic information for reporting. If this field is blank, no postprocessor runs for the step. The default packaged postprocessor simply requires you to enter “postp,” but for details on modifications to this default or other aspects of using a postprocessor, see Postprocessors .

    2. (Optional) In the Shell field, enter the shell to be used to execute the commands.

      For example, ec-perl. If you do not specify a shell on a task, at task run-time the server looks at the resource shell. If a resource shell is not set, the shell line used by the agent is platform dependent: Windows: cmd /q /c "{0}.cmd" Linux or UNIX: sh -e "{0}.cmd"

    3. In the Command field, enter the command or script to execute. For example:

      use strict;# Print a message.print "Hello World!\n";
    4. (Optional) Click the Open Dialog button for Assign a Resource or Resource Pool. Configure as required—see Resource Pool — Create a New Pool or Edit Existing Pool for details.

  4. Click Define for the third task in the list, define the task, and click OK.

    Example: .. Select Procedure. .. When you click in the Select Project field, a drop-down list of available projects opens. Select the Utilities project. .. When you click in the Select Procedure field, a drop-down list of available procedures opens. Select the TakeSnapshot procedure.

    + If the TakeSnapshot procedure has required parameters for the pipeline run, the Parameter field is enabled. Go here for more information.

Parallel Task Groups

By default, tasks are executed in order. You can group tasks without dependencies to run in parallel to reduce runtimes and make a stage more efficient. You can also group tasks to run in serial order.

Defining a Parallel Task Group

To make a set of sequential tasks run in parallel:

  1. Click to highlight at least two tasks in the stage that you want to run in parallel.

  2. Click the Group button. A parallel task group, labeled Group 1 below, is created that contains the tasks to run in parallel:

You can add new tasks to an existing parallel tasks group. To do so, drag the task to move the task to the group. You can rename a parallel tasks group by Details from the group’s Action button.

Setting the Error or Rejection Handling

When defining a group of parallel tasks, you can specify whether the pipeline continues or stops if any task in the group fails because of an error or rejection. By default, if any task fails or is rejected, the pipeline aborts. This behavior is usually used in Continuous Delivery pipelines.

To set the error or rejection handling:

  1. Select Details from the group’s Actions menu. The Edit Group dialog box appears.

  2. Select one of the following options from the drop down list:

    • Continue on Error : If any task fails or is rejected, the pipeline continues to the next gate or stage task.

    • Stop on Error : If any task fails or is rejected, the pipeline aborts.

    • Manual Retry on Error : An approver or assignee reviews the error and retries, skips, or fails the task. The test failure is caught (and the name of the task turns red to indicate the failure). Then, the pipeline prompts an operator with Test failed. Do you want to fail the pipeline or rerun the tests?. If the operator chooses rerun, the pipeline reruns the last task.

    • Automate Retry on Error : The task is automatically retried at specific time intervals for a specific number of times, after which you can specify whether the pipeline stops or continues.

  3. Select Always Run. Enabling this option guarantees that the tasks run before the pipeline execution ends. Note that if this option is selected, and any individual task in the group that has error handling set to Stop on Error fails, then all the running tasks are aborted.

  4. Click OK.

Adding Conditions

For a parallel task group, you can specify Run if and Wait until conditions to control the group behavior based on a precondition of your choice. Skipping a group causes all of its tasks to be skipped.

You can specify preconditions by entering a JavaScript expression. To do so:

  1. Select Conditions from the group’s Actios menu. The Conditions dialog box appears.

  2. Enter a JavaScript expression into the Run if field, the Wait until field, or both.

    For more examples of Javascript expressions for Run if and Wait until conditions, see the KBEC-00360 - Using Context-Relative Shortcuts to Properties on Pipelines and related objects KB article.

  3. Configure Wait Dependency choices. See Wait Dependencies for more information.

  4. Click OK.

Unparallelizing Pipeline Tasks

You can unparallelize tasks, which means returning parallel tasks in a group to sequential execution. To do so:

  1. Select Remove Group from the group’s Actions button. A confirmation popup appears

  2. Click OK.

    The tasks revert to run in sequence.

You can also use this method to delete a parallel task group and all of its tasks.

Deleting a Parallel Task Group

You can delete a parallel task group from a stage. This also deletes all of its tasks. To do so:

  1. Select Delete from the group’s Actions menu. Click the (Actions) menu for the parallel task group and then click Delete. A confirmation popup appears.

  2. Click OK.

Editing a Pipeline Definition

To edit a pipeline definition, you edit its tasks.

  1. Go to the Pipelines list and select the pipeline containing the task you want to edit. The pipeline opens in the Pipeline Editor.

  2. Change the settings that you wish to modify. Some common actions are listed below.

Moving Pipeline Tasks

Select the task you want to move and drag it to the new position. Use this to change task order within a stage or group, move a task into or out of a group, or move a task to a different stage.

To reorder stages, click Reorder: After or Reorder: Before from the stages Action menu for the stage.

Moving Pipeline Gate Rules

You can drag a pipeline gate rule from a gate to another gate. To do so, click to open both gates and drag the rule to move it to its new position in the other gate.

Deleting a Pipeline Task from a Stage

You can delete a pipeline task from a stage. To do so:

  1. Click the (Actions) button for the task, and then click Delete. A confirmation popup appears.

  2. Click OK.