What is YAML?

YAML (Yet Another Markup Language) is a data serialization format that is designed to be easy to read and write. It is commonly used in configuration management for configuration files, but can also be used to store data in a structured format such as a list or a dictionary.

YAML is based on the idea of representing data in a tree-like structure, with each element in the tree represented as a node. Nodes can contain other nodes, or they can contain data in the form of scalar values (such as strings or numbers).

YAML is often used because it is easy to read and write, and because it is less verbose than other data serialization formats such as XML or JSON. It is also widely supported, with libraries available in many programming languages for parsing and generating YAML.

How is YAML used in CI/CD?

In CI/CD, YAML is used as a configuration file format that defines the build, test, and deployment processes for an application or service. It allows developers to specify the steps required to build and deploy their application, as well as the dependencies, environment variables, and other parameters needed to run the pipeline.

Some of the ways YAML is used in CI/CD include:

  1. Defining pipeline structure: YAML is used to define the structure of the pipeline, including stages, jobs, and steps. This allows developers to create a pipeline that runs the appropriate steps and tests to ensure that the application is built, tested, and deployed correctly.
  2. Specifying build and deployment instructions: YAML is used to specify the build and deployment instructions for each stage and job in the pipeline. This includes commands to compile code, run tests, and deploy the application to a specific environment.
  3. Configuring environment variables and dependencies: YAML is used to configure environment variables and dependencies required by the pipeline. This includes information such as database connection details, API keys, and external libraries.
  4. Enabling code reviews and approvals: YAML can be used to define code review and approval workflows, allowing developers to ensure that code changes are reviewed and approved before they are merged into the main branch.

Kotlin DSL is an alternative to YAML that allows teams to configure their projects as code in a more advanced manner and operate your CI/CD project at scale.