Create a service hooks subscription programmatically

Last Update: 3/6/2017

Using the Subscriptions REST APIs, you can programmatically create a subscription that performs an action on an external (consumer) service when a specific event occurs in a team project. For example, you can create a subscription to notify your service when a build fails.

Supported events:

  • build completed
  • code pushed (for Git team projects)
  • pull request create or updated (for Git team projects)
  • code checked in (TFVC team projects)
  • work item created, updated, deleted, restored or commented on
  • message posted to a team room

You can configure filters on your subscriptions to control which events trigger an action. For example, you can filter the build completed event based on the build status. For a complete set of supported events and filter options, see the event reference.

For a complete set of supported consumer services and actions, see the consumer reference.

Create a subscription for a team project

To create a subscription for an event, choose which consumer to use and the action you want to take. You will create an HTTP POST request to the subscriptions URL for the Visual Studio Team Services account with the event, consumer and action to take for the subscription.

Before you begin

To create a subscription, the following data will be required:

Create the request

Construct the body of the HTTP POST request to create the subscription based on the team project id, event, consumer and action.

Here is an example request for creating a subscription that will cause a build event to be POSTed to https://myservice/event when the build WebSite.CI fails.

{
    "publisherId": "tfs",
    "eventType": "build.complete",
    "resourceVersion": "1.0",
    "consumerId": "webHooks",
    "consumerActionId": "httpRequest",
    "publisherInputs": {
        "buildStatus": "failed",
        "definitionName": "WebSite.CI",
        "projectId": "56479caf-1eeb-4bca-86ab-aaa6f29399d9",
    },
    "consumerInputs": {
        "url": " https://myservice/event"
    },
}

Secure HTTPS URLs are highly recommended for the security of the private data in the JSON object.

Here is the response to the request to create the subscription:

{
    "id": "74aeeed0-bf5d-48dc-893f-f862b80987e9",
    "url": "https://fabrikam.visualstudio.com/DefaultCollection/_apis/hooks/subscriptions/74aeeed0-bf5d-48dc-893f-f862b80987e9",
    "publisherId": "tfs",
    "eventType": "build.complete",
    "resourceVersion": "1.0",
    "consumerId": "webHooks",
    "consumerActionId": "httpRequest",
    "createdBy": {
        "id": "00ca946b-2fe9-4f2a-ae2f-40d5c48001bc"
    },
    "createdDate": "2014-03-28T16:10:06.523Z",
    "modifiedBy": {
        "id": "1c4978ae-7cc9-4efa-8649-5547304a8438"
    },
    "modifiedDate": "2014-04-25T18:15:26.053Z",
    "publisherInputs": {
        "buildStatus": "failed",
        "definitionName": "WebSite.CI",
        "hostId": "17f27955-99bb-4861-9550-f2c669d64fc9",
        "projectId": "56479caf-1eeb-4bca-86ab-aaa6f29399d9",
        "tfsSubscriptionId": "29cde8b4-f37e-4ef9-a6d4-d57d526d82cc"
    },
    "consumerInputs": {
        "url": "http://myservice/event"
    }
}

If the subscription request fails, an HTTP response code of 400 will be returned with a message that has further details.

What happens when the event occurs?

When an event occurs, all enabled subscription in the project are evaluated, and the consumer action is performed for all matching subscriptions.

Resource versions (advanced)

Resource versioning is applicable when an API is in preview. For most scenarios, specifying 1.0 as the resource version is the safest route.

The event payload sent to certain consumers (like Web hooks, Azure Service Bus, Azure Storage) includes a JSON representation of subject resource (for example, a build or work item). The representation of this resource can have different forms (or versions). You can specify the version of the resource that you want to have sent to the consumer service via the resourceVersion field on the subscription. The resource version is the same as the API version. Not specifying a resource version means "latest released". You should always specify a resource version - this ensures a consistent event payload over time.

Q&A

Q: Are there services that I can subscribe to manually?

A: Yes. Here are the services that you can subscribe to from the administration page for a team project.

Q: Are there C# libraries that I can use to create subscriptions?

A: No, but here's a sample to help you get started.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Net;
using System.Net.Http;
using System.Web.Mvc;

namespace Microsoft.Samples.VisualStudioOnline
{
    public class ServiceHookEventController : Controller
    {

        // POST: /ServiceHookEvent/workitemcreated
        [HttpPost]
        public HttpResponseMessage WorkItemCreated(Content workItemEvent)
        {
            //Grabbing the title for the new workitem
            var value = RetrieveFieldValue("System.field", workItemEvent.Resource.Fields);

            //Acknowledge event receipt
            return new HttpResponseMessage(HttpStatusCode.OK);
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Gets the value for a specified work item field.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="key">Key used to retrieve matching value</param>
        /// <param name="fields">List of fields for a work item</param>
        /// <returns></returns>
        public String RetrieveFieldValue(String key, IList<FieldInfo> fields)
        {
            if (String.IsNullOrEmpty(key))
                return String.Empty;

            var result = fields.Single(s => s.Field.RefName == key);

            if (result == null)
                return String.Empty;

            return result.Value;
        }

    }

    public class Content
    {
        public String SubscriptionId { get; set; }

        public int NotificationId { get; set; }

        public String EventType { get; set; }

        public WorkItemResource Resource { get; set; }

    }

    public class WorkItemResource
    {
        public String UpdatesUrl { get; set; }

        public IList<FieldInfo> Fields { get; set;}

        public int Id { get; set; }

        public int Rev { get; set; }

        public String Url { get; set; }

        public String WebUrl { get; set; }
    }

    public class FieldInfo
    {
        public FieldDetailedInfo Field { get; set; }

        public String Value { get; set; }

    }

    public class FieldDetailedInfo
    {
        public int Id { get; set; }

        public String Name { get; set; }

        public String RefName { get; set; }
    }
}