Information for: DEVELOPERS   PARTNERS

Using pipelines for website development and testing

The Acquia Cloud pipelines feature is a continuous delivery tool to automate development workflows for applications hosted by Acquia Cloud. With the pipelines feature, you can complete the following actions:

  • Manage your application’s source code on third-party Git servers, and seamlessly deploy to Acquia Cloud.
  • Use tools like Composer or drush make to assemble your application’s components and dependencies.
  • Use technologies such as Sass and Typescript to compile application source code.
  • Control which developers or teams have permission to change different parts of your application code base.
Learn more by visiting the Acquia Academy (sign-in required) for the Introduction to Acquia Pipelines video tutorial.

How the pipelines feature works

The Acquia Cloud pipelines feature executes the instructions you provide, transforming application source code into a build artifact which you can then test and deploy. Here is how the Acquia Cloud pipelines feature works:

  • Create a build definition file, hosted in your Git repository. For an example, see acquia-pipelines.yml.
  • Connect the Acquia Cloud pipelines feature to your repository, whether it’s hosted by Acquia Cloud or externally at Bitbucket or Github.
  • Trigger pipelines jobs when creating or reopening pull requests, pushing commits, or pushing tags. You can also trigger jobs manually through the user interface, or the command-line client’s pipelines start command.
  • The pipelines feature clones the Git source repository and checks out the specified branch.
  • Pipelines looks for a YAML-format file named acquia-pipelines.yaml in the selected Git branch, and executes its instructions in your container. The instructions have access to environment variables, and can perform multiple actions in a single pipelines job, such as assembling your application from different code bases, transforming source files into compiled files ready to deploy, and running tests.
  • If the pipelines job completes without errors, Acquia Cloud commits all the files and directories created by the instructions as a build artifact, named pipelines-build-[BRANCHNAME], to a build branch in your application’s Acquia Cloud Git repository, which you can deploy programmatically or manually. Other repositories can’t be targets.
  • You can view the results of each job with the pipelines user interface in Acquia Cloud, the status posted to your pull request on your third-party code repository, and the pipelines status and logs commands.

For a list of software available in your container, and resource limits on pipelines jobs, see Resources for containers and pipelines jobs.

Availability of the pipelines feature

The Acquia Cloud pipelines feature is available as an add-on for Acquia Cloud Enterprise and Acquia Cloud Site Factory subscribers, and requires Acquia Cloud CD on Acquia Cloud. To obtain the Acquia Cloud pipelines feature for your subscription, contact your Account Manager.

Using the pipelines feature with Acquia Cloud Site Factory

The Acquia Cloud pipelines feature is available as a continuous integration tool for Acquia Cloud Site Factory subscribers. When configuring the pipelines feature for an Acquia Cloud Site Factory, be aware of the following issues:

Getting started

Use the following general steps to start using the Acquia Cloud pipelines feature for your website development and testing:

  1. Confirm your Acquia Cloud account’s role has the Execute pipelines permission. You may also need the Add an environment permission.

    Note for Acquia Cloud Site Factory subscribers

    These permissions must be assigned through the Acquia Cloud teams and permissions system, and not the Acquia Cloud Site Factory Management Console.

  2. Optional: Connect your application to an external Git repository.

  3. Create a build definition file.

  4. Start a pipeline job in the Acquia Cloud user interface or the command-line interface.


The pipelines feature executes subsequent jobs using the credentials of the user who first executes a pipelines build. For more information on how to update to another user, see User permission issues.