Debugging the Visual Studio Team Services Build and Release System

I’ve been doing a lot of work with the new task based build and release system in VSTS which, thankfully, is immeasurably saner than the XAML abomination Microsoft have subjected us to in the past.

Mostly things have “just worked” but on a couple of occasions, normally while deploying to Azure, I’ve had inscrutable summary error messages presented to me and needed to know more about what exactly was run.

It turns out its really easy to flip the whole system into verbose logging mode by adding a variable to your build or release called System.Debug and setting its value to True.

Super useful and on each occasion I’ve had an issue this has helped me get to the bottom of it.

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