Jobs are the executable units of your pipelines that can execute any DevOps activity. A simple way to think of it is, if something can execute in the shell of your laptop, it can execute as a Job.

Jobs take Inputs in the form of Resources, execute tasks that perform the operations necessary and then produce a result i.e. Output(s). Now these Outputs can become Inputs to other jobs and so on forming a dependency-based, event-driven DevOps Assembly Line.

Please note that each job runs on a separate node, but can share information with other jobs.

Connecting jobs into a DevOps Assembly Line

Typical examples of jobs are:

  • Execute Continuous Integration (CI) on a repository
  • Build, Test and Push Docker images to registries like Docker Hub. Quay, JFrog etc.
  • Build deployable machine images with tools like Packer
  • Provisioning infrastructure using various automation tools like Ansible, Terraform, Chef, Puppet, etc.
  • Deploy applications to Container Orchestration Services like Kubernetes, Amazon ECS, Google Container Engine, Azure Container Service,
  • Deploy an application version to a VM cluster
  • Execute a functional/integration test suite
  • Create immutable service definitions so that applications can roll-forward and roll-back
  • Deploy applications with Continuous Deployment(CD) tools like Capistrano, Distelli, Ansible etc.
  • Implementing deployment strategies like Blue/Green, Upgrades and Replace
  • Perform timely backups of DB, key-value stores etc.
  • Create or update an application release version

YML Definition

Jobs are defined in shippable.yml as shown below:

  - name:               <string>
    type:               <job type name>
    dependencyMode:     <chrono/strict/immediate>
      - IN:             <job>
      - IN:             <resource>
      - OUT:            <resource>
      - TASK:
        - script:           <any shell command>
        - script:           <any shell command>
        - <flag 1>
        - <flag 2>

For more information, read the jobs section of the anatomy of shippable.yml page.

When does a Job execute?

Jobs can be triggered in multiple ways, including both automated and manual triggers. For example, consider the configuration below for my-deploy:

How are DevOps activities triggered?

In this configuration, Job-4 will be triggered in one of 4 ways:

  • A previous job in the Assembly Line changes an IN resource, i.e. Job-4 will be triggered every time Job-3 updates resource-2.
  • An IN job successfully completed execution, i.e. Job-4 will be triggered every time Job-2 succeeds. A couple of exceptions to this rule are:
    • If any Jobs defined as INs are currently processing, have queued builds or are in a failed state. So in the example above, if Job-1 is in failed state or is queued, Job-4 will not trigger even when Job-2 completes successfully.
    • If the Job is in inconsistent state due to dependency failures
  • You commit to a trigger that is an IN for the job, i.e. trigger-1 in this example
  • Manual trigger: You right click on Job-4 in the SPOG UI and click on Run or Select Run for Job-4 in the Jobs list in the Grid view.

Job-1 will not trigger Job-4 automatically since the dotted line between them indicates that automatic trigger has been switched off. A dark gray border will appear on Job-4 after Job-1 runs until Job-4 is next triggered.

Please note that changing some resources like cluster, replicas, or dockerOptions manually through a yml commit will not automatically trigger a job. This behavior is meant to prevent unexpected pipeline behavior, since a single commit can contains changes to several resources and cause several trigger points in the pipeline. If you want your job to be triggered when resources are manually edited in the yml, you can add a trigger input for the job and include a change to the trigger resource in the commit every time you want to automatically run your job.

What happens when a Job executes?

When triggered, a Job does the following:

  • Get the latest versions of IN resources or latest state information from an IN job. If an input resource version is pinned, then use that version instead of latest.
  • Replace any templated values in the IN resource details.
  • Execute all commands to perform the activity. The set of commands depends on job type.
  • Update all OUT resources

Every time a job executes, a new immutable version is created. This makes it easy to 'replay' older job versions, though you should do this only after verifying that the old input values will not create problems in your Assembly Line.

Job trigger modes

Once a job completes successfully or a resource is updated, all downstream jobs will be triggered. In some scenarios, you might want your downstream job to run immediately. In others, you might want it to wait until all of the processing upstream jobs are complete. This exact behavior can be controlled using the dependencyMode option. Specifying dependencyMode is optional. It defaults to chrono, but It can also be immediate or strict.

  - name: <job-name>
    type: <job-type>
    dependencyMode: <chrono/immediate/strict>
      - IN: <job-name>
      - IN: <job-name>
      - IN: <resource-name>

dependencyMode: chrono

This is the default dependencyMode. When an upstream job completes or resource is updated, this job will be triggered if all of its dependencies are consistent and in a successful state. However, the job won't run at the same time as any of its directly connected upstream or downstream jobs. Instead, the job will be Queued, and picked up when its dependencies have stopped processing and when its chronological turn has arrived.



In the above assembly line, job-2 and job-3 are triggered manually. Suppose job-2 completes first. It will trigger chrono-job-2 once but not chrono-job-1, since job-1 is an inconsistent dependency. As job-3 is still in processing state, chrono-job-2 will remain in queued state until job-3 is complete. Once job-3 completes it will trigger chrono-job-2 again. chrono-job-2 will have 2 queued builds created for it. If job-6 is in processing state, then chrono-job-2 will also wait for that to complete and then both of its builds will go to processing state one by one.

dependencyMode: immediate

In this mode, jobs are triggered without waiting for any incomplete dependencies to reach a final state. Jobs will also be triggered even if IN resources are inconsistent. When a job completes or a resource is updated, all the consistent downstream jobs are triggered.



In the above assembly line, job-2 and job-3 are triggered manually. Suppose job-2 completes first. It will trigger both immediate-job-2 and immediate-job-1, even though job-1 is an inconsistent dependency for immediate-job-1. While job-3 is still in processing state, immediate-job-2 and immediate-job-1 will immediately go to a processing state as well as long as there are available minions. This mode also disregards the state of downstream jobs, so if job-6 and job-5 are processing, immediate-job-2 and immediate-job-1 will still be triggered. Now, when job job-3 completes, it will trigger immediate-job-2 again and this build will go to processing state as soon as first build for immediate-job-2 is complete.

dependencyMode: strict

In the chrono and immediate modes, dependent jobs end up running multiple times when more than one IN dependency completes. In strict mode, the goal is to only trigger the job once when all of the upstream dependencies have reached a final state. When a job completes or a resource is updated, all the consistent jobs which are using this resource/job as IN are evaluated, and the ones which have are consistent with no waiting or processing upstream dependencies are triggered. In this mode, we also check the status of jobs whose OUT resources are IN to the job. If there are processing or waiting upstream dependencies, waiting jobs are created, which will be resolved once all of the processing/waiting upstream dependencies have reached a final state.

You can see the waiting jobs on dashboards' grid-view. In case your waiting job is not getting processed and all the IN jobs are in a final state then you can delete them.




In the above assembly line, job-2 and job-3 are triggered manually. Suppose job-2 completes first. In this case, it will not trigger any subsequent job. It will not trigger strict-job-2 since job-3 is still running and it will not trigger strict-job-1 since it has an inconsistent IN job-1. Instead, a waiting job is created for strict-job-2. Once job-3 completes it will trigger strict-job-2. strict-job-2 will then be removed from the waiting jobs list and move to a queued state even if job-6 is processing. Once in a queued state, the job will be picked up to run as soon as minions are available. If job-4 is in inconsistent or processing state, then strict-job-2 will not be triggered.

You can also control which mode a job should follow once a particular IN job completes by specifying the dependencyMode at IN dependency level.

  - name: strict-job
    type: runSh
    dependencyMode: strict
      - IN: resource-1
      - IN: Job-1
        dependencyMode: immediate
      - IN: job-2
      - TASK:
        - script: echo "do something";

Here, if strict-job is triggered by job-1 then it'll follow immediate mode even though it has strict mode at job level. When triggered by resource resource-1 or job job-2, it will follow strict mode.

Supported job types

Shippable supports two categories of jobs, managed or quickstart jobs, and unmanaged jobs.

Managed jobs do not require you to write any code and give you an easy way to get started with a scenario. The job definition is 100% declarative, which means you specify what you need and the platform already has the intelligence to execute your scenario. Managed jobs are best suited for mainstream scenarios, such as creating a service definition, or deploying a Docker container to a supported orchestration platform.

Unmanaged jobs provide much more flexibility, while still preserving most advantages of declarative config. They offer a way to run custom scripts so you can execute any set of instructions that are specific to your scenario. Unmanaged jobs are best suited for power users, if a scenario isn't supported out of the box, or if you want to use your own tools such as Ansible, Terraform, Helm, native CLIs, etc as part of your workflow.

Job Type Description
deploy Managed job that deploys apps/services to Container Platforms or VM clusters
externalCI Managed job that lets you integrate external CI providers, such as Jenkins, with your workflows
manifest Managed job that creates an immutable App/Service definition (configuration)
provision Managed job that provisions specific resources needed (e.g. load balancers) by Container Orchestration Platforms
release Managed job that provides semantic versioning to help with release management for Apps/Services
runCI Unmanaged job that executes configured CI commands
runSh Unmanaged job that executes any shell commands, scripts, or supported CLI commands
rSync This job is automatically added when you add an Assembly Line to Shippable, and keeps the workflow synced with your yml configuration.

If you need a job that is not listed above, send us an email at

Further Reading