Input and output artifacts - Amazon CodePipeline
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Input and output artifacts

CodePipeline integrates with development tools to check for code changes and then build and deploy through all of the stages of the continuous delivery process. Artifacts are the files that are worked on by actions in the pipeline, such as files or folders with application code, index page files, scripts, and so on. For example, the Amazon S3 source action artifact is a file name (or file path) where the application source code files are provided for the pipeline source action, and the files are generally provided as a ZIP file, such as the following example artifact name: The output artifact for the source action, the application source code files, are the output artifact from the source action and also are the input artifact for the next action, such as a build action. As another example, a build action might run build commands that compile application source code for an input artifact, which is the application source code files from the source action. See the action configuration reference page for a specific action for details about artifact parameters, such as Amazon CodeBuild for the CodeBuild action.

Actions use input and output artifacts that are stored in the Amazon S3 artifact bucket you chose when you created the pipeline. CodePipeline zips and transfers the files for input or output artifacts as appropriate for the action type in the stage.


The artifact bucket is not the same bucket as the bucket used as the source file location for a pipeline where the chosen source action is S3.

For example:

  1. CodePipeline triggers your pipeline to run when there is a commit to the source repository, providing the output artifact (any files to be built) from the Source stage.

  2. The output artifact (any files to be built) from the previous step is ingested as an input artifact to the Build stage. An output artifact (the built application) from the Build stage can be an updated application or an updated Docker image built to a container.

  3. The output artifact from the previous step (the built application) is ingested as an input artifact to the Deploy stage, such as staging or production environments in the Amazon Web Services Cloud. You can deploy applications to a deployment fleet, or you can deploy container-based applications to tasks running in ECS clusters.

When you create or edit an action, you designate the input and output artifact or artifacts for the action. For example, for a two-stage pipeline with a Source and Deploy stage, in Edit Action, you choose the artifact name of the source action for the input artifact for the deploy action.

  • When you use the console to create your first pipeline, CodePipeline creates an Amazon S3 bucket in the same Amazon Web Services account and Amazon Web Services Region to store items for all pipelines. Every time you use the console to create another pipeline in that Region, CodePipeline creates a folder for that pipeline in the bucket. It uses that folder to store artifacts for your pipeline as the automated release process runs. This bucket is named codepipeline-region-12345EXAMPLE, where region is the Amazon Region in which you created the pipeline, and 12345EXAMPLE is a 12-digit random number that ensures the bucket name is unique.


    If you already have a bucket starting with codepipeline-region- in the Region where you are creating the pipeline, CodePipeline uses that as the default bucket. It also follows lexicographical order; for example, codepipeline-region-abcexample is chosen before codepipeline-region-defexample.

    CodePipeline truncates artifact names, which can cause some bucket names to appear similar. Even though the artifact name appears to be truncated, CodePipeline maps to the artifact bucket in a way that is not affected by artifacts with truncated names. The pipeline can function normally. This is not an issue with the folder or artifacts. There is a 100-character limit to pipeline names. Although the artifact folder name might appear to be shortened, it is still unique for your pipeline.

    When you create or edit a pipeline, you must have an artifact bucket in the pipeline Amazon Web Services account and Amazon Web Services Region, and you must have one artifact bucket per Region where you plan to execute an action. If you use the console to create a pipeline or cross-Region actions, default artifact buckets are configured by CodePipeline in the Regions where you have actions.

    If you use the Amazon CLI to create a pipeline, you can store the artifacts for that pipeline in any Amazon S3 bucket as long as that bucket is in the same Amazon Web Services account and Amazon Web Services Region as the pipeline. You might do this if you are concerned about exceeding the limits of Amazon S3 buckets allowed for your account. If you use the Amazon CLI to create or edit a pipeline, and you add a cross-Region action (an action with an Amazon provider in a Region different from your pipeline), you must provide an artifact bucket for each additional Region where you plan to execute an action.

  • Every action has a type. Depending on the type, the action might have one or both of the following:

    • An input artifact, which is the artifact it consumes or works on over the course of the action run.

    • An output artifact, which is the output of the action.

    Every output artifact in the pipeline must have a unique name. Every input artifact for an action must match the output artifact of an action earlier in the pipeline, whether that action is immediately before the action in a stage or runs in a stage several stages earlier.

    An artifact can be worked on by more than one action.