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Hosting Python Packages in Azure DevOps

The blog is about how to build some custom python libraries and store them as private artifacts in the Azure DevOps using Pipelines.


Working as a Data Scientist and Cloud Solutions Architect in my startup CortexBCI, I had the responsibility to host and publish our Wisdom PythonSDK for Brain Controlled Interface application development. This was the first motivation for me to write the blog to simplify the process of hosting python packages in Azure DevOps for other developers. I read through several documentations and blogs for the same but the one which helped me a lot was the blog written by Herald Gjura, App Dev Manager, Microsoft. The blog I have written is heavily inspired from him. I have adopted VSCode as my primary IDE for coding and also new changes in Azure DevOps version.

Introduction to Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps provides developer services for support teams to plan work, collaborate on code development, and build and deploy applications. Azure DevOps supports a culture and set of processes that bring developers and project managers and contributors together to complete software development. It allows organizations to create and improve products at a faster pace than they can with traditional software development approaches.

Services in Azure DevOps


Setting up Azure DevOps

  • Create a project in Azure DevOps


  • Create a repo for Python Package

You can use any version control and code-hosting services like GitHub or simply create a repo in Azure Repos in DevOps Project we had created. In my case, I am going to create a repo in GitHub


Setting up Python (local) environment

Open your favourite IDE (I prefer VSCode)

  • Create a local directory for python package
  • Create a Python Virtual Environment
python3 -m devopsenv .
source  ./devopsvenv/bin/activate

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  • Clone your repo
git clone <your git repo.git>
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  • Install required python packages
    • pytest
    • wheel
    • twine

Coding and Testing your Python Packages

Coding Python Packages

Packages in Python are any set of folders, and subfolders, that have an file in it (each folder or subfolder needs to have an file, even an empty one).

  • Select a name for your top python package
    Chose a meaningful, but short (best a one-word). I am to create a python package called "animalsounds"

  • Now we can create subpackages. I am going to create different animals as its subpackages (for example dog, cat etc). Its functionality can be retrieved as

Create file for each subpackage. You can write you functions directly in the file. However, I prefer to write them in separate files and group them by functionality. So create under each subpackage and write the methods under it.


Inside each, write

from .functions import *
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Under dog/

def makesound():
    return "Woof! Woof!"
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Under cat/

def makesound():
    return "Meow! Meow!"
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Testing Python Packages

At the package level animalsounds, add a new folder called tests. In that folder add an empty file.

In the tests folder, add a python file called, test_ Note: it is very important to prefix all your test files with “test_”, it will be used by the CI framework to identify the unit test files it needs to run.

Inside the file add the following:

import pytest
import as d
import as c

def test_doghi():
    dogres = d.makesound()
    assert isinstance(dogres, str)

def test_cathi():
    catres = c.makesound()
    assert isinstance(catres, str)
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To run the unit tests, use the following command

python3 -m pytest <Path to test folder>
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Getting ready to deploy the Python package

There are a few additional files we will need to add. At the root (application level) add the following files:

  • LICENSE.txt – You can create while creating the repo in GitHub
  • – To describe the package
  • – This is a file used by the packager to include or exclude files. Now create the file, and add the following to it:
include LICENSE
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  • setup.cfg – Another file used by the packager. Create the file and add the following as text:
license_files = LICENSE

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  • .pypirc – This is an important file. Leave this file empty for now.

  • requirements.txt – In this file we will add all the packages that needs to be installed prior to our package, or that our package is dependent on. Add the following:

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  • – This is the file where the setup for the package creation goes here. Refer this for more details
from setuptools import setup, find_packages

with open('') as f:
    long_description =

  name = 'animalsounds',         # How you named your package folder (TSIClient)
  packages = ['animalsounds'],   # Chose the same as "name"
  version = '1.0.0',      # Start with a small number and increase it with every change you make
  license='MIT',        # Chose a license from here:
  long_description_content_type='text/markdown',  # This is important!
  author = 'Vivek Raja P S',                   # Type in your name
  author_email = '',      # Type in your E-Mail
  url = '',   # Provide either the link to your github or to your website
  #download_url = '',    # If you create releases through Github, then this is important
  keywords = ['Azure', 'DevOps', 'Python'],   # Keywords that define your package best
  packages = find_packages("src", exclude=["test"]),
    'Development Status :: 3 - Alpha',      # Chose either "3 - Alpha", "4 - Beta" or "5 - Production/Stable" as the current state of your package
    'Intended Audience :: Developers',      # Define that your audience are developers
    'Topic :: Software Development :: Build Tools',
    'License :: OSI Approved :: MIT License',   # Again, pick a license
    'Programming Language :: Python :: 3.5',
    'Programming Language :: Python :: 3.6',
    'Programming Language :: Python :: 3.9',

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The final project structure should look like this


Finalizing Azure DevOps pipeline and feed

Creating a new Artifact Feed

Let's start with creating a new feed for our pipeline. Go to Azure DevOps > Artifacts > Create New feed. Give a suitable name and keep a note of the same as we gonna need it later.


Creating Pipeline for Artifact creation

Under Pipelines -> Create a new pipeline. We need to set up for configuration of pipeline which is a 4 step process.

  1. Connect - Connect to your code repository hosting service
  2. Select - Select the Package repo
  3. Configure - Create the yml file
  4. Review - Review if all the configurations are made properly.
    And finally Run the pipeline.

  5. Connect

The python package which I am planning to host is in my GitHub. So I am going to connect my GitHub with Azure DevOps and authorise the same.


  1. Select

The required repository is selected.


  1. Configure

Under Configure tab, select Starter pipeline and then In the Azure Pipelines, use the yml script given here

  1. Review

Review and Run the pipeline.



Setting up release Pipeline

Once the pipeline is run, it creates a Dist folder in the code repo which has the artifact.

To set up a release pipeline to release the artifact we had just created, go to Azure DevOps > Pipelines > Release Pipelines > Create New Release Pipeline.

Start with an empty template.

A release pipeline takes an artifact and runs through several stages to publish the artifact as per the pipeline configuration.

To publish the python package, we are going to select the Build Pipeline artifact and create a stage with one jobs with three tasks.

Selecting the Artifact source

Select the pipeline which we had created before as the source of artifact.


Pipeline Stage

Click on the stage and give a suitable name for the same. Click on Jobs and then we are going to create three tasks here. Add Agent Job.

Task 1: Twine Authenticate

Search for Twine Authenticate on the right side and add the same.


Task 2: Install Twine

Search for Command line and add it. Name the command script as Install Twine and add the following to the script

pip install twine
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Task 3:

Search for Command line and add it. Name the command script as Publish Artifact and add the following to the script. Replace with the name of the artifact feed which we had created first and with the pipeline name

twine upload -r <Artifact Feed Name> --config-file $(PYPIRC_PATH) d:\a\r1\a\<Build Pipeline Name>\dist\dist\*
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Once your release pipeline is ready, save it and Run the release pipeline. It may take a couple of minutes to run.


Once the release pipeline is successfully run, we can see the published artifact in the Artifact.


Using the Python Package

Now that our python package is published, we will see how to use it.

Create a personal token

On the right top corner, click your account and create a personal token. This token is assured that the package is only accessed by authorised personals since it is private to the organisation.

Connect to Feed

Once the personal token is generated, go to the Artifact and click on the our python package artifact. Click connect to feed and choose either Twine or PyPI as publisher for the same. Follow the steps given there.

Install the python package

Once the steps are followed, with access token and the feed is connected, you will be able to install and access the python package.


Congratulations, you have hosted your custom Python package in Azure DevOps. If you reached at the end of the article, do follow, share the article.

Also, do check out my session on "Hosting Python packages in Azure DevOps" at Microsoft Reactor

Top comments (2)

vishwasnarayan5 profile image

This is an Awesome article

vivek0712 profile image

Thank you!