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January 18, 2023

What is Azure DevOps? Learn the Features in This Guide

What is Azure DevOps
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Azure DevOps is a powerful platform for managing the entire software development lifecycle, from planning and development to deployment and maintenance. Whether you’re a small team just getting started with Azure or a large enterprise looking to streamline your processes, Azure DevOps has the tools and features you need to succeed. 

What All Azure DevOps Can Do? 

One of the key capabilities of Azure DevOps is its comprehensive suite of planning and collaboration tools. With Azure Boards, for example, you can easily create and track work items, manage backlogs, and plan sprints. And with Azure Repos, you can securely manage your code and collaborate with your team in real time. These tools help you to plan, track, and manage your projects effectively, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.

Another important capability to know before getting started with Azure DevOps is its robust set of tools for building and deploying code. With Azure Pipelines, you can automate your build and deployment processes, and with Azure Test Plans, you can easily create and manage test cases. This ensures that your code is built and deployed quickly, reliably, and with minimal human intervention.

In addition to these core capabilities, it also offers several other tools and services to help you manage your software development lifecycle. For example, with Azure Monitor, you can monitor the health and performance of your applications, and with Azure Feedback, you can gather feedback from users and stakeholders. These tools allow you to keep an eye on the performance of your applications, and make necessary improvements promptly.

In summary, Azure DevOps is a powerful and versatile platform that can help you streamline your software development processes and deliver high-quality applications quickly and efficiently. With Azure DevOps, you can easily manage your projects, automate your builds and deployments, monitor the performance of your applications, and gather feedback from users, making it a one-stop shop for all your DevOps needs.

Advantages of Using Azure DevOps for Businesses

Azure DevOps is a cloud-based platform that helps organizations plan, build, test, and deploy software. Some advantages of using it for organizations include:

Collaboration: Azure DevOps allows teams to work together on projects, track progress, and communicate effectively.

Automation: Azure DevOps provides tools for automating software delivery, such as continuous integration and continuous delivery.

Integration: Azure DevOps integrates with a wide range of tools and services, including Visual Studio, GitHub, and other popular development tools.

Scalability: Azure DevOps is built on Azure, a highly scalable and reliable cloud platform, which allows organizations to easily scale their development efforts as needed.

Compliance: Azure DevOps provides compliance and security features that help organizations meet regulatory requirements and protect sensitive data.

Monitoring and reporting: Azure DevOps provides monitoring and reporting tools that enable organizations to track the progress of their projects and identify potential issues.

Cost-effective: Azure DevOps is a cost-effective solution as it offers a flexible pricing model that allows organizations to pay only for the services they use.

 

Features of Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps is a powerful platform that offers a variety of features to help manage the software development lifecycle. Before getting started with Azure it is important to know what all it can help with. Key features are as follows- 

 

  1. The Ability to Manage Multiple Organizations

    A single user can belong to multiple organizations and choose which organization to store their application’s artifacts and code sets. The organization owner can assign roles and permissions to team members, as well as modify Azure Active Directory permissions and monitor billing. Additionally, security policies and permissions can be implemented at the organizational level to ensure the safety of the data.

 

  1. Ability to Choose Between Scrum and Agile Processes to Suit the Needs of The Team And End-Users

    This allows teams to easily manage and track different projects across the organization. The illustration below shows an agile workflow at the top and a Scrum workflow at the bottom.

 

  1. Pipeline Templates

    Azure DevOps offers pipeline templates that can be easily executed by the user using either local or Azure cloud-hosted agents. These templates can be customized to suit the specific requirements of your project using YAML, helping you to streamline your build and deployment process.

 

  1. Flexible Storage Options with Azure DevOps

    Azure DevOps gives you the freedom to store your artifacts and test results on the location of your choice, whether it be cloud or data center-hosted servers. However, it’s worth noting that there may be associated costs and storage limits when utilizing Azure cloud-hosted services.

 

  1. Fine-Grained Access Control in Azure DevOps

    Azure DevOps allows you to customize the project settings within an organization to meet the specific needs of your project team. Additionally, you can also implement fine-grained access control through the permission policy, giving you more control over who can access and make changes to your projects.

 

  1. Integration of Azure DevOps 

    Azure DevOps allows you to seamlessly integrate your applications with a wide range of external tools, such as JIRA and Github, using service connections. Furthermore, it also provides direct integration with Azure Cloud for easy deployment of your applications. Additionally, the same functionality is available for other cloud services such as AWS and GCP, enabling you to use service connections to deploy on multiple cloud providers.

 

  1. Azure Boards & Repo

    Azure Boards is a powerful tool that helps software development teams manage their projects with interactive and customizable tools. It offers native support for Agile, Scrum, and Kanban processes and allows teams to create custom dashboards tailored to their specific needs. Azure Repo, on the other hand, is a set of version control tools that enable development teams to manage and track changes to their code over time. These tools provide a comprehensive solution for managing software development projects and keeping track of code changes.

 

  1. Azure Test Plan

    Azure Test Plans are a suite of tools utilized by development teams to ensure the quality of code throughout the development process. These test plans are user-friendly and can be managed directly from a web browser. They offer a wide range of testing frameworks and provide valuable feedback for all stakeholders involved in the development process. 

 

  1. Installation

    Azure DevOps can also be installed on a server located within a private data center, providing access to the same features as the Azure DevOps service on the Azure Cloud.

The final verdict: Is Azure DevOps right for my business? 

Azure DevOps is a robust platform with a wide array of features. Its support for various languages, platforms, and cloud providers makes it a suitable choice for many organizations. However, if your organization is currently using an on-premises Team Foundation Server, migrating to Azure DevOps would be a logical next step.

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