GitHub Integration - Improved AB# validation

With this update, we're excited to offer a private preview of the newest improvements in our Azure Boards + GitHub integration!

In addition, it is now possible for administrators to bypass running approvals and checks to complete a hotfix in Azure Pipelines.

Check out the release notes for details.


Azure Boards

Azure Pipelines



New version of the Azure DevOps Web Extension SDK

With this update we are releasing a new version of the Azure DevOps Web Extension SDK. The client SDK enables web extensions to communicate to the host frame. It can be used to:

  • Notify the host that the extension is loaded or has errors
  • Get basic contextual information about the current page (current user, host and extension information)
  • Get theme information
  • Obtain an authorization token to use in REST calls back to Azure DevOps
  • Get remote services offered by the host frame

You can find a full API reference in the azure-devops-extension-sdk package documentation. This new version provides support for the following modules:

  • ES Module Support: SDK now supports ES (ECMAScript) modules in addition to the existing AMD (Asynchronous Module Definition) modules. You can now import SDK using the ES module syntax, which provides performance improvements and reduces the application size.

  • Backward Compatibility for AMD Modules: Existing support for AMD modules remains intact. If your project is using AMD modules, you can continue to use them as before without any changes.

How to use:

For ES modules, you can import our modules using the import statement:

import * as SDK from 'azure-devops-extension-sdk';
// Use the module here

If you're using AMD modules, you can continue to import SDK using the require function:

require(['azure-devops-extension-sdk'], function(SDK) {

  // Use the module here

Azure Boards

GitHub Integration - Improved AB# validation (private preview)

We're starting our journey of Boards + GitHub integration improvements by addressing the bot responses when linking to work items using the AB# syntax. When you link to a Pull Request using the AB#{ID} syntax, the only way to know if the link was successful is by looking at the work item or noticing the AB#{ID} turn into a link.

Today, we're launching a private preview featuring several enhancements to the Azure Boards GitHub app to better inform you when a link to a work item is valid or invalid. This helps identify bad links and fix them before the Pull Request is merged.

Screenshots of Team Settings.

If you're interested in participating in the private preview, reach out to us directly via email. Be sure to include your organization name ({organization})

Check out the public roadmap to learn more about upcoming Azure Boards + GitHub integration features.

Azure Pipelines

Azure Pipelines tasks use Node 16

Tasks in the pipeline are executed using a runner, with Node.js used in most cases. Azure Pipelines tasks that utilize a Node as a runner now all use Node 16. As Node 16 is the first Node version to natively support Apple silicon, this also completes full task support for macOS on Apple silicon. Agents running on Apple silicon do not need Rosetta to run.

As the Node 16 end-of-life date has moved forward, we have started the work to run tasks with Node 20.

Announcing retirement of deprecated tasks

Azure Pipelines has many deprecated tasks. Deprecated tasks will be retired January 31, 2024. To help you identify pipelines that are using deprecated tasks, pipelines will show warnings if such a task is used. We updated the Task Reference to clearly convey deprecation status and retirement date.

The following tasks have been deprecated and will start emitting warnings:

  • AppCenterDistributeV1,
  • AppCenterDistributeV2
  • AzureMonitorV0
  • ChefKnifeV1
  • ChefV1
  • CondaEnvironmentV1
  • DeployVisualStudioTestAgentV2
  • DotNetCoreInstallerV1
  • IISWebAppDeployment
  • QuickPerfTestV1
  • RunJMeterLoadTestV1
  • RunLoadTestV1
  • SqlServerDacpacDeploymentV1
  • XamarinTestCloudV1

Update your pipelines to use a newer task version or an alternative before January 31, 2024.

AzureRmWebAppDeployment task supports Microsoft Entra ID authentication

The AzureRmWebAppDeploymentV3 and AzureRmWebAppDeployment@4 tasks have been updated to support App Service with basic authentication disabled. If basic authentication is disabled on the App Service, the AzureRmWebAppDeploymentV3/4 tasks use Microsoft Entra ID authentication to perform deployments to the App Service Kudu endpoint. This requires a recent version of msdeploy.exe installed on the agent, which is the case on the windows-2022/windows-latest Hosted agents (see task reference).

Improvements to Approvals REST API

We improved locating approvals assigned to a user by including the groups the user belongs to in the search results.

Approvals now contain information about the pipeline run they belong to.

For example, the following GET REST API call returns

    "count": 1,
            "id": "7e90b9f7-f3f8-4548-a108-8b80c0fa80e7",
            "status": "pending",
            "createdOn": "2023-11-09T10:54:37.977Z",
            "lastModifiedOn": "2023-11-09T10:54:37.9775685Z",
            "executionOrder": "anyOrder",
            "minRequiredApprovers": 1,
                    "href": ""
                            "href": ""
                            "href": ""
                    "id": 73222930,
                    "name": "20231109.1"
                "id": "4597",
                "name": "FabrikamFiber"

Bypass Approvals and Checks

Approvals and checks help protect access to important resources, such as service connections, repos, or agent pools. A common use case is to use Approvals and Checks when deploying to production, and you wish to protect the ARM service connection.

Say you added the following checks on the service connection: an Approval, a Business Hours check, and an Invoke Azure Function check (to enforce a delay between different regions).

Now, imagine you have to do a hotfix deployment. You start a pipeline run, but it doesn't proceed,it waits for most of the checks to complete. You cannot afford to wait for the approvals and checks to complete.

In this sprint we've made it possible to bypass running approvals and checks, so you can complete your hotfix.

You can bypass running Approvals, Business Hours, Invoke Azure Function, and Invoke REST API checks.

Bypass an Approval.

Screenshot of Bypass an Approval.

Bypass Business Hours check.

Screenshot of Bypass Business Hours check.

Bypass Invoke Azure Function check. Bypass Business Hours check.

Screenshot of Bypass Invoke Azure Function check.

When a check is bypassed, you can see it in the checks panel.

Screenshot of check bypassed.

You can bypass a check only if you're an Administrator of the resource on which the checks were defined.

Support for GitHub enterprise server in required template check

Templates are a security mechanism that enables you to control the stages, jobs, and steps of pipelines in your organization.

The Require template check enables you to enforce that a pipeline extends from a set of approved templates before accessing a protected resource, such as an agent pool or service connection.

Starting with this sprint, you can specify templates located in GitHub Enterprise Server repos.

Screenshot of required YAML template.

Rerun invoke Azure function checks

Imagine that you deploy your system in multiple stages. Before deploying the second stage, there's an Approval and an Invoke Azure Function check that runs a sanity check on the already-deployed part of the system.

When reviewing the Approval request, you notice the sanity check ran two days earlier. In this scenario, you may be aware of another deployment that affected the result of the sanity check.

With this update, you can rerun Invoke Azure Function and Invoke REST API checks. This functionality is available only for checks that succeeded and have no retries.

Screenshot of dynamic check.


You can rerun a check only if you are an Administrator of the resource on which the checks were defined.


Work item filtering

We are happy to announce work item chart filtering. This feature will let you hover over your work item chart for a quick overview and drill down into specific chart segments for detailed insights. You no longer need to create custom queries to access the exact piece of data you need. You can now dive into your work items in work item charts in a few clicks.

Gif to demo work item filtering.

Your feedback is invaluable in shaping the future of this feature. Try it now and let us know what you think in our Azure DevOps community.

Next steps


These features will roll out over the next two to three weeks.

Head over to Azure DevOps and take a look.

How to provide feedback

We would love to hear what you think about these features. Use the help menu to report a problem or provide a suggestion.

Screenshot Make a suggestion.

You can also get advice and your questions answered by the community on Stack Overflow.


Silviu Andrica