Release Gates – Enable Progressive Exposure and Phased Deployments

Shashank Bansal

We are excited to announce that release gates are now generally available to all VSTS users and accounts so everyone can now add progressive exposure to their continuous delivery pipelines.

What are release gates

If you haven’t tried them yet,  Release gates enable data-driven approvals for phased deployments with VSTS based on monitoring of deployment health through the pipeline. Using release gates, you can specify application health criteria that must be met before release is promoted to the next environment. Prior to or after any environment deployment, all the specified gates are automatically evaluated until they all pass or until they reach your defined timeout period and fail.

Configure gates for environment

4 types of gates are included by default for every account.

Out of the box gates

Release gates are also an extension point. You can easily add gates via the VSTS marketplace or write your own if you want to integrate with any system used by your organisation.

Customer adoption

Since we announced the public preview of release gates in November 2017, we’ve been blown away by the innovative ways people have been using the feature and we have received great feedback from customers and the community.

For example, customers have:

  • Integrated ITIL practices in VSTS release pipelines using Service Now gate
  • Enhanced CI/CD processes for VSTS extensions
  • Used Github issues
  • Incorporated feedback from social media by analyzing Twitter sentiment
  • Enforced business processes (eg: all workitems being deployed should be marked as resolved at the time of release)
  • Satisfied their organisations  HIPAA compliance procedures by integrating with Adobe DocuSign

Additional information

You can learn more about release gates with the docs or in the video below.

We also have a video and hands-on lab to get you started.

Many of the smart folks in our  MVP community  have also been blogging about their interesting usages for release gate including blog posts on,, and

Release gates in action

If you have any feedback on Release Gates or examples of ways  you are using them in your pipelines we would love to hear from you. As well as the comments below you can reach us   on  Developer Community, make suggestions on  UserVoice, get advice on  Stack Overflow, and get support via our  Support  page.


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