Azure DevOps, formerly known as Visual Studio Team Service is Microsoft’s hosted cloud offering which provides you with everything you need to build your software product from beginning to end. It works by supporting the development and continuous release of software covering source control, work tracking and planning, builds and testing.
As it’s a globally hosted enterprise-grade solution, it benefits from a 99.9% SLA and 24x7 support that provides all of the services and tools needed by small teams or enterprises. This certainly makes it a service worth considering if you’re aiming to improve planning, collaboration and increase the speed of deployment using modern development services.
Let’s take a look at the service in more detail to find out what you can expect. But just before we dive in, it’s worth noting that you have the option to either use all of the DevOps services listed below, or you can simply choose what you need to compliment your existing workflows.
These can be used to plan and track work across your teams using Agile methodologies such as Kanban and Scrum. Boards represent work items as cards and support quick status updates where you can also define columns and swim lanes. Sprints can be defined where work items can be mapped to an iteration path. Delivery plans can be used to display work items as cards in a timeline or calendar view, which can be an effective approach for communicating with managers and stakeholders.
Pipelines can be used to continuously build, test and deploy your apps. Cloud hosted pipelines can be used on Windows, Linux and macOS operating systems, thus removing the need for you to manage hardware and VMs. Support for various languages such as .NET, Node.js, Python, Java, PHP, Ruby, C/C++, iOS and Android is also available. Continuous delivery of your apps to Azure, AWS and Google Cloud Platform is supported.
You can use Azure Repos for source control and support for Git or Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC). Continuous integration and delivery can be utilised to automatically trigger builds, tests and deployments. Code reviews, discussion threads and sign off stages can also be used within your workflows.
Azure Test Plans
Test Plans can be used to improve your overall code quality by using manual and exploratory testing services for your apps from unit and functional testing to stakeholder feedback, load testing and continuous testing.
With Artifacts you can create and host Maven, npm and NuGet packages and share them with your teams. Artifacts can be seamlessly integrated into your Continuous integration and delivery pipelines for builds and releases.
If you’re DevOps solution still requires further customisation, you’ll be pleased to hear that the Azure Marketplace supports Extensions for Azure DevOps which will allow you to utilise extensions for services such as Slack and Microsoft Teams to further customise your DevOps solution.
You should also be aware that Azure DevOps provides support for any type of application whether it be a Web App, Service, API or Mobile App, as well as various frameworks and Cloud platforms. It is also very flexible in that it can be fully integrated into your DevOps processes or certain elements can be utilised that best suit your needs.
If you are currently using an on-premises Team Foundation Server (TFS), Microsoft provides several options to migrate from TFS to Azure DevOps. You will then be able to benefit from the new features and integrations. You will also save time and money by not having the management overhead of having to maintain infrastructure, updates and backups. This will all be managed by Microsoft when using Azure DevOps, thus allowing you to focus on your development processes to produce robust apps and ship apps much faster.
If you’d like to find out more, you can take a look features and functionality of the service for yourself. Microsoft offers a free solution for Open Source Projects and small teams of up to five users so why not check out some of the capabilities on offer.
Posted by Tom Barrand