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Azure DevOps Discovery

The Azure DevOps integration has a special entity provider for discovering catalog entities within an Azure DevOps. The provider will crawl your Azure DevOps organization and register entities matching the configured path. This can be useful as an alternative to static locations or manually adding things to the catalog.

This guide explains how to install and configure the Azure DevOps Entity Provider (recommended) or the Azure DevOps Processor.


Code Search Feature

Azure discovery is driven by the Code Search feature in Azure DevOps, this may not be enabled by default. For Azure DevOps Services you can confirm this by looking at the installed extensions in your Organization Settings. For Azure DevOps Server you'll find this information in your Collection Settings.

If the Code Search extension is not listed then you can install it from the Visual Studio Marketplace.

Azure Integration

Setup Azure integration with host and token. Host must be for Cloud users, otherwise set this to your on-premise hostname.


At your configuration, you add one or more provider configs:

yourProviderId: # identifies your dataset / provider independent of config changes
organization: myorg
project: myproject
repository: service-* # this will match all repos starting with service-*
path: /catalog-info.yaml
schedule: # optional; same options as in TaskScheduleDefinition
# supports cron, ISO duration, "human duration" as used in code
frequency: { minutes: 30 }
# supports ISO duration, "human duration" as used in code
timeout: { minutes: 3 }
yourSecondProviderId: # identifies your dataset / provider independent of config changes
organization: myorg
project: '*' # this will match all projects
repository: '*' # this will match all repos
path: /catalog-info.yaml
anotherProviderId: # another identifier
organization: myorg
project: myproject
repository: '*' # this will match all repos
path: /src/*/catalog-info.yaml # this will search for files deep inside the /src folder
yetAnotherProviderId: # guess, what? Another one :)
organization: myorg
project: myproject
branch: development

The parameters available are:

  • host: (optional) Leave empty for Cloud hosted, otherwise set to your self-hosted instance host.
  • organization: Your Organization slug (or Collection for on-premise users). Required.
  • project: (required) Your project slug. Wildcards are supported as shown on the examples above. Using '*' will search all projects. For a project name containing spaces, use both single and double quotes as in project: '"My Project Name"'.
  • repository: (optional) The repository name. Wildcards are supported as show on the examples above. If not set, all repositories will be searched.
  • path: (optional) Where to find catalog-info.yaml files. Defaults to /catalog-info.yaml.
  • branch: (optional) The branch name to use.
  • schedule (optional):
    • frequency: How often you want the task to run. The system does its best to avoid overlapping invocations.
    • timeout: The maximum amount of time that a single task invocation can take.
    • initialDelay (optional): The amount of time that should pass before the first invocation happens.
    • scope (optional): 'global' or 'local'. Sets the scope of concurrency control.


  • The path parameter follows the same rules as the search on Azure DevOps web interface. For more details visit the official search documentation.
  • To use branch parameters, it is necessary that the desired branch be added to the "Searchable branches" list within Azure DevOps Repositories. To do this, follow the instructions below:
  1. Access your Azure DevOps and open the repository in which you want to add the branch.
  2. Click on "Settings" in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  3. Select the "Options" option in the left navigation bar.
  4. In the "Searchable branches" section, click on the "Add" button to add a new branch.
  5. In the window that appears, enter the name of the branch you want to add and click "Add".
  6. The added branch will now appear in the "Searchable branches" list.

As this provider is not one of the default providers, you will first need to install the Azure catalog plugin:

# From your Backstage root directory
yarn add --cwd packages/backend @backstage/plugin-catalog-backend-module-azure

Once you've done that, you'll also need to add the segment below to packages/backend/src/plugins/catalog.ts:

import { AzureDevOpsEntityProvider } from '@backstage/plugin-catalog-backend-module-azure';

const builder = await CatalogBuilder.create(env);
/** ... other processors and/or providers ... */
AzureDevOpsEntityProvider.fromConfig(env.config, {
logger: env.logger,
// optional: alternatively, use scheduler with schedule defined in app-config.yaml
schedule: env.scheduler.createScheduledTaskRunner({
frequency: { minutes: 30 },
timeout: { minutes: 3 },
// optional: alternatively, use schedule
scheduler: env.scheduler,

Alternative Processor

As an alternative to the entity provider AzureDevOpsEntityProvider, you can still use the AzureDevopsDiscoveryProcessor.

import { AzureDevOpsDiscoveryProcessor } from '@backstage/plugin-catalog-backend-module-azure';

export default async function createPlugin(
env: PluginEnvironment,
): Promise<Router> {
const builder = await CatalogBuilder.create(env);
AzureDevOpsDiscoveryProcessor.fromConfig(env.config, {
logger: env.logger,

// ..
# Scan all repositories for a catalog-info.yaml in the root of the default branch
- type: azure-discovery
# Or use a custom pattern for a subset of all repositories with default repository
- type: azure-discovery
# Or use a custom file format and location
- type: azure-discovery

Note the azure-discovery type, as this is not a regular url processor.

When using a custom pattern, the target is composed of five parts:

  • The base instance URL, in this case
  • The organization name which is required, myorg in this case
  • The project name which is optional, myproject in this case. This defaults to *, which scans all the projects where the token has access to.
  • The repository blob to scan, which accepts * wildcard tokens and must be added after _git/. This can simply be * to scan all repositories in the project.
  • The path within each repository to find the catalog YAML file. This will usually be /catalog-info.yaml, /src/*/catalog-info.yaml or a similar variation for catalog files stored in the root directory of each repository.