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Pipelines Overview

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  • Pipeline architecture
  • VS Code extension
  • Next steps

CircleCI pipelines are the highest-level unit of work, encompassing a project’s full .circleci/config.yml file. Pipelines include your workflows, which coordinate your jobs. They have a fixed, linear lifecycle, and are associated with a specific actor. Pipelines trigger when a change is pushed to a project that has a CircleCI configuration file included, and can also be scheduled, triggered manually through the CircleCI app, or using the API.

When visiting your CircleCI dashboard, you are shown a list of recently triggered pipelines for your organization/account.

Screenshot of the pipelines dashboard in the CircleCI app

Pipeline architecture

A pipeline is composed of workflows, which are composed of jobs. By navigating from a pipeline to a specific job, you can access your job output, test results, and artifacts through several tabs.

Job tab options in the CircleCI web app

The output of each job can be opened in a new tab (in either raw or formatted styling) with a unique link, making it shareable between team members.

Download and share job step output

VS Code extension

If you use Visual Studio Code, you can also monitor and interact with your pipelines directly from VS Code with the official CircleCI extension. The extension allows you to customize which projects and pipelines you want to follow, as well as view job logs and test results, download artifacts, approve, re-run, and debug jobs with SSH, and get notified when your workflows fail or need approval.

Screenshot showing the detailed view of a failed test

The CircleCI VS Code extension is available to download on the VS Code marketplace.

Next steps

Find out more about triggering pipelines in the Triggers Overview.

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